Did You See This?

3-d cover of Pennant, Tour in Wales‘At Warrington, Bolton, and Manchester, on Easter Monday, the women, forming parties of six or eight each, still continue to surround such of the opposite sex as they meet, and either with or without their consent, lift them thrice above their heads into the air, with loud shouts at each elevation. On Easter Tuesday, the men, in parties as aforesaid, do the same to the women.’

The Gentleman’s Magazine commented in 1784: ‘It is a rude, indecent, and dangerous diversion, practised chiefly by the lower class of people. Our magistrates constantly prohibit it by the bellman… [the town crier, presumably]’.

Thomas Pennant says: ‘In north Wales, the custom of Heaving, upon Monday and Tuesday in Easter week, is preserved … the young men go about the town and country, from house to house, with a fiddle playing before them, to heave the women. On the Tuesday, the women heave the men.’

More demurely (possibly), down south you could go egg-rolling on Greenwich Hill – ‘a relique of old City manners, but peculiar to the metropolis’.

In Manchester the current pastime appears to be throwing football managers in the air – nice to see that these old customs can keep up with the times!


This entry was posted in Anthropology, History, Literary Studies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Did You See This?

  1. Gavin Swanson says:

    Hi Caroline

    Yesterday I was in Wigan, almost in the midst of the three locations mentioned, and did not see any rude, indecent or dangerous activities as described. Perhaps I didn’t mingle with the practitioners of this tradition!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s