Who's this Ron Shuttleworth?

And why did he start collecting?


Ron Shuttleworth in Fool's Costume with the Coventry Mummers

Photo courtesy of Marco Camarotti,
What the Hell is Mummers' Play?, Article

Born in Sheffield, 1930, and brought up in Hathersage, NE Derbyshire.

After varied career settled in Coventry in 1960 & married Jean (1927-1998)

Interests include camping, and singing traditional and self-penned songs.

I got involved in mumming when I saw Morris 'beasts' at folk festivals and decided in 1966 to make one of my own. I chose a Ram because of my connection with Derbyshire.

I showed it off at a meeting of the Camping Club Folk Group, where someone knew about the Derby Ram or Tup play and remembered enough of it for us to perform it there

At the time I was helping to run the Coventry Folk Workshop and after some research I showed them my 'Tupsie' and enquired if anyone was interested in performing the play. This was the start of Coventry Mummers - 1966, ongoing.

Over a period of several years I had acquired various magazines etc. with pieces about Mumming. One day I was looking for a particular item and came across several articles that I had forgotten about. At the time I had unrestricted access to a Xerox photocopier and so decided to copy all my mumming material and to arrange it into some sort of order

When visiting various libraries I came across more material which I started to copy to add to an expanding collection. After a while I started actively searching for new material, and eventually decided to try and collect everything that had been written on the subject. (rash fool !!)

I like this quote from Thomas Fairman Ordish's third Paper, English Folk Drama II-

"I find English folk-drama a wide study, it seems to grow as one proceeds along a road which proves to be much longer than it appears at starting."

In time it became evident that the thing was growing into more than a nice personal collection and could be developing a wider importance. I became concerned about its future, and offered it to the Archives of the Morris Ring, who seemed at the time to be the only national folk body whose future could be relied upon.

Since Jean's death, the Collection has become my sole reason for living, and if I can help anyone out there they can be assured that I view such assistance as one of the prime objectives of this work.

Ron Shuttleworth



Introducing the Folk Plays of England
Coventry, Author. (1984)
[Scan PDF Download - 1556kB.]

So You Want to Start Mumming- Options Pitfalls and Suggestions
Coventry, Author. / Coventry, Author. (1984 / 1994)
[Scan PDF Download - 595kB.]

Constructing a Hobby Animal: Mainly For Morris Dancers
Coventry, Author. (1994)


Roomer, Vol.5, No.3 (1985) p.29

Please To Let The Mummers In
The [Morris Ring] Circular, No.7 [May?1985] pp.7-8

Publish and be damned
English Dance & Song, Vol.47, No.2 (Summer 1985) pp.10-11

Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.2, No.2 (Winter 1988/89) p.4

Worcestershire Mummers - painted by C.Cattermole
English Dance & Song, Vol.54, No.3 (Autumn 1992) pp.18-19

Nine Daies Wonder
The [Morris Ring] Circular, No.23 (Feb.1994) p.4

A Meeting of Mummers
The [Morris Ring] Circular, No.28 (Autumn 1996) pp.6-7

The Diminishing Sword Dance
Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.6, No.3 (Spring 1997) p.3

Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.6, No.5 (Winter 1997) p.6

Thoughts on Locks
Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.8, No.1 (Spring 1999) pp.4-5

Christmas Mummers in Warwickshire
In Touch [?], No.4 (Nov-Dec.2000) pp.6-7

The Fool in Primitive & Modern Societies
The Morris Cafe, (Feb.2001)

Caribbean Mumming
The [Morris Ring] Circular, No.37 (Spring 2001) p.18

Review : J.Parle 'The Mummers of Wexford', Drinagh, Author. 2001
Traditional Drama Forum, No.3 (Oct.2001)

The Strange Case of the Sentry's New Greatcoat
Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.11, No.1 (Spring 2002) p.8

New Angle on Scan
English Dance & Song, Vol.64, No.3 (Autumn 2002) p.30

Sword Plays
Rattle Up My Boys, Vol.14, No.1 (Spring 2005) pp.4-6

A black and white issue?
English Dance & Song, Vol.67, No.3 (Autumn 2005) p.31

Review : Aughakillymaude Community Mummers 'Mummers, Masks and Mischief :', Feenish Productions. 2005
Traditional Drama Forum, No.14 (Apr.2009)

Starting up with Coventry Mummers: The early years from 1966
Mummers Unconvention Symposium, Bath, 16 November 2012, pp.99-106

Audio & Video

Ron Shuttleworth of Coventry Mummers sings his own songs
{MR-4.} The Morris Ring. (1994)

St George and the Dragon
Coventry and Warwickshire Network. (20th Apr.1998)

Keeping Mummers traditions alive
BBC. (13th Dec.2005)


Warwickshire Play Texts (xerox copy)
Coventry History Centre. Coventry and Warwickshire Collection

Warwickshire Play Texts (xerox copy)
Warwickshire County Record Office. Z 604

Warwickshire Play Texts (xerox copy)
Warwick Library. Music and Drama Collection

Notes on Warwickshire Mummers (xerox copy)
Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive. DR 679


The Camping & Caravanning Club Folk Group
Coventry Mummers
The Morris Ring

© Copyright 2001 by Ron Shuttleworth (mumminguk@mail.com), Last updated: 31/10/2015
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