Fran Ross - Recollections

December 1997

    My involvement with the Plough Jag has been on the ‘fringe’ so to speak. Like most of the participants I belonged to the Scunthorpe Folk Song Club and was recruited from there. Living close to Winteringham Abattoir, well 5 miles is closer than Scunthorpe is, it was my job to acquire the pigs’ bladders used by the Joe Straw, and deliver them to Steve Hindley for treatment.

    This used to cause great amusement to the abattoir men who came out to view the lady who wanted bladders. (Preferably sow’s and with long necks). If I was lucky they were bagged, if not I had to provide a suitable container, and peg. My fame spread and prior to the close of the abattoir I supplied bladders to all of the local Morris teams.

    I have fond memories of the 1984 Plough Jag. I caught up with the Jaggers in Winterton and have the photos to prove it. There was such a following that year that a second mini-bus was provided by the CVS. It was bright yellow and the gearbox was totally gone. How we got round Roxby bends I'll never know. It kept jumping out of gear. Roberta Hindley was driving the bus and someone else, I can't remember who, was in charge of the gear stick, knocking it back into gear whilst Bert steered.

    At one pub in the evening, the Bay Horse at Winteringham, we filled the pub. The regulars went to the Ferryboat, as they didn't like the look of us.

    Luneburg remains a special place (June 1987) mainly due to the warm reception we received. I was dancing with Tatterfoals, but members interchanged with the Ploughjag, and Stubblejumpers. Whenever a performance was given the crowds were 6 or 7 deep and the local hostelries vied for who had the musicians in afterwards, as huge crowds followed them. (Like the Pied Piper!)

    My daughters, Eleanor and Grace have been brought up with the folk tradition from birth, but neither will speak to the Jaggers when in costume. Whether they recognise the person or not, they can't equate the black faces with Eamon, Gordon, Jim, or Steve - godfather or not! Much to the amusement of the rest of the family.