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Wordless mummers?

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Tradsinger 09 Jul 14 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 09 Jul 14 - 05:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jul 14 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery. 09 Jul 14 - 06:17 AM
doc.tom 09 Jul 14 - 08:43 AM
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Subject: Mummers without words?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 09 Jul 14 - 05:08 AM

I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago and got onto the subject of New Year. Now he is from Rochdale and aged about 60. He said that in his neighbourhood at New Year, they always had the mummers. This is his description "After midnight, the mummers would come into the house. They had blackened faces and carried brooms to sweep the old year out. They didn't say anything but just mumbled all the time."

I found this interesting and wondered if there are other examples of wordless mummers.


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Subject: RE: Wordless mummers?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 09 Jul 14 - 05:33 AM

Mumbling Mummers, eh?

Check Cheshire Folk Drama, by Alex Helm, Guizer Press, 1968.

He mentions a report (late C19, if I recall correctly) of a wordless pace egg play which was done at Bromborough on the Wirral every Easter.

If you can't get hold of the book, give me a shout and I'll get off my arse and dig it out and tell you exactly what it says.

CTTI, I'm no expert on folk drama, but new year mummers in Rochdale is a new one on me. Has anybody else heard of this?

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Subject: RE: Wordless mummers?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jul 14 - 05:50 AM

That wasn't mumbling, Tradsinger. It's just the Rochdale accent :-P

(Mancunian born and bred but now living over the border in Yorkshire)

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Subject: RE: Wordless mummers?
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery.
Date: 09 Jul 14 - 06:17 AM

That wasn't Mumbling, that was Probably Bad Diction compounded by lots of Ale !!!
Henry Piper, A.K.A Old Father Christmas. Sidmouth Mummers.

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Subject: RE: Wordless mummers?
From: doc.tom
Date: 09 Jul 14 - 08:43 AM

Years ago, a lass we worked with, who was from the Hebrides, described how, every New Year's Eve, The Mummers(a party of village men)would come just after midnight, clear out the old fire, set a new fire using one ember from the old, and then leave - going on to another house. The whole time they hummed - no words at all coming, during or going. She was very definite that these were The Mummers. She would have been a girl around the 1950s.

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