This is a personal blog mainly to do with hillwalking things but with other stuff as well.....maybe the odd rant..
Saturday, 1 January 2011
New Year’s Eve in Allendale
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 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. 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. 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. 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. There appears to be just the one policeman, sitting in his van at the back. 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.
I am a retired NHS Personnel person. All I do nowadays is walk about.
I used to have my pet dog Bruno with me (in the front page pic). he was Superdawg but he died. Now I have Lucky the pup. He's a bit like Bruno, only smaller and more suspicious.