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folktrax 106 - Castleton Garland Day, Carols, Club Feasts etc

The Garland in this Derbyshire peak village takes place annually on Oak Apple Day, 29th of May, (unless a Sunday), here recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1957, the first year that the part of the King's Attendant, riding on horseback, was taken by a lady instead of a man dressed as a lady. For most of the procession, The King, also riding, carries and is completely covered by an extremely heavy beehive-shaped wicker-basket of greenery and wild flowers, on top of which is a crown of garden flowers which, to avoid or cause confusion, has now become known as "the queen".

The procession starts from whichever pub the garland has been prepared, calling at each of the six hostelries in the village and then proceeds to the church. Here the Garland is hoisted to the top of the church tower where it remains while the King rides off with his lady and the "queen" (flower top-knot) is laid on the village War Memorial. Previously the dancers, working in two pairs, were led by the Bellringers, carrying branches of oak, but, since 1916, the school-children dressed in white have replaced them and the procession is now followed by maypole dancing.

1. The Silver Band in procession to end of "The Garland Dance Tune" - 1'53"

2. Band again with sound of horses hooves - 1'12"

3. Band in churchyard with church clock striking eight and sound of collecting boxes - 2'18"

4. Extract of "The Maypole Dance" to end - 0'37"

5. Band plays "Now is the Hour" ; "Last Post" & "The National Anthem" - 4'16"

6. Elizabeth Hall (83) talks about custom, sings "Garland Song" and "Down in yon Forest" - 13'35"

7. Ellis S.Eyre (84) continues talking about the custom and other local traditions - 11'25"

8. Sarah Waining (70), Bridge House - 8'00"


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