Mepal Molly Men continue a local tradition of dancing in villages around Ely for Plough Monday

Mepal Molly men’s tour, Sutton School. Picture: Steve Williams.

Mepal Molly men’s tour, Sutton School. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The Mepal Molly Men danced and sang their way around East Cambridgeshire to celebrate Plough Monday which is the traditional start of the English agricultural year.

Mepal Molly men’s tour, Sutton School. Picture: Steve Williams.

Mepal Molly men’s tour, Sutton School. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

This year marked the 40th anniversary of the troop’s annual dance out.

They visited numerous primary schools in the morning, including Mepal and Witcham, Sutton and Robert Arkenstall in Haddenham, before performing for members of the public in Stretham, Littleport and Ely in the afternoon and evening.

On Saturday, January 23 the troop will be performing at the Cutter Inn in Ely at 11am and at The Plough in Little Downham at 1pm.

Michael Czarnobaj heads up the Molly Men and the group has become infamous in the local area by continuing a local tradition.


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Plough Monday died out in Little Downham in the 1930’s but was brought back by the Mepal Molly Men in 1977.

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

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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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