1988: Christmas Mumming in a North Cotswold Town. Footnotes, Section VI

Craig Fees, “Christmas Mumming in a North Cotswold Town: With Special Reference to Tourism, Urbanisation and Immigration-Related Social Change“, PhD., Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies, School of English, University of Leeds, England (1988).

Footnotes VI:


1. I think that this is probably the same Stephen Hancock who, with Charlie Seitz, is remembered as one of the characters of turn of the century Campden. He seems to have had an actively public year in 1887, with five letters published in the Evesham Journal, all of them concerned with working men’s affairs. In the first. EvJ 23.4.1887,3, he brought up “a proposal, unnoticed by the chair [at a meeting to discuss a Jubilee Memorial], made by a working man – “a very sensible working man”.” This suggestion, Hancock said, was for a public drinking fountain, the installation of which would give work to a good local tradesman who had recently suffered a reverse, and benefit labourers and shopkeepers as well. He argued in EvJ 28.5.1887,3, that if Campden improved its amenities then visitors would be attracted who would give employment to the poor, rent to those with rooms, trade to shopkeepers, and society to the classes with independent means. A letter signed by Hancock and others expressing gratitude for a new water trough on Westington Hill (see V.2 fn 27, where the letter itself is quoted) was headed by an Horatian Ode in Latin. His letters in EvJ 5.11.1887,3 and 19.11.1887,7, were both touting the advantages of a Working Men’s Club, the latter again putting forward public improvements as a means of attracting “a possible influx of benevolent and well-to-do visitors…”

In his second letter he called himself a thirty-year resident of the town. He could therefore be the S. Hancock who appeared in a Campden Grammar School entertainment reported EvJ 18.12.1869,7; and who is reported EvJ 25.12.1869,5, to be going to St. Mary’s College.

2. EvJ 5.11.1887,3.

3. EvJ 5.7.1884,7.

4. Ibid.

5. EvJ 1.5.1886,7; Herbert Wixey: “…when the church was re-opened there was a scramble after sittings, and many people had to go early to ensure a seat…[and he] pointed out that formerly the nave was more occupied because the surpliced choir was a novelty and an attraction, but that was now wearing away.”

6. Ibid.; J.S. Morris: “Some objected to the open seats because the poorer class rushed into them and crushed others out of good sittings, but he had found that the poor did not intrude into the seats ordinarily occupied by the upper class. During the past year the body of the church which was appropriated was not fully used when other parts of the church were entirely occupied.” W. Stanley: “But when he saw the rush that was made for the best seats, which were occupied by boys and girls, and respectable people put out, he thought the matter ought to be managed better than that, and therefore altered his opinion.” The Vicar: “The free seats had been abused by girls taking the best seats to the annoyance of the parishioners.”

7. Ibid.

8. EvJ 5.7.1884,7.

9. EvJ 1.5.1886,7.

10. EvJ 3.4.1969,1; see V.2.C.a.

11. EvJ 5.7.1884,7.

12. EvJ 16.4.1898,8.

13. See V.3 fn 89.

14. Re pig-sticking, see Lawrence Ladbrook 9.2.1984, with Don Ellis cas 60b, and Don Ellis helping Richard Dunn turn the malt. Don Ellis is fond of telling how he disappeared one day, and his mother was frantic looking for him until the teacher from the Infants School next door, came and said Don had come in and joined them and was it alright if he stayed? He also, about the age of ten, used to regularly clean and oil the rifles for the Territorials, Don Ellis 7.10.1986 cas 169b, and said on the same occasion you simply used to stop by shops on the way home from school and ask if there were any chores to be done.

15. Peter L. Berger, Brigitte Berger and Hansfried Kellner, The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1977 (orig. 1973).

16. EvJ 24.1.1980,13. See V.2.D.c.

17. Martin Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology” in The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, translated and with an Introduction by William Lovitt, Harper and Row, N.Y. etc., 1977, pp. 14-15.

