Dave Markham's Memories

April 1997 

    Prior to the first Jag I contacted the three television stations for the area- BBC (Leeds), Yorkshire (Leeds), and Anglia (Norwich), giving them the background to the Jag and the proposed itinerary.

    Marilyn Webb from Yorkshire called round to the house and it was agreed that they would have a film crew in the Precinct. Anglia TV contacted me by letter and said that they would definitely send a crew to cover a performance- probably at St Hugh's school. Nothing from the BBC.

    On the big day Anglia were at St Hugh's school, where they filmed the performance and Geoff Druet interviewed some of us.

    When we reached the Precinct, there was Marilyn Webb from Yorkshire, and to my surprise, a BBC crew fronted by John Burns. An assistant from the BBC came rushing up “Mr Markham?"


    "Come this way, Mr Burns is waiting to interview you."

    John Burns was standing off to one side wearing a British Warm overcoat and a silk paisley scarf- hair slicked flat to his head. It gave me great pleasure to walk straight past him and on to the Yorkshire crew   “Hi Marilyn!”

    Ah, the heady taste of stardom!  

    Anglia and Yorkshire included the reports on the Monday evening - BBC waited until the Tuesday.

    In the first year the week before the official performance of the plough Jag we gave our first public performance at the community centre near to the pied Piper - it was an old folks Christmas / New Year dinner. Quite a few of the old folks could remember the original Jags and some of the lines.

    The first official Plough Jag was on plough Monday- nearest to the 6th January.

    The first venue was Frodingham Infants School where the Headmistress, Miss Allison donated the school hand bell. Then we went to St Hugh's Special School.

     Lunch was taken at the Mikado (Mickeydoo) transport cafe - the mushy peas were wonderful!

    After a performance in the Precinct we went round the West End and Liberal Clubs, and then to Coleby Hall and did a performance in the Olivers' kitchen.

    We went back to John Walker's for tea and then went out to the Lord Roberts, The Wortley, The Comet, and The Berkeley. We watched ourselves on the TV news in the 'men only’ bar of the Lord Roberts - Jan (Oliver) had a black face, top hat and tails and said," Where's the Ladies? “So I had to stand guard in the Gents whilst she used the WC. - Knocking on the door when it was clear for her to come out.

    On the Saturday night we did a performance at the House Inn at East Ferry a popular Saturday night venue for local folkies, and did the Jag again on the Sunday at the Folk Club.

    Oh and John Baker grew a beard to play the Horse.

    In 1975 or 76 (76, I think) the Jag was performed at Spilsby - Liberal party Garden Party in front of Jeremy Thorpe - If we’d known what we know now, we may have gone a little easier on the make-up.

    1975 was the first year of the sword dance and I think the first year in Gainsborough

    The Gladstone bag carried by the Doctor was brought, by me, from Bristol.

    John Walker used to go to Budget to rent the van so that he could get badges to put on his jacket as medals.

    Pete Day was always known as “Crividge” because of the way he used to say “cribbage”. He and his wife were unfortunately killed in a storm when a tree fell on their three-wheeled car. John Baker, Mo Ogg and myself were brought together at Pete's wedding and this was when the Plough Jag was first discussed by Mo, although he had been working on the idea for some time before this.