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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Calendar for Wiltshire Introduction

This initial attempt at a calendar of folk events in Wiltshire attempts to show the historical pattern of traditional events in the lives of the people. Some survive into modern times, e.g. at Great Wishford, but many have passed into history.

The majority of the content for this material has been taken from 'A folk lore calendar with special reference to Wilts' compiled by Jean Morrison of Bratton whose papers are lodged at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Some material which is does not specifically mention a Wiltshire occurence of an event, e.g. Candlemas, is omitted. The original may be found at, 'WSRO 3433 Morrison, Jean: Folklore and customs Box 16865 Folk customs 2.' There are no references in the list to the sources of the entries. However, this note is included in a number of the mummer's play listed:

In Box 16865 the folder Folk Customs 2 contains a document - 'Folk lore calendar with special reference to Wilts'. This is arranged by the year's quarters and in the Winter Quarter refers to Mummers as follows - [All Cannings, Alton Barnes, Avebury, Bassett Down, Burbage, Chitterne, Highworth, Keevil, Lydiard Tregoze, Marlborough, Minety, Potterne Christmas Boys, Quidhampton, Salisbury, Shrewton, Stratton St Margaret, Stourton, Woodford, Wootton Rivers] Marshfield Paper Boys, Andover Jolly Jacks Walk in, St George at Simonsbury. The last three are obviously not Wiltshire locations.

There are alternative published sources to confirm for example the existence of Mummers at Potterne, Quidhampton and Woodford. The folder also contains two 8x5 cards entitled 'Mummers Disguise' and two giving references to the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine which confirms her reference regarding All Cannings. The Mummers Disguise cards contain the majority of the communities referred to above. Later in the folder is a note referring to a WI Scrapbook for Fittleton as a source.

In the case of mummer's plays there is some corroboration of her material and this list has been compiled on the basis that while the sources may not be quoted, somewhere in her papers they do exist. Additional contributions are welcome as are corrections.

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