It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The White horse of Uffington is a considerable enigma. Thought to be over a couple of millennia old, but how such a fragile monument could survive the centuries is perhaps confusing. The simple answer is by ritual stripping or scouring of the horse.
Volunteers for the Scouring should book in advance via the National Trust website but in practice all are welcome even if they turn up unannounced on the day. Scourers work in half-hour slots. The event formerly took place in May but has moved in 2016 in the hope of more clement weather conditions!
In 2016 it was on July 2nd- see link for full details – 2017 date is yet to be announced.
“Another geaam wur to bowl a cheese down the Mainger, and the first as could catch ‘un had ‘un. The cheese was a tough ‘un and held together.”
Early references suggest the midsummer solstice as the original festive season at Uffington. Certainly the rolling of cheeses is significant, folklorists have often draw a connection between this sport and the turning of the year, the cheese representing the sun
The figure is believed to be that of a stylised running horse although a review of the original head structure and curvature of the legs has caused some researchers to suggest that it actually a represents a large cat from the lion or leopard family. However, as early references from Abbingdon Abbey, which date back to 1072 AD, refer to the area where it is found as "Mons Albi Equi" (Hill-White-Equine) it is generally accepted to be a horse. What is most remarkable is that the figure was created by carving through turf to reveal the white chalk underneath. As such it requires regular maintenance or it will disappear within 150 years. This means there has been an unbroken chain of people prepared to look after this prehistoric monument for 3,000 years. (Carving in turf to reveal underlying chalk with additional trenches.)
Oh and the only English martial art Morris Dancing.
Believe it or not but naked clog fighting was a mysterious and illegal sport that existed in Northern mining communities for hundreds of years. Now Gallery Oldham is staging an exhibition examining the myths of the brutal underground ‘purring, clogging or Fighting Wigan Fashion’.
Unprotected shins would be kicked by heavy wooden clogs with metal soles, bouts that only declined along with dwindling clog-wearing after the Second World War. Fighters grappling with opponents were naked or wearing their finest clothing in bouts in the North of England and Wales. Corrugated shins would be paraded as badges of honour.
Artist Anna FC Smith spoke to 30 participants about their ancestors’ recollections of the sport. For 200 years, it spread in mining communities from Wigan to Oldham, Rochdale, Wales and the North East. None were directly involved in the bouts but a handful were paid to be ‘look-outs’ as children.
“Although it was violent, it was only as violent as bare-knuckle fighting is,” Smith says. “People came forward with some fascinating stories. Who would have thought that these fights were a regular occurrence on land outside the Colliers Arms at Hartshead Pike?
“Gambling also played a part and the winners would take a share of the takings. The fights would begin with a rattle of the clogs in a Cuban-style flourish to unsettle their opponent.”