Newark and Southwell celebrate Plough Sunday this weekend
Newark and its local farming community will meet to celebrate Plough Sunday this weekend.
Plough Sunday traditionally marks the beginning of a new farming year and, in its current form, traces its origins back to Victorian times.
In earlier days there were Plough Monday celebrations which denoted a return to work after the Christmas season.
At 11.05am, members of the Nottinghamshire Young Farmers Club will lead a civic pcession from Newark Town Hall, led the Town Mayor of Newark, Tony Robert and the Nottinghamshire chairman of the National Farmers Union, Mr Andrew Baugh, accompanied by prominent members of the farmers' union, East Midlands Region, together with invited guests, across to the parish church, for a service commencing at 11.15am.
The plough will be blessed by the Bishop of Sherwood, the Right Rev Tony Porter, and the address will be given by Rev Chris Lee.
The procession will be met at the west door and, during the singing of the processional hymn, the plough and a milk churn will be placed on the platform in front of the chancel screen.
An event which marks the beginning of the agricultural year takes place in Southwell on Sunday.
Plough Sunday is normally held on the Sunday after the Epiphany (January 6).
The tradition was revived locally in the late 1990s by Sullivan's Sword, a mixed longsword dance side specialising in the revival of traditional Yorkshire dances.
Plough Sunday will begin with a blessing service at St Denis' Church, Morton. It will run from 10.30am to 11.45am and will include traditional songs followed by a dance display at St. Denis’ Church Hall.
From 12.15pm Sullivan's Sword and several Morris teams will dance in Southwell at the Admiral Rodney and on the pedestrianised area next to The Wheatsheaf, both on King Street.
Plough Sunday will finish in the yard of The Final Whistle on Station Road at 2.30pm. Sullivan's Sword will perform the Farnsfield Plough Play, a short play which includes a sword dance. This will be followed by more dancing displays from all the sides and culminates in a traditional music session inside the Final Whistle itself.
All events are free of charge.