Molly Men set to return for Plough Monday celebrations

Mepal molly men perform in Mepal High street. Sukhpal Kaur and husband Gurdip Singh Jatana pose with the Mepal molly men.. Picture: Steve Williams. Mepal molly men perform in Mepal High street. Sukhpal Kaur and husband Gurdip Singh Jatana pose with the Mepal molly men.. Picture: Steve Williams.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
12:53 PM

MOLLY dancers will be out in force across East Cambs next week as the centuries-old tradition of Plough Monday is observed.

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Molly men from the Mepal Molly side will begin the day’s festivities at 10.30am in Mepal and Witcham Primary School before heading off on a tour of pubs and villages across East Cambridgeshire.

The dancers will then drop in at Sutton Primary School at 11am and Robert Arkenstall Primary at 11.30am before heading off into the villages.

In the afternoon, the group will visit the Red Lion pub in Stretham, Haddenham and Coveney before ending the day in Market Place, Ely, at about 4.15pm.

Plough Monday is the first Monday after Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. The day was traditionally an important ritual for agricultural workers in the east, providing the opportunity to make some money at a difficult time of year.

In medieval times it is believed that 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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