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Maypoles and ringos

 



broodleyhoo
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Sep 20, 2018, 10:01 AM

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Maypoles and ringos Can't Post or Reply Privately

Whilst recently in Italy, took in a medieval-linked Palio - which featured maypole dancing. This was quite a surprise to me, as I thought dancing round the Maypole was very much an English thing. Mind you the Italians were doing it in Sept rather than May...

But it set me thinking : I used to see such dancing as a regular annual event in my 60s/70s youth...but can't think when I last watched it in the UK. Has it died out or do I not get out enough?

There was an area for kids games at the Palio also..and one such was a 'ringo' game...throwing plastic rings to try to get them over pegs on a vertical board.

Back in my Alvechurch CC days of the late 70s I can vaguely remember this being a pub game in some of the hostelries in the deepest Worcs/ Warks border we used to visit after matches. But haven't seen that for decades - esp not now I'm 'up north'. Does it still exist alongside skittle alleys in bucolic rural pubs?


Feversham Lens
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Sep 20, 2018, 10:13 AM

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Post #2 of 14 (8661 views)
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Re: [broodleyhoo] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Three Yorkshire villages with Maypoles still in use for annual dancing are Aldborough (Vale of York), Long Preston (Ribblesdale) and Slingsby (Howardian Hills). One of Long Preston's pubs is called The Maypole.

A lad, from Worcester, I met at university was into skittles. Visited him for a week during one of the vacations, and he took me along to an evening match in an alley in the back of a Worcester pub. Fascinating.



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(This post was edited by Feversham Lens on Sep 20, 2018, 10:16 AM)


broodleyhoo
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Sep 20, 2018, 1:32 PM

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Re: [Feversham Lens] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I'm tempted to comment that if you can remember an evening at a skittle alley you hadn't had enough scrumpy.........

But yes, another fab pub game. We played it a few times on cricket tours to Somerset - using wooden cheeses and all!

Long Preston was indeed the last place I saw proper maypole dancing.

I believe Barwick in Elmet on the outskirts of Leeds has the tallest pole in the UK...but that they only dance once every 3 years.

I'm sure back in t'day all primary schools did some form of it as an annual thing a bit like Xmas/Easter etc


derekn
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Sep 20, 2018, 4:05 PM

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Re: [broodleyhoo] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

No cheeses in Somerset skittles, just balls, albeit wooden. Cheeses are small flat things used in table skittles in the Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire area.


broodleyhoo
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Sep 20, 2018, 4:52 PM

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Re: [derekn] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I bow to your etymological correctness, sir.

Having also played Devil amongst the Tailors (?) in a Northants pub in the 70s, I'm aware of those cheeses too.

Just that from 40 year old memories I'm sure the good old boys in Frome referred to the heavy round wooden projectiles they could propel meaningfully and that we couldn't as 'cheeses'...but ultimately, skittles is a fine game and sad to think it is declining.


Mr. T
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Sep 20, 2018, 5:49 PM

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Re: [broodleyhoo] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Long alley skittles can be found in two forms, with the cheese thrown at the pins or the ball rolled. The former exists in the East Midlands (hence the link with the table-based game in Northants and Beds that also uses a cheese) and the latter scattered throughout Somerset, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and parts of Oxfordshire.


Sale Holmfield
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Sep 20, 2018, 6:04 PM

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Re: [Mr. T] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I think the Knutsford Royal May Day still features maypole dancing in Cheshire. It's "royal" following a visit by Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales, although I have never had the impression he needed the aid of a fertility dance.


Tim
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Sep 20, 2018, 6:39 PM

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Re: [Mr. T] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Long alley skittles can be found in two forms, with the cheese thrown at the pins or the ball rolled. The former exists in the East Midlands (hence the link with the table-based game in Northants and Beds that also uses a cheese) and the latter scattered throughout Somerset, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and parts of Oxfordshire.



Also found throughout east Devon.


Ostrich
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Sep 20, 2018, 8:00 PM

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Re: [Tim] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Long alley, also in Dorset - there's a Sturminster Newton Skittles League locally with 57 teams playing at 17 venues.

There's also an alley in Gillingham Town's old clubhouse (now Social Club); I recall one evening Western League game where I did a h/c of the attendances at both the soccer and the skittles, and if I recall correctly, came out with around 50 at each!


paulh66
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Sep 20, 2018, 8:11 PM

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Re: [Ostrich] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

 
There's also an alley in Gillingham Town's old clubhouse (now Social Club); I recall one evening Western League game where I did a h/c of the attendances at both the soccer and the skittles, and if I recall correctly, came out with around 50 at each!


Likewise at Shepton Mallet's clubhouse, from where the club also runs a skittles summer league. Didn't do a headcount but there were a fair few there for the skittles rather than the football.

As for maypoles, there's a big one on the village green in Wellow, just outside Ollerton in Notts, which is still used. Decent pub opposite too, the Maypole Inn.


jrev61
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Sep 20, 2018, 10:32 PM

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Re: [Tim] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To

In Reply To
Long alley skittles can be found in two forms, with the cheese thrown at the pins or the ball rolled. The former exists in the East Midlands (hence the link with the table-based game in Northants and Beds that also uses a cheese) and the latter scattered throughout Somerset, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and parts of Oxfordshire.



Also found throughout east Devon.



The only time I have seen table skittles was in the
clubhouse at (formerly) Lutterworth Town. This is now a children's nursery and Lutterworth Athletic now play at the ground. Admittedly I don't frequent many local pubs and Lutterworth is not far from Northamptonshire.



jrev61


Tykeoldboy
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Sep 21, 2018, 10:55 PM

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Post #12 of 14 (8313 views)
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Re: [jrev61] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I remember partaking in maypole dancing while in the infants way back in the 1960's, oddly though we didn't do this during in the juniors. I assumed that it wasn't done nowadays because it wasn't PC anymore.


Part-Timer
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Sep 24, 2018, 12:58 PM

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Re: [Tykeoldboy] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Dancing around poles has moved on. A new variant is now a popular spectator sport (i'm told).


broodleyhoo
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Sep 27, 2018, 8:24 AM

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Post #14 of 14 (8114 views)
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Re: [Tykeoldboy] Maypoles and ringos [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thanks for all the info...glad to see that skittles seems to be surviving...but does no one remember hoop la/ringboard games?

From memory it was a square board hung as a diamond with possibly 5 hooks (one central, the other four at the points) and for your turn you had three rubber rings - a bit like the fan belts on vacuum cleaners - to try to land on the variously-valued hooks from a similar distance to a darts oche.

And as for the decline of maypole dancing in schools...as a child at primary/junior schools 59-66 I can remember doing country dancing and maypole stuff as part of our weekly PT. Even the first year at secondary I can still recall the horror of an hour-long PE lesson on the basics of Scottish country dancing.

But I don't think it stopped due to it being non-PC. I just think that one of the downsides of the bright new world of the 60s/early 70s was that the concept of local communities joining together for things like dances (see also harvest festivals, Whit week holidays, May Queen processions) just fell out of favour.

 
 


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