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Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris

Eric the Viking 19 Nov 13 - 11:28 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 13 - 11:58 AM
Eric the Viking 19 Nov 13 - 12:30 PM
MartinRyan 19 Nov 13 - 12:58 PM
selby 19 Nov 13 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,psycho morris 19 Nov 13 - 02:58 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Nov 13 - 03:05 PM
Eric the Viking 19 Nov 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Nov 13 - 03:16 PM
Eric the Viking 19 Nov 13 - 05:57 PM
selby 19 Nov 13 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 19 Nov 13 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 19 Nov 13 - 06:49 PM
Tradsinger 20 Nov 13 - 03:49 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 13 - 04:20 AM
Mr Happy 20 Nov 13 - 07:11 AM
Rob Naylor 20 Nov 13 - 07:34 AM
Nigel Parsons 20 Nov 13 - 07:48 AM
Howard Jones 20 Nov 13 - 07:56 AM
Mr Happy 20 Nov 13 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 20 Nov 13 - 08:02 AM
selby 20 Nov 13 - 09:44 AM
Mr Happy 20 Nov 13 - 10:11 AM
Les in Chorlton 20 Nov 13 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,Ruston 20 Nov 13 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Nov 13 - 01:06 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Nov 13 - 01:40 PM
r.padgett 20 Nov 13 - 01:54 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Nov 13 - 01:59 PM
Howard Jones 20 Nov 13 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Nov 13 - 04:12 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Nov 13 - 04:48 PM
Les in Chorlton 20 Nov 13 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,ST 21 Nov 13 - 04:47 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Nov 13 - 04:58 AM
GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler 21 Nov 13 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Nov 13 - 05:59 AM
Howard Jones 21 Nov 13 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,davemc 21 Nov 13 - 12:29 PM
Bonzo3legs 21 Nov 13 - 02:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 13 - 03:54 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Nov 13 - 05:07 AM
Mr Happy 22 Nov 13 - 05:23 AM
Les in Chorlton 22 Nov 13 - 05:36 AM
Phil Edwards 22 Nov 13 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 22 Nov 13 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Sue the Borderer currently cookieless 22 Nov 13 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Ex-Morris Man Phil Carlisle 28 Nov 13 - 01:34 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Nov 13 - 04:14 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Nov 13 - 05:08 AM
Long Firm Freddie 28 Nov 13 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Eliza 28 Nov 13 - 06:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Nov 13 - 09:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 13 - 09:38 AM
Jack Blandiver 28 Nov 13 - 10:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 28 Nov 13 - 10:32 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 11:28 AM

"Lancashire County Council have reportedly told The Britannia Coco-nut Dancers their most recent performance breached health and safety rules". I got this from a friend in Marsden (who saw it in today's "Daily Mail". It seems the council sent spies to watch the performance last year. When I lived in Marsden, myself, Mrs Viking and the little Vikings all went to see this spectacular each year as we had friends who live in Bacup.This is just another nail in British traditional culture as far as I can see.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 11:58 AM

There have been complaints in recent years that blacking up is "racist", failing to understand the origins. Many councils are coming down on dancers demanding temporary road closures. To my mind nobody has yet complained about Morris dancers stick shattering as they occasionally do.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 12:30 PM

There have been threads on here about blacking up, some of the comments have got quite nasty (As usual)and I not entering in any argument here about it. It seems to me, that every or any excuse is used to stop the activities of the British peoples that have been carried on for a long time. Cheese rolling is another. Luckily, when we lived on Orkney, the "Ba" is still taking place but I can see some jobsworth from the South starting to stick their fingers into that pie. It seems a determined effort to remove all traces of our culture is taking place across the UK. (See thread on busking in Camden)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 12:58 PM

Daily Telegraph report

Regards


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: selby
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 01:10 PM

it seems an attack on our culture by people all over the country with small minds and a pumped up self importance. The next to be hit will be, well dressing as someone may fall into the well as they put the dress on the well.!!!!!
Keith


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,psycho morris
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 02:58 PM