18. R.I. Wolfe. “Recreational Travel: The New Migration”, Canadian Geographer 10 (1966), 6.

19. M. Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology”, op cit., p. 16.

20. Ibid., p. 18.

21. Ibid., p. 16.

22. Ibid., p. 21.

23. EvJ 3.12.1892,5: Arthur Savory, of Evesham, suggested forming a Defence Association “to which I am sure many outsiders would subscribe, to protect themselves [!] from the encroachment of this sham and shoddy age of ‘improvement’.” He also stated “Keep Broadway as it is – a typical old English village, built of its native stone – and the artist and the visitor will annually come there in increasing numbers to enjoy its quaint corners, its irregular buildings, and its charming bits of time-wrought colour; but once let in the demon of so called ‘improvement’…and Broadway’s attractiveness will be gone.” See a local response to “these Birmingham self-styled antiquarians” in II.2 fn 106.

24. C.R. Ashbee, “Campden’s Beautiful Houses”, EvJ 4.4.1903,6, where High Street property owners were said to have a duty to maintain the unity of the street, and householders and residents generally a duty to preserve Campden’s architectural beauty. This would bring “people from afar to come and look at their habitation…”

See the unsigned article, “The Cotswolds – A National Park?: The Changing Midlands Series”, The Listener 16.2.1938,345.

25. When the Cotswold District Council placed an Article 4 Direction on the centre of Campden in 1982, in theory sealing it against all unapproved change, the director of planning, Mr. T. Ridge, “said Campden was outstanding not only in the district but the county, the country, and possibly the world,” EvJ 11.11.1982,1.

26. Placide Rambaud, “Tourism et urbanisation de campagne”, Sociologica Ruralis 7(1967), 313.

27. Ibid., p. 312.

28. Quoted in EvJ 13.4.1978,1.

29. K. Lynch, The Image of the City, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1960, quoted in Wolfgang Feiguth, “Historical Geography and the Concept of the Authentic Past as a Regional Resource”, Ontario Geography 1(1967), 58.

30. “Fuentarrabia is more an enterprise than a town”: Davydd Greenwood, “Tourism as an Agent of Change: A Spanish Basque Case”, Annals of Tourism Research 3:3(1976), 134.

31. “When Mr. Jones said Campden was a dying town, Mr. Vidal said that from a tourist point of view it was a gold mine, with the British Holidays and Travel Association giving it world-wide publicity,” EvJ 27.11.1969,1.

32. Rambaud, “Tourism et urbanisation de campagne”, op cit., p. 316.

33. Ibid.

34. This is a deliberate echo of Christopher Whitfield’s phrase, in his letter opposing the filling of the New Pool for parking and printed in EvJ 2.11.1935.7: “There will be one thing less, a small thing it is true, worth coming to Campden to see for and to live in it for, and that will affect the traders and hotel keepers of the town.” See IV.2.2.C.

35. L.W. Daniel, EvJ 4.4.1953,9.

36. R.W. Butler, “The Social Implications of Tourist Developments”, Annals of Tourism Research 2:2 (Nov/Dec 1974),106.

37. M. Redcliff, “The Effects of Socio-Economic Change in a Spanish Pueblo on Community Cohesion”, Sociologica Ruralis. 13:1 (1973), 5.

38. See Barry Ward’s discussion of the Coventry Mummers in A Functional Approach to English Folk Drama, PhD. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1972, pp. 166-183, where he quotes from printed information supplied by the Coventry Mummers about themselves. The Coventry Mummers, according to this literature, offer “an informative and entertaining introduction to the subject,” for example; “Such events are tailored to suit individual requirements and can vary from a 90 minute talk to a full-day seminar with lectures and discussions and the teaching of a play to the students,” p. 168. “In order to draw interest from, say, a crowd of urban shoppers, we aim to give our plays humour, pace, slick production and visual impact,” p. 171. Ward unfortunately takes a somewhat hostile attitude towards the Coventry Mummers. Ron Shuttleworth, then the bag-man of the Coventry Mummers, called it a “hatchet job”, 2.11.1983, conversation recorded in fieldnotes.

