GALLERY: Molly dancers tour East Cambridgeshire’s schools and pubs for Plough Monday celebration

Mepal Molly Men at Mepal and Witcham Primary school. Picture: Steve Williams. Mepal Molly Men at Mepal and Witcham Primary school. Picture: Steve Williams.

Monday, January 13, 2014
5:15 PM

Molly dancers were out in force across East Cambs to celebrate Plough Monday.

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Mepal Molly Men at Mepal and Witcham Primary school. Picture: Steve Williams.Mepal Molly Men at Mepal and Witcham Primary school. Picture: Steve Williams.

Molly men from the Mepal Molly side visited Mepal, Witcham, Sutton and Robert Arkenstall Primary School, as well as various pubs and villages, before delivering their final performance in Ely Market Place.

At the schools, the Molly men explained the tradition to the children and invited them to join in with the broom dance.

Head of the Mepal Molly Men, Michael Czarnobaj, said: “There are 12 of us Molly men who have been travelling around in a minibus all day.

“It is a local tradition and we don’t have many of those. It is always good to go around the schools and brighten up what is a bleak time of year.

“I talked to the children, we performed a song and then showed them how to dance and they picked up brooms and joined us.”

Plough Monday is the first Monday after Epiphany, or Twelfth Night.

In medieval times it is believed ploughboys were supposed to return to work on Plough Monday, the start of the new ploughing season.

Instead, the plough was paraded through the streets with the aim to extort money from the wealthy landowners.

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