I believe what is happening is a major assualt upon the British culture and our traditions. We are slowly loosing our identities through a gradual erosion of all that makes us us.From the freedom of speech to loss of Christian values and laws. There is a continual assault upon any British or English tradition by the Establishment. Direct influence or indirect it is all the same. Of course there will be denial of this and that the erosion is the result of societies changing values. It is nobodys fault but occurring as rules and laws are being applied legally and mainly locally. We need to resist this and use the power of the vote we all have. Not allow people into a position of power who are causing this erosion. We can all walk safely on pavements and at times on roads without coming to harm. Power to the People.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 03:05 PM

Sorry, pm, whilst I am against overzealous attempts to stifle our culture, your diatribe reads like something out of a National Front brochure. Power to the People? What sort of power and which people?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 03:14 PM

Aye and Tap dancing !! In case they fall in the sink.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 03:16 PM

Having read the Telegraph link, it doesn't seem to me that this is about deliberately interfering with our traditions or culture. It's simply about safety, and it's true, people are indeed standing on the actual roadway. If children got excited they might well push forward and end up being hurt. I expect a solution can be found by changing the venue to a safer spot. I can never accept anyone's objections on race grounds to 'blacking up'. As I've said before on other threads, my (very black) husband is enchanted with Border Morris dancing, and has gladly joined several dances with Leeds Morris and Leicester Morris having been invited as a spectator to take part clutching a borrowed stick and wearing a feathered hat. He remarked that at least he was already sufficiently black! If he doesn't see any of it as 'racist' why should anyone else?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 05:57 PM

Safety is a funny term and in this case it seems protecting us against ourselves. We walk on the pavement and cross the road all the time. Many of us ride, bikes, horses, motorcycles and drive cars, buses, lorries. We even skateboard and roller skate. Sometimes we even put roller skates under the Eagle annual roll downhill at great speed. We even teach children how to cross roads and have bicycle riding courses at school. This "Safety" aspect is a total thread of misinformation. Using H&S has become the hammer to hit so many nails on the head of our freedom. Regarding safety, they haven't banned marching parades when troops return home. They didn't ban Scouts and Guides etc from parading last Sunday and plenty of people stood on the pavement and road to watch and pay their respects. There are many times the public stand on the road. Look at the Olympic flame that made it's way around Britain last year, absolute chaos in some places.

This in my mind, is a flimsy excuse to remove another aspect of ever decreasing national identity.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: selby
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:25 PM

H&S is a state of mind, I was involved in Heavy Engineering and wrote risk assessments for some big jobs and was responsible daily for safety. I was sent on a course with some work colleagues to London, the course had a cross section of people on it, interestingly there where people who saw risks in open draws and cables not secured with cable ties as big issues, crossing the road was fraught with untold dangers and shouldn't be allowed unless in the right area. We who where responsible for REAL safety 100 foot scaffolds large load lifts etc had a totally different view of safety, that bothered the others. Common Sense is the answer but unfortunately the H&S excuse has become an easy cop out for people not to think the extra yard and put solutions in place, in the real world, of engineering that is the norm
Keith


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:37 PM

One aspect that is overlooked by the council and police is that .... at Easter 2013 (when the covert photos were taken) the police had taken over all responsibility for stewarding the event (previously it had been stewards appointed by the Nutters, who have a full risk assessment document). Yes, people stood in the road - I have photos (not covertly taken!) which prove that. Why? Because the police themselves had closed the road. If anyone stood in the road when the road was not closed - well, it was the police's responsibility to make sure they got on the pavement. Why didn't they do that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:49 PM

If events are to be stopped because people are doing things like "standing on the road" then we may as well just all lie down in our beds and wrap ourselves in cellophene. Sounds quite bonkers to me. I mean I take it that it isn't the M1 they were standing on? Surely all that is needed, at worse, is the road to be closed for a short while - at best just some stewarding to ensure the traffic flows. In the Borders main roads are closed for quite a while during the various town's Common Riding celebrations. In Jedburgh the roads remain open whilst the Jethart Ba is played trough the town with young lads charging up and down the streets fighting over a ball. I can only imagine that the Bacup celebrations are quite tame and peaceful in comparison. Just sounds like a world gone mad.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Tradsinger
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 03:49 AM

The UK government has not signed up the UNESCO convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, which protects our traditions. Here is the petition to sign.
Petition.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 04:20 AM

Oh no not another petition!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 07:11 AM

I had a discussion with various folk yesterday on fb.

I've just checked out the Daily Telegraph story , it says "Oliver Starkey, the county council's highways manager for Rossendale, said:

"Officers from the county council, Rossendale Council and the police met with the dancers and highlighted some issues following this year's event.

