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Folk Plays - Winter 2005/2006 - Company of Owd Oss

Brian Howes


Company of Owd Oss in and around Kimberley, Nottinghamshire, England on the 22nd Dec.2005

Company of Owd Oss, Company of Owd oss perform at New White Bull Inn, Giltbrook, Notts, Boxing Day 2005
Company of Owd oss perform at New White Bull Inn, Giltbrook, Notts, Boxing Day 2005
Left to right: Owen Lewis, Nick Betinis, Brian Howes, Dave Mooney
Company of Owd Oss, The Owd Oss, operated by Nick Betinis, makes its entrance at Queen Adelaide Inn, Swingate
The Owd Oss, operated by Nick Betinis, makes its entrance at Queen Adelaide Inn, Swingate
Company of Owd Oss, Nick Betinis, Owd Oss man, at Queen Adelaide Inn, Swingate
Nick Betinis, Owd Oss man, at Queen Adelaide Inn, Swingate

The custom was revived by Dave Mooney and several members of Black Pig border morris. Dave discovered that the old horse Christmas play had once toured Kimberley and surrounding area. Further research led to discovery of version of Notts old horse play recorded by M.H. Mason in 1902 and this is the song and music that is used. Attempts to acquire a genuine horse skull failed due to laws regarding disposal of animal remains so a hoodening-type horse was made and painted in the red/black colour mentioned by Mason. The design of the horse was sketched by Tina Saxton with final construction by Dave Mooney and Owen Lewis using Chicken wire and papier-maché. Jaw movement is by a rope-pulley mechanism. Nick Betinis operated the horse while Brian Howes performed as the horse ticer and sang the songs.

The play is quite short in length and involves horseplay between the animal and its ticer/blacksmith culminating in the poor horse being roughly manhandled from the premises as ‘neither use to ride upon nor in the team to draw.’ Those who take pity upon him are invited to make a charitable donation.


The recommended URL for this web page is www.folkplay.info/Gallery/CompanyOwdOss2005.htm