Bibliography of Nottinghamshire Folk Plays & Related Customs

T.Ratcliffe (1914a)

Thos. Ratcliffe (Auth.)
LOCAL NOTES AND QUERIES: No. 27: Worksop and Derbyshire Variants
*Nottinghamshire Guardian, *3rd Jan.1914

"Some of the lads about here used to give a 'nominy' made up out of 'St. George,' 'Th' Owd Hoss,' and 'The Darby Tup'; a frightful mixture enough to give one a nightmare a month long.

The characters that I have known are Betsy Beelzebub, Fool, St. George, Knight, or Slasher (a man of many parts in the play), the Doctor, and Devil Doubt, or Dowt. Betsy Beelzebub and Devil Dowt are one and the same; one a female devil, the other a male ditto.

The 'Morrises' or 'Sword Dancers' is quite a different matter; all sword play and dance, with no dialogue, yet a bit of carolling. 'Th' Owd Hoss' is a sort of rough play in uncouth language; and 'The Darby Tup,' or 'Ram,' is a version of an old song well known in the town and shire. It, too, has variations, one of which is in Jewitt's 'Songs and Ballads of Derbyshire.' It begins:-

As I was going to Darby, sir,
All on a market day.
I met the finest tup, sir,
That ever was fed on hay.
Fa-fa, lal-a.

Given in dialect the broadest Derbyshire, with gestures and in costumes, it is a most remarkable composition, and introduces a lot of characters besides the one who is 'Th' Owd Tup.'

I have a number of items, odd-bits, rants and verses, very distinct from the ballad itself, which would take some dealing with and occupy too much space.

T.Ratcliffe was based in Worksop, Notts.

Index Terms:
Locations: Worksop, Notts. (SK5879); Derbys.
Years: Publ. 1914
Subjects: Nominy; "St. George"; "Th' Owd Hoss"; "The Darby Tup"; Betsy Beelzebub; Fool; St. George; Knight; Slasher; Plays; Doctor; Devil Doubt; Devil Dowt; Morrises; Sword Dancers; Carolling; "The Darby Ram"; Song; Jewitt,L. (1867) "Songs and Ballads of Derbyshire"; Text Fragment; "Th' Owd Tup"
People: Thomas Ratcliffe (Auth.)
Archives: Ref.: TD00207; W.E.Doubleday Scrapbook, Vol.IV, p.85; Local Notes & Queries Scrapbook, 1908-1918

Indexed by Idwal Jones. Last updated Mar.1990

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