SD9905 : Saddleworth Rushcart 1976

taken 42 years ago, near to Greenfield, Oldham, Great Britain

Saddleworth Rushcart 1976
Saddleworth Rushcart 1976
The cart, being drawn up Chapel Road, towards the junction with Oldham Road.
Saddleworth Rushcart
The origins of the Rushcart are uncertain; one school of thought is that the practice began in pre-Christian times, but academics now believe it unlikely to date from before 1800. (LinkExternal link )

The Rushcart grew into a festival which was held on the annual "Wakes" or mill holiday which often coincided with the feast of the saint to whom the local Parish Church is dedicated. Every village or hamlet would build a Rushcart and each would try to out-do the neighbouring villages by building a bigger or more elaborate structure, with the front covered by a sheet decorated with tinsel and artificial flowers and hung with polished copper, brass and silver household items. The Uppermill Rushcart became known as the Longwood Thump.

Rushcarts eventually died out in the early twentieth century, but The Saddleworth Morris Men (LinkExternal link ) revived the Rushcarts as an annual festival in 1975 to become the first of many in the area.

The rushes are taken from the surrounding moors (with the blessing of the National Trust) and built onto a two-wheeled cart. The bulk of the cart is built from loose rushes; they are not tied on. A man chosen from the ranks of Saddleworth Morris Men sits astride the Rushcart for the day, supplied with ale in a copper kettle.

The Rushcart is then pulled through the villages of Saddleworth by morris men invited from all over Britain and, sometimes, from overseas. 150 men pull on the "stangs" fixed to strong rope which, in turn, is fixed to the cart.
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SD9905, 128 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Saturday, 21 August, 1976   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 19 February, 2011
Category
Procession   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 9940 0503 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:32.5148N 2:0.6315W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SD 9941 0510
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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