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The Whitworth Rushcart 2019

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by Fishboy, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    "Come down at Noon on Saturday and take some pictures of us building The Rushcart" said Mr Morton, the village's leading light in the organisation of such things.

    Noon on Saturday came, and it was wetter than an otter's pocket outside, so I gave it an hour and then ventured out to see how a Rushcart is built. A Rushcart, it appears, is built using a great deal of hard work and a fair amount of colourful language. There was rain, on and off, sunshine, on and off and a stiff breeze. Here's what building The Rushcart looks like:

    [​IMG]RC001 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC002 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC004 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC005 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC007 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC008 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RC009 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The inside of the structure is hollow and in keeping with many other moorland parishes the covering is of heather rather than rushes.

    The completed cart was taken off to be blessed by the local Sky-pilot, while the more earthly amongst us repaired to the Brass Band Club to partake of some rather fine ales.

    Much imbibing later, I returned to my abode to sleep the sleep of the just and wait for the Rushcart parade the next day.

    Cheers, Jeff
    Dan S, El_Sid and steveandthedogs like this.
  2. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Sunday dawned fine, however three minutes later it was bouncing down with rain.

    The weather varied between scorching-hot sunshine and freezing downpours for the rest of the morning, so when I eventually left the house to walk down to see the parade, I was dressed in an eclectic mix of my dad's old RAF P.T. shorts (to keep my legs cool), a heavy down-filled parka with a hood (to huddle inside from the freezing downpours), a pair of stylish sunglasses to protect my eyes from the sun's harmful rays and a light t-shirt which I could strip down to if the necessity arose to stop me from getting heatstroke.

    I set myself up at the bottom of Acre Street and waited for things to happen. I stripped-off my parka and lowered the sunglasses over my eyes and then noticed the clouds gathering and felt the wind begin to pick up. As the hour of 1pm drew nigh, in the distance I heard the sound of the big bass drum go "Dum dum...dum dum...dum dum DUM DUM" to start the parade, however on the final bang of the drum there was a crack of thunder, a flash of lightning and the rain began to pelt down.

    Undeterred, the parade began its march, the rain was so heavy that jets of water were shooting out of the horns of the band members' tubas and only the weight of the morris dancers' clog-irons was stopping them from getting blown all the way to Bacup.

    Just before the rain had started a young lass had been sitting in the bus shelter across the road - suddenly she was joined by at least twenty others.

    Here she is before everything went wrong:

    [​IMG]SEP001 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    I didn't take an 'after' picture, because it was then that The Whitworth Morrismen arrived:

    [​IMG]RUSH001 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RUSH002 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The Whitworth Vale and Healey Brass Band came next, with the rain washing the notes off their sheet music and into the gutters:

    [​IMG]RUSH003 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RUSH004 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RUSH005 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Next came what I can only assume was Rossendale Council's state-of-the-art road-sweeping division:

    [​IMG]RUSH006 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The Rushcart itself came next, pulled by several stout local fellows, fuelled with pork pies and beer. Just behind the cart was the Lady Mayoress accompanied by a group of traditional Lancashire belly dancers:

    [​IMG]RUSH007 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The Thieving Magpie Morris Group from over the hill in Marsden came next, although in somewhat reduced numbers this year:

    [​IMG]RUSH008 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    These ladies in red skirts came next, although I don't know what their group is called. The were very enthusiastic though, and the red skirts really stood out:

    [​IMG]RUSH009 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RUSH010 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The sound of coconuts heralded the approach of The Britannia Coconutters:

    [​IMG]RUSH011 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    [​IMG]RUSH012 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The sun came out! It got warm!. The rain stopped! Then the sun went back in and the rain started again:

    [​IMG]RUSH013 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    Everybody arrived at the local civic hall and filed into the grounds for more performances, food, fairground rides and the ridiculously over-priced bar:

    [​IMG]RUSH014 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The Rushcart was parked-up in the civic hall's car park, its work done for the year:

    [​IMG]RUSH015 by Jeff Johnson, on Flickr

    The story goes on and includes things like me going to the Band Club for a few hours and enjoying an elegant sufficiency of beer before going home for a bite to eat. It continues to include me deciding to return to the club at around seven in the evening for 'just a couple of hours'. It takes a turn for the worse when I miss the last bus home (which is a 9pm on a Sunday) and decide that a few more pints can't do me any harm. By ten thirty, my friend Chris and I have decided that the collected morris dancers and assorted folkies are hogging all the singing, so we regale them with a number of songs of our own (all proper folk songs I hasten to add, but if you know 'The Bonny Black Hare' you'll get an idea of the sort of thing we were singing!). I'm not entirely sure of what hour it was when I left - it was a small number, possibly a one or a two - and everybody was being turfed out of the place at the time. I took a somewhat non-linear approach to my walk home and managed to double the length of the journey until I finally sat down in my armchair, reflected upon the evening and promptly fell asleep.

    Cheers, Jeff
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    ...and I'm sorry, I've no idea how I managed to post the first post twice.

    Cheers, Jeff
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A good set describing a nice (if wet) day out!

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