"The problems were explained to the dancers and we discussed how we would like to work with them to ensure a safe event for next Easter."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10459159/Morris-dancing-troop-Britannia-Coconutters-banned-from-hometown-ov

Furthermore, you'd think it'd be a big thing their website, but there's nowt there http://www.coconutters.co.uk/index.htm


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 07:34 AM

Selby: H&S is a state of mind, I was involved in Heavy Engineering and wrote risk assessments for some big jobs and was responsible daily for safety. I was sent on a course with some work colleagues to London, the course had a cross section of people on it, interestingly there where people who saw risks in open draws and cables not secured with cable ties as big issues, crossing the road was fraught with untold dangers and shouldn't be allowed unless in the right area. We who where responsible for REAL safety 100 foot scaffolds large load lifts etc had a totally different view of safety, that bothered the others. Common Sense is the answer but unfortunately the H&S excuse has become an easy cop out for people not to think the extra yard and put solutions in place, in the real world, of engineering that is the norm

My office was audited a couple of years ago and the MD was told to removing his ageing collection of Easter eggs (some of them had been on his shelf for years....people buy them for him but he doesn't eat them!). The grounds were that most of them were out of date and if someone ate one when he wasn't there to stop them then it could pose a health risk!

As the MD said to the auditor: "I appreciate your wish to keep random unescorted visitors safe from potential chocolate egg poisoning, but you haven't commented at all about the projects we're running in Kurdistan, Nigeria and off Sudan where our people are exposed to unexploded ordnance, disease and potential piracy. Shouldn't you be more concerned about our malaria prophylaxis or our mine clearance arrangements than the dangers of foil-wrapped eggs?"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 07:48 AM

Probably a storm in a tea-cup.

The council have previously failed to ban them from 'blacking-up' so are now finding new ways to try to stop them.

Imagine, Morris dancers 'blacking-up'. We must introduce them to Steeleye Span:


Dance the dark morris!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 07:56 AM

"The problems were explained to the dancers and we discussed how we would like to work with them to ensure a safe event for next Easter."

That sounds to me like a typical press release answer. Elsewhere the article says that the Council's idea of ensuring a safe event is for the dancers to stay on the pavement, which they say is not possible. Even if they were to stay on the pavement, I can't see how this will prevent random members of the public wandering onto the highway (which they have a legal right to use)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 08:01 AM

But where does it say that the event will be banned?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 08:02 AM

Nigel Parsons - where is the evidence that the council has previously tried to ban them from blacking up?
I've been going to watch them since 1971 and have never heard this story...
Derek


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: selby
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 09:44 AM

The HSE web site IMHO is not obstructive I think it is helpful if the council want to ban the event and as Mr Happy says where does it say that someone needs to read it.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg142.htm


Keith


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 10:11 AM

Get your facts straight before posting!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 10:29 AM

Thanks Mr H, this really does shoot the fox, so to speak

"Officers from the county council, Rossendale Council and the police met with the dancers and highlighted some issues following this year's event.

"The problems were explained to the dancers and we discussed how we would like to work with them to ensure a safe event for next Easter."

Still we love a pointless row on here and once we get beyond about 20 posts most people don't seem to read the previous 15 or so and endless pointless nonsense is sometimes the result.

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Ruston
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 11:43 AM

Was there this year and there were helpers in hi-viz vests with a coconut dancers logo(!)doing their best to control the public and traffic. Have to say, didn't see any accidents or even near misses. With all of this as with other events it is of course not so much a concern that somebody gets hurt as somebody gets hurt and sues, the paranoid fear of litigation that is so shaping the current age and placing draconian restrictions on so many thigs that were once harmless fun. Sad, really.

I'm beginning to think that the hi-viz vest should be the new UK National Costume.