Jack Tomes has a copy of an article by June Lewis from either Cotswold Life or Gloucestershire Countryside, called “The Mummers”, which describes the Waterley Bottom Mummers from the Dursely area, gives their planned itinerary for December 20-24, and then notes “Times of the performances will be posted in the area, together with the names of the public houses to be visited.” Jack Tomes also has a printed flier, “The Epwell Mummers”, which describes the Epwell Mummers as “a newly formed group performing a play which belongs to a tradition, centuries old,” and concludes “We will be making a collection in aid of SHELTER. PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY.” Mr. Tomes discusses these as groups that haven’t got it right, that have it all wrong; conversation 21.2.1982, noted on listing of these items.

39. This argument could be sophisticated and extended, I think, by looking more closely at historical settlement and migration patterns in Campden. It would be a mistake to think that Campden has ever been settled and fully integrated at any level; the turnover in both the upper echelons of society and among shopkeepers and tradesmen is an established tradition. What is less clear – because not yet examined – is the turnover among the lower echelons (speaking in 19th century terms), which comprised the numerical bulk of the local population.

Mrs. Hicks-Beach, in A Cotswold Family: Hicks and Hicks-Beach, William Heinemann, London, 1909, p. 9, wrote: “So it can be calculated that in Gloucestershire, and in the course of two hundred years, 90 per cent of the owners of land have disappeared and their places have been refilled, and there is no reason to doubt that the process is still going on, and perhaps at an increased rate…” This has certainly been true for Campden since the First World War. The Kelly’s Directories are at best a crude measure because of inaccuracies and changing classification systems, but between 1870 and 1939 they show that both private residents and commercial establishments in Campden were in a constant state of flux (see table below). C.R. Ashbee quoted his friend Eliza Wedgwood in Ashbee Journals 1924/168 as concluding “that ‘of the gentry in Campden’, none of her times were left, only ‘the workmen and the peasants’ continued.” As a subjective observation, this throws the responsibility for the longterm continuity of “Campden” onto the “workmen and peasants”.

In terms of absolute numbers it may very well be the case that more “workmen and peasants” remain for longer periods of time in Campden than higher and commercial classes – that the turnover among the working class population has in the past been slower and therefore working class traditions about Campden more stable. In this case, Ernest Buckland and others would be wholly justified in identifying “old Campden” with labourers and their families. Buckland’s sense of responsibility for Campden, and for keeping the mumming in “Campden” hands, would therefore be based on legitimate observations on the make-up and history of the local population.

Table 4 Turnover in Private Residents and Commercial Establishments, 1870-1939, Compiled from Kelly’s Directory Listings


Private Residents

Commercial Listings

Year a

Number of new listings


Number of last listings (don’t appear in next issue)


Total number of listings in this issue


% of listings which are new


Number of new listings


Number of last listings (don’t appear in next issue)


Total number of listings in this issue


% of listings which are new

1870 6 18 * __ 32 104
1876 21 18 33 63.6 * 45 116 38.8
1879 8 13 13 61.5 *
1885 20 14 30 66.7 * 13 82
1889 12 14 28 42.9 * 27 31 96 28.1
1894 10 9 24 41.7 * 21 16 86 24.4
1897 9 10 24 37.5 * 23 18 93 24.7
1902 15 12 29 51.7 * 16 17 91 17.6
1906 5 4 22 22.7 * 31 25 105 29.5
1910 6 10 24 25 * 23 28 103 22.3
1914 14 11 28 50 * 30 35 105 28.6
1919 11 11 28 39.3 * 12 20 82 14.6
1923 12 9 29 41.4 * 31 14 93 33.3
1927 14 11 34 41.2 * 33 25 112 29.5
1931 9 5 32 28.1 * 16 11 103 15.5
1935 8 16 35 22.9 * 17 29 109 15.6
1939 5 24 20.8 * 29 109 26.6
Total 179 173 455 39.3 * 354 314 1589 22.3

Column a: Number of entries which did not appear in the prior issue of Kelly’s Directory (new listings).

Column b: Number of entries which do not appear in the subsequent issue of Kelly’s Directory (last entries).

Column c: Total number of entries in each issue.

Column d: Percentage of the total entries which did not appear in previous issue of Kelly’s Directory (percentage of listings which are new).