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Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year’s Eve in Allendale


oooer a bit scary
This is the opening scene at the Allendale New Year Tar Barrel ceremony/ritual.  As you can see, it’s just a little bit scary. What you can’t detect from the picture, of course, is that there was an ooompah band playing that traditional Lancashire theme “Our cat’s no ‘air on. (It ez ter wear a wig)”
the procession approaches
The procession of flaming headwear and torches makes it’s unhurried way around the streets of Allendale and then, the fire is all dumped on an enormous bonfire in the town square.
hot hats
There is cheering and tremendous searing heat and then – a sing-song.  At some point someone somewhere does a countdown and Auld Lang Syne is sung as its now probably 2011.
starting the fire
There is much drinking, even though it’s impossible to get into any of the pubs due to weight of numbers. Well prepared witnesses are armed with loaded hip flasks containing Christmas malts.
england retain the ashes
The tea room is selling soup, hot dogs and tea at very reasonable prices – considering the monopoly and the thousands of potential customers – and the reward seems to be that their coining it in. Bless ‘em. Clearly, this event does Allendale’s economy no harm at all.
hmmm  yes well...
There appears to be just the one policeman, sitting in his van at the back.
the baal fire
Its an ancient fire ritual. The privilege of carrying a barrel of fire around the town  on your head is passed on through local families. The origins are not known for certain, but a bit of pontificating points towards the pagan.  Its quite good fun, though.
Happy New Year to everybody who reads the Pie blog. You’ll have gathered by now that its not got much to do with pies.

13 comments:

Meanqueen said...

Looks good fun, nice to see old traditions carried on through the generations. I'm surprised elf-n-safety allow it.

IckleBigSis said...

T'was nice and toasty and warm. I think I got a tan last night. lol

John J said...

Ah, there's ways and means of dealing with the Elphin Safety.

Some years ago they banned a ceilidh at Sidmouth Folk Week, an unusual dance in that it's held in a ford through the River Sid.

The ceilidh now doesn't happen every year. Regularly.

Which is why you can't see it on this video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPzk5618k74.

It won't be happening again next year either.

I don't who the bloke wearing a yellow T shirt and a Tilley Hat is. Any ideas?

JJ

Mike Knipe said...

Not a lot of evidence of efphansafety, Llona - there was a lass with a very small fire extinguisher. I think they'd struggle with this one.
Rachel - I've spent the morning drawing my eyebrows back in. They're quite realistic now.
John J - Ooer - this ford ceilidh looks like fun. Or at least it will be if it ever takes place.
Was the chap in the yellow t-shirt fully dressed "below"? Difficult to judge here.....

QDanT said...

Sure beats watching the Tumble weeds blow up Earby main street.Thanks for posting Danny

Mike Knipe said...

Tumbleweeds on Water Street?
We used to set fire to them.

Actually, I was in the White Lion one NYE and a group of kids came in all blacked up and carrying brushes and dustpans. They were, kind of humming...
People threw loose change on the floor and they swept it through the door.
No words were spoken
Does this still happen, I wonder?

Arthur Brown said...

It's a crazy world !

Mike Knipe said...

Crazy, Arthur? Its a nightmare!

arf arf...

Laura said...

All looks like good clean fun! Much quieter here - just a Lagavulin to bring in the New Year....

Mike Knipe said...

Clean and warm, Laura. Verey warm, in fact. I'd call it hot, really.
I had Glenfiddich in the hip flask....

The Odyssee said...

Tar Mike, a hot post. I bet it was really nice to have been there.
HNY. A & S

Mike Knipe said...

You seem to be warming to this, Alan....
Happy New year to you and yours....
and happy blogging, too...

John J said...

Yes, the odd looking fella in the yellow T shirt was decently dressed, he was wearing my swimming trunks....and my Tevas too!

JJ