Ruston - former railway preservation volunteer, canal restoration volunteer and morris dancer...amongst other things that are now far too dangerous for ordinary people to do anymore.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 01:06 PM

I imagine all the hysteria is due to the compensation mania that has swept the nation. Organisers are terrified they'll be sued for (literally) millions if there's an accident, even a trip or a slip. It isn't only cultural,traditional events, but things like taking ones class of children out for a walk in the park to sketch or observe wildlife etc. I used to do this regularly with one 'mum' in attendance for 30 children. We'd walk quite a distance to a local heath, crossing several roads safely, and split into groups for the studies/artwork etc. I watch with amazement as the Reception class at our village school sets off with each child TIED to a long rope towed along by two teachers and accompanied by about six other adults, having first performed a Risk Assessment. It looks just like a chain of miniature slaves!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 01:40 PM

One teacher, one parent and 30 children?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: r.padgett
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 01:54 PM

It is about the Council being paid for "Policing" the event annually and payment from the Britannia Coco- Nuts in order for them to do what they always have

If changes are needed then the Council should organise the H & S provisions for this traditional event which is part of tourism for the area and pay for what ever is needed!

Such silly interference is a threat to all traditional pastimes throughout Britain

Common sense needs to prevail

Ray


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 01:59 PM

Safety isn't silly


"Such silly interference is a threat to all traditional pastimes throughout Britain"

All? throughout?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 02:16 PM

The link Mr Happy gave at 20 Nov 13 - 10:11 AM appears to be to an article from February this year ie prior to this year's event. The latest reports appear to refer to issues arising from this year's events, and presumably despite the road closures and policing.

This does therefore seem to be a new issue, unless the Daily Mail got it wrong and has recycled the old story. Surely a newspaper of their integrity and high journalistic standards wouldn't do that?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 04:12 PM

Yes, Les. One teacher (me) and one parent. And thirty children. Many times. We weren't going to Timbuktu, only to the heath. And no-one died, was run over, molested by a paedophile or killed by a falling tree. The children sketched, collected leaves to press, watched the birds and identified landmarks of the city around the heath (which is quite elevated in places). Mind you, I was tough on discipline, the children walked nicely in pairs and they knew that anyone being daft wouldn't come again. Sigh, happy days, things were so simple then!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 04:48 PM

In the same way that vintage cars and historic boats are exempt from some stringent modern H&S rules, this should be applied to traditional customs. The EFDSS, in England at least, seem to be making a good fist of things nowadays. Could it be possible they could take this up with politicians as a recognized representative body? (Derek?)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 07:33 PM

Ok Eliza,

I cannot doubt what you say but I wouldn't do it and I suspect most parents would n't do ir either


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 04:47 AM

"From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 20 Nov 13 - 01:40 PM
One teacher, one parent and 30 children?"

Just in case you're planning a morris event here's the relevant part of the Leicestershire CC guidance on trips and visits. As you will know it's usual to adapt existing templates when writing risk assessments so here's one to help you plan.

DAY VISITS

The following ratios* should be considered the minimum for off site day visits: For example visits to local hostelries or for local processionals in normal circumstances.

Years 1 to 3 of dancing - a ratio of 1:6 (1 adult to 6 morris dancers)
Years 4 to 6 a ratio of 1:10 - 15 (1 adult to 10 - 15 morris dancers)
Year 7 onwards a ratio of 1:15 - 20 (1 adult to 15 - 20 morris dancers)

(*These ratios are based not on increasing reliability/carefulness of dancers but on a policy of encouraging natural culling of older dancers by acts of god.)

RESIDENTIAL VISITS and TOURS

For all residential visits and tours, at home or abroad, a good rule of thumb is 1 adult to 10 morris dancers.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 04:58 AM

Brilliant


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 05:20 AM

I heard that the stewards had been sent on a health and safety course that the nutters had had to pay for. The course had very little content that was to do with road safety or crowd control.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 05:59 AM

The problem is that the world has changed very much since those days. It isn't as safe or peaceful, and there is far more traffic. On that heath for example, I've heard there are now drug users/sellers, prostitutes and their clients, homeless addicts of various kinds, needles, roaming vicious dogs etc, even in broad daylight. But for most of my teaching life, the teacher would take his/her class out and was 'advised' to have a second adult to bring up the rear so to speak. In Glasgow I had 48 pupils aged nine, and we went out on foot to the museum with just the school secretary as second adult. But back to the Coco-nutters, I honestly don't suspect it's a ploy to ban it on anti-racist grounds, just an anxiety about road problems and traffic dangers. I seem to remember that quite recently, the Straw Bear Festival at Wittlesea had a similar hiccup with the local authorities and the procession route. Wheatman may be able to explain the ins and outs, but it did have an effect on the day of reducing the fun a bit.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 08:28 AM

