Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow

This collection of documentaries, unseen television reports and silent film footage reveals how powerful and enduring the folk traditions of Great Britain have always been.

From the sexy, savage Cornish May Day rites of Alan Lomax’s Oss Oss Wee Oss, to Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane’s footage of ferociously fought traditional football; from children’s games in London’s bombed East End to intricate sword and step dances, this collection of poetic documentaries, long unseen television reports and rare silent film footage reveals just how powerful and enduring the folk traditions of Great Britain have always been. This double disc set of newly remastered films is accompanied by an illustrated 58-page booklet including detailed notes and essays by folk historians. The silent films feature innovative fiddle and melodeon accompaniments by contemporary folk musicians.

Disc one

Dance and Song

  • Films taken from Kinora Spools Made in 1912 (1912/1982)
  • Bampton Broom and Morris Dances (1928)
  • Sword Dances in North Skelton, Handsworth, Sleights, Westerhope and Grenoside (c.1927)
  • Dances by Ilmington Teams in the Grounds of Peter De Montforts House 1220 AD. Fiddler Sam Bennett (1926)
  • Abbots Bromley, Painswick and Bampton (c.1928-36)
  • High Spen Sword Dancers (c.1928)
  • Bacup Coconut Dancers (1930)
  • Grenoside Long Sword Dancers (1938)
  • Wake Up and Dance (1950)
  • Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow (1952)
  • Winlaton Sword Dance from Mining Review 8th Year No 5 (1955)
  • Dick Hewitt The Norfolk Step Dancer with Percy Brown — melodeon (1979)
  • The Flora Faddy Furry Dance Day (1989)
  • Rapper Dancers at The National (2003)

Extreme Sports

  • Shrove Tuesday Football Games (1921-29)
  • 600-Year-Old Custom! (1927)
  • The Game of Haxey Hood (1929)
  • Handba at Kirkwall, Orkney (1939)
  • New Year Fireball Festival, Stonehaven (1965)
  • Shrove Tuesday in the 1960s (1965-66)
  • Ancient and Traditional Sport of Dwile Flonking (1966)
  • Dwile Flonking from Harleston (1967)
  • Tar Barrel Rolling, Ottery St Mary (2000)
  • Shrovetide Football, Ashbourne (2000)
  • Hare Pie and Bottle Kicking, Hallaton (2005)

Disc one

Mummers and Hobbyhorses

  • The Tichborne Mummers Play (1919)
  • Walk in St George (1952)
  • Oss Oss Wee Oss (1953)
  • Derby Tup (1974)

All Manner of Customs

  • Greater London May Queens (1922-30)
  • Llandudno May Queens (1927-29)
  • Boy Bishop of Berden (1927)
  • Merrie England (1928)
  • One Potato, Two Potato (1957)
  • Castleton Garland Day (1957)
  • Election of New Mayor of Harwich and the Traditional Ceremony of Throwing Kitchels (1962)
  • All Manner of Customs (1965)
  • Informal Gurning Contest at Whitley Bay (1963)
  • Girl Wearing Earring at School Dispute (1966)
  • Children of the Moor (1975)
  • The Face of a County (1976)
  • Castletons Traditional Garland Day (2000)
  • The Burry Man of South Queensferry (2000-02)

Product information

    • Certificate


    • Colour

      Colour and Black/white

    • Sound


    • Running time


    • Original aspect ratio

      Mixed original aspect ratios

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number


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