Sunday, 4 May 2014

04/05: HAPPY MAYDAY WEEKEND

I'm falling behind with Blog Posts again but our house is in turmoil as the Kitchen Fitters have postponed work for a few days (midway through removing old units and installing new ones).    Clutter and dust everywhere and what should have been completed in a week is now going to be two weeks (so long as there are no further complications).   I hate living in this chaos/mess but there's nothing I can do for the moment.

So we've been out and about a lot avoiding builders at home but just haven't really had the chance to post pictures from all the places we've visited.

Yesterday I went with David (hubby) and friend, Jenni, to the Sweeps Festival at Rochester in nearby Medway for the 3 day May Day Extravangaza!   The Sweeps Festival was inspired by Charles Dickens' description of the annual holiday given to young chimney sweeps - their one chance to escape the soot and hardship of their daily lives

Rochester is a lovely Town in Kent and features in many Charles Dickens Novels, It is located on the River Medway and is overlooked by a beautiful castle and historic buildings.     Since the early 1980s it has hosted this Festival which this year stretches over 3 days and will see more than 60 Morris Dancing 'sides' as well as bands/soloists and other entertainers.    The streets are packed with stalls selling beer/wine/traditional food and toys.   There is a huge fairground for the children ... so something for everybody and (so far) the weather has been very kind to us.   The final day of the festival is tomorrow and will feature a Grand Parade at 2.45pm which we can't get to because we're committed elsewhere, but for anybody living nearby I'd highly recommend a visit - and its all FREE!

British Eccentricity at its best I think!

A selection of photos taken yesterday and I apologise for not showing any Morris Dancing action shots, I tend to focus on the visiting characters at events like this ....

Traditionally Morris Dancers 'black up' hence the painted faces and I think this is believed to stem from the word Moorish stemming back to the early 1800s.

Sweep with Rochester Castle in the background - and a tankard in his hand.    'Real Ale' is a mainstay of any Festival featuring Morris Dancers   ;-)




Lad(y) in Red!



I loved these ladies


and how Bold/Bright are these guys?
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.  - See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.suFIBuM6.dpuf
The modern day Sweeps Festival is a colourful mix of music, dancing and entertainment with more than 60 Morris sides and entertainers celebrating throughout the three-day festival. The festival was revived in 1981 by local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today – an extravaganza of traditional Britain.
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.W5yeri9H.dpuf



Feather   ... cap .... ???


Spring Greens


must confess to using Elements to add a Vignette to this one .... but just felt he warranted it


Masked



Unmasked


White witches ...



Not sure where she fits into the theme ...



I have lots of photos of this smiley man ... I'm sure he will feature in a drawing sometime soon


and this one probably won't ... but he was great fun!


I interrupted their lunch break so maybe that's why they look so glum!


This was spooky .... he was wearing sunglasses behind the mask and the eyes looked really scary


One for Jo (Canada) ... a Thames Barge (Edith May) moored up by Rochester Castle specially for the occasion.   Sadly these lovely barges don't look very interesting unless under sail do they?


One of the fairground rides


As I said earlier, I like to see watch the visitors rather than the main events and this guy intrigued me as he was drinking ale from a traditional horn - but obviously posed on the castle walls, overlooking the River Medway





Caption time I think !!





OK that's it for now.       David also took lots of photos at the Festival but we haven't downloaded/viewed them yet.


The modern day Sweeps Festival is a colourful mix of music, dancing and entertainment with more than 60 Morris sides and entertainers celebrating throughout the three-day festival. The festival was revived in 1981 by local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today – an extravaganza of traditional Britain.
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.W5yeri9H.dpuf
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.m4hnWMAK.dpuf
The festival was revived in 1981 by local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today – an extravaganza of traditional Britain.
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.m4hnWMAK.dpuf
The festival was revived in 1981 by local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today – an extravaganza of traditional Britain.
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.m4hnWMAK.dpuf
The festival was revived in 1981 by local businessman Gordon Newton, a keen historian. He decided it was time to bring it back and over the years he has helped develop the festival into what it is today – an extravaganza of traditional Britain.
Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.m4hnWMAK.dpuf
recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday on 1 May; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham. The Jack-in-the-Green would walk with the chimney sweeps in their parade.
When the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade, the traditional procession gradually began to fade. The final May celebration was held in the early 1900s.
- See more at: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/events/9580/#sthash.ZQDb1Lzz.dpuf

7 comments:

Jo said...

My home town for a number of years. Didn't have that festival when we lived there though but we emigrated in '75. Looks as though it's lots of fun. Thanks for the Thames Barge pic but as you say, they look far more interesting under sail. Sadly, the one we lived on has been allowed to break up.

Do they still have the Thames Barge race do you know?

I do sympathise with you about the workers. What a bummer. I would be hopping mad.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo
It was a brilliant day - especially as the sun was shining and we even got a bit of sunburn! I love British Traditions like these. 2 years ago we were in Birmingham and saw a Morris Side performing. We chatted to them and were told they'd been banned from 'blacking up' for fear of causing offence locally!!!!!!
Yes the Thames Barge Races are still going on - Medway in June and Whitstable in July. If we get the chance I'll try to get some pics

Peggy said...

Interesting pictures and people Sue! Looks like you must have had a lot of fun there!!

Polly Birchall said...

I do love anything like this and the photographs are fascinating. Good excuse not to wash for a good while!!

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

I just read about this festival the other day on the BBC news site, looks like a fun time to go people watching :)

Jan said...

It's always so fun to see the "happenings" in your neck of the woods! It's good for us to have your workers lagging a bit as you get out and get these neat photos!

Studio at the Farm said...

The Sweeps Festival looks like SOOOO much fun!!! I love all your photo, Sue - thank you so much for posting them. :)