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Players keep tradition alive


An ancient play that dates back more than 400 years was performed in two pubs on Saturday to mark Plough Sunday.

The performances, by the Muskham Pinkies, a group of nine men from North Muskham, and the Rattle Jag morris of Retford raised about £140.

The performances were at The Crown, Bathley, and at The Muskham Ferry, North Muskham. They were free to watch.

All donations went to Alfie Jack Walmsley (9) who attends Muskham Primary School and is being treated for a brain tumour.

Alfie is raising money for the Brain Tumour Research Centre at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.

The play, performed in rhyme, recounts the story of the four seasons and is a celebration of Mother Earth.

For the first time, the Rattle Jag morris performed a traditional sword dance to close the play.

A member of the Pinkies, Mr Ian Harrison, of Trent Close, North Muskham, said: “We decided to team up with the morris men this year especially to do the sword dance at the end of the play.”

The final performance attracted an audience of 100.

Mr Harrison was pleased with the amount raised and thanked people for being so generous.

The play is first documented in 1597 when plough boys were summoned before a court after a vicar complained because they had ploughed in the churchyard.

Mr Harrison said the plough boys performed the play to raise money to pay for the damage they caused.

Since then it was traditionally performed in pubs in the run up to Plough Sunday by plough boys who had no work and were looking for beer or money.

The play was performed in Muskham every year until the start of the second world war but the Muskham Pinkies revived the tradition in 2000.

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