Mo's Original Notes


(From Mo Ogg's original notes - lent by Bob Cleveland in February 1997)

    The origin of plough-jags seems to have had its foundation deep into the mysterious past, the early Christian days.

    The players represented the lay- people, and good and evil, and Christ, also it was a festival of the New Year. The people were praising the New Year and New Life, as in the play, the Doctor cures Tom Fool and brings him back to life, so the plants and seeds would grow again after the ground has been ploughed and laid bare.


    The plough -players, or gang as they were known, would travel around the local villages around, on as I was given to understand, the nearest Monday to January 6th, PLOUGH MONDAY. They would set off around 8 o'clock in the morning and return perhaps at 9 o'clock in the evening. Mr Roly Redhead of Burton on Stather told me that the gang he was in at Burton would start from Burton Hill at 8 o'clock then go to Thealby and Thealby Lane, from there to Coleby where they would perform in the forecourt of Coleby Hall, then to West Halton across the fields to Winteringham, then to Winterton, Roxby, Bagmoor, to Normanby Hall. At Normanby Hall in the courtyard, all the servants would be allowed to come out to watch and after they would all be given pork pie, etc, and ale.

    When they set off there would be a great din and you could hear the rag-fools playing their horns which were copper hunting horns, also the melodeon player and drum going. With a great deal of noise the gang set off. It appears a young lad would accompany them to carry the instruments to give the musicians a rest.

    Mr Redhead played Hobby Hoss, and the Doctor, but he did tell me Mr Dick Render played the Lady and a damn fine lady he played. Mr Render didn't give me any information, as he seemed not to want to, so I didn't press him.

    The one saying I got from Roly Redhead was one said by Besom Betty



    Mr Redhead also remembered that Hobby Hosses were whippers - in and always followed last. They saw that all the gang was present and correct.



    The most information I have received so far is from Mr Arthur Gelder of Alkboro' Lane. He was very helpful with detailed descriptions of the costumes. He described all the players as shown in the accompanying sketches.

    I was also helped by a photograph belonging to Mr H Brumby of Winteringham of the gang in 1895 outside Normanby Post Office.