According to the earlier report, the Council had agreed to fund road closures and policing at this year's event. If there was a problem, why isn't the council investigating why the services they had paid for apparently properly implemented?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,davemc
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 12:29 PM

Local paper says the Nutters will be defying the ban:

Lancashire Telegraph, 20 Nov


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 02:00 PM

What else do you expect from a loony Labour council!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 03:54 AM

From the Lancashire Telegraph:

After lengthy discussions, Lancashire Police provided 10 officers to marshal this April's event, but said they were not obliged to do so in future.
A spokeswoman said:

"Due to the significant resourcing implications in attending the numerous events and parades held across the area on an annual basis, it has become necessary for us to review all occasions where we provide policing services.

"We understand that there has always been a perception and expectation that it is the police's role to provide resources and manage the events.

"However, this is not the case and it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure the safety of those attending and to undertake all stewarding and traffic management requirements.

"We are more than happy to continue our engagement with events organisers who require guidance on their responsibilities when organising a community event or parade."

This is me, Les in Chorlton:
Clearly we can all make the judgement that nobody's health and safety is at risk but that is not the judgement of the Police. Somebody has to assess the risk and put measures in place to keep people safe. This may cost money.

The folkie community probably think it should be paid for by the general public. The Police and local government have many responsibilites and cuts in spending.

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 05:07 AM

In spite of this statement from Lancashire Constabulary, this is not the message that two representatives of the Coconutters were given at a meeting with the police and Lancs County Council a week ago, according to those two dancers.

Until 2013, the Coconutters did take responsibility in the way that the police are requesting. They have a Risk Assessment document and a Traffic management document. The previous year, 2012, at one point in the day, the police suddenly decided that they, and not the Nutters stewards, would take control. This was in spite of the fact that (a) the police officers were from out of town and did not know or understand the custom and (b) the police officers on the ground had not read, or even seen, the risk assessment and traffic management documents.

The police inspectors and county council officials were conspicuous by their absence in Bacup on Easter Saturday in 2013. The police had taken full responsibility for traffic management and safety, yet complained to the Coconutters (in the debrief a week ago, almost 8 months after the event) that spectators stood in the road. Well, who was to blame for that?

We know that the police are tight on resources (there is a wider question about why that is ...) and I am sure the Nutters will take all advice offered by the Police. But at the meeting last week, the police were adamant that the customary Easter Saturday dancing would not take place in the future.

Derek Schofield


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 05:23 AM

Someone's started a petition against the council which, if Derek's info is correct, will be futile.

Surely the protest should be to Lancashire Constabulary


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 05:36 AM

Thanks Derek, a quatity of knowledge makes such a difference


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 06:15 AM

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire is Clive Grunshaw: contact details here. Might be worth making representations.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 10:26 AM

The locally-based petition is aimed at the two local councils, the police and the local MP. That decision came out of the public meeting in Bacup last night, which I attended.
Derek


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Sue the Borderer currently cookieless
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 07:48 PM

While driving home late on Thursday(?) evening, I switched on the radio & it was 'Today in Parliament'. The 'issue' of the Britannia Coconut Dancers had been raised in parliament during the day.
I'm sorry but I didn't take in the details at all. I think 'someone' was tasked with looking into the situation further - but not sure who.
Sue


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Ex-Morris Man Phil Carlisle
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 01:34 AM

If a farmer can herd livestock down a road with nothing more than a farm lad slowing down the traffic perfectly safely and legally, then surely high-viz vested stewards can do the same for The Coco-nutters who don't even block the whole road. What we are talking about is a number of pedestrians using the public highway. Whether they choose to walk, jog, dance or play musical instruments while doing so is totally irrelevant, and perfectly legal. Win the fight, don't let the minority of the council spoil things for the majority of people who know the true value of what they stand to lose.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 04:14 AM

There have been complaints in recent years that blacking up is "racist", failing to understand the origins.

I thought the 'origins' were racist too?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 05:08 AM

This thread has nothing to do with blacking up. The origins of which lie in 'old English' customs, which isn't racist and Blackface Minstrelsy - which is.

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 05:54 AM

Here's the question asked of the Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs on 21st Nov which I think is what Sue must have heard about on her car radio:

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con): The Britannia Coco-nutters, led by their longest serving member, Dick Shufflebottom, have danced in Bacup in my constituency for the past 156 years. They survived the depression, two world wars and the winter of discontent, but it looks as though their boundary dance may not
21 Nov 2013 : Column 1377

survive the health and safety inspectors from Rossendale borough council and Lancashire county council. Will my right hon. Friend ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to come to the House and make a statement about how the Britannia Coco-nutters can be accommodated for generations to come?

Mr Lansley: I am interested to learn about this from my hon. Friend as, I am sure, are my hon. Friends at the Department for Communities and Local Government. If the matter relates to the Health and Safety Executive in particular, the Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, our hon. Friend the Member for Wirral West (Esther McVey), who I know takes a common-sense view of things, will be happy to talk to my hon. Friend about how such provisions are properly applied in this case.
Hansard
(A search on Bacup will find the relevant extract)

LFF


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 06:14 AM

I wonder if there is here in UK an underlying political unrest regarding what some see as 'British' or 'English' traditions being displaced by newer less familiar cultural practices? Some sections of society are quite sensitive about our old customs being swept away, while in-coming populations' festivities take over. It could be a hobby horse for BNP-type activists to get defensive and point to immigration etc as an evil which undermines our ways. If so, one must be careful to moderate ones reactions and keep calm. I've seen on TV an enormous, almost endless procession in Birmingham of Muslims enjoying some Eid festival and then there's the Notting Hill Carnival. There seems to be funding for Police presence, traffic control etc for these. I love the Nutters, and IMO everything should be done to enable them to continue. Loads of folk get great pleasure from their dancing.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 09:15 AM

The origins of which lie in 'old English' customs, which isn't racist

Racism is the oldest traditional English custom of them all. And bugger the origins - which are always spurious fakelore anyway. No one blacking up in today's cultural climate can do so entirely innocent of the racist implications of such a noxious act.

As someone said (I forgot who!) the true origin of any Folk Custom is only the last time it was performed; the time before that is part of a different continuity already lost in the mists of time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 09:38 AM

And bugger the origins - which are always spurious fakelore anyway.

Followed by

the true origin of any Folk Custom is only the last time it was performed

Do you not see those two statements as contrary, Jack? While I agree that a lot of the explanations of 'traditions' are fake - I made a few up myself. Blind Willy Higginthorpe the Lancashire clog dancing blues singer for instance :-) - But I cannot agree that they are 'always spurious fakelore'. I think, at best, if we apply the bit about 'lost in the mists of time', the best we can say is we don't know. We do not know, therefore, whether the original versions were at all racist in their origins. I cannot see, for instance, that the black masks worn in some ancient theatres were worn for racist purposes.

What I do agree with is that "No one blacking up in today's cultural climate can do so entirely innocent of the racist implications". However, just because some can take it as being racist does not mean it is so. I see no reason why people cannot black up and why, provided it known not be be the same as minstrelry, anyone should take offense.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 10:21 AM

Do you not see those two statements as contrary, Jack?

Er - no - not really.

One is my own statement with respect of the limits of folklore to account for the origins / meaning of anything without resorting the spurious. The other is an almost-quote (as I say I can't remember who said it, nor their exact words) pointing out that the traditional provenance of any custom is only as old as the last time it was performed. In the absence of any firm historical evidence then it will always be a matter of speculation.

In any case the origin of a custom is of less importance than its performance in the here and now. On That performance alone it will be judged to be a Living Tradition, or at least a revival of one, which most of these things are anyway.

Bit like Dr Who really - you had the Real Traditional Old Dr Who, which died the death (in more ways than one), then The Revival Dr Who that reinvented it with scant respect for what went before but still lays claim to the years of the original in order to bolster its significance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Britannia Coco-nut Morris
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 28 Nov 13 - 10:32 AM

Hey! Stick to Doctor Who on the Doctor Who thread :-) Answer posted on there BTW.

Seriously though - Good example apart from everyone knows the origins of the original Who. I can see what you mean about revivals having scant respect for the original but in the case of folklore we do not have the luxury of knowing what the original was all about. OK, we have pictures and music but we don't have the why as to people danced this way or wore those clothes or used certain colours. Best thing we can do is guess.

But as someone said earlier, this is not about blacking up. It seems to be more about 'elf and safety.

Cheers

DtG


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