Dunmow in old picture postcards

Dunmow in old picture postcards

:   Stan Jarvis
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3417-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Dunmow in old picture postcards'

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69. The interior of St. Mary's. Little Dunmow, is light and airy, thanks to the grand fourteenth-century nave windows and the modern east window. That this postcard was produced for sale in the 1920's is obvious from the touching memorial to villagers who fell in the First World War, partly visible in the first archway on the left, between the two candles. It was designed by Florence Burnett and carried out by W . Perry Leach and Sons of Cambridge. Sadly, the plaster has crumbled so badly that half the design is now missing, but it is moving to see that the flowers which adorn the memorial are constantly renewed. Just discernible on the postcard, to the left bebind the pulpit are the arms of the fameus 'Flitch' chair.

70. The fact that a photograph of an old chair knocked up from secondhand timber would be sold to tourists is a clear indication of that chair's significance. It is so very old, and was taken so much for granted by the villagers themselves that its true history has not been recorded. The timber in it has been dated to the thirteenth century, when it started life in the Priory Church as the end of a row of priors' stalls. Holes were made below the seat and long shafts passed through so that successful claimants of the flitch of bacon could be carried around the village in joyful celebration. It has been considered important enough to be included in the 1930 exhibition of English medieval art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

71. It was a tradition in Great Dunmow that there should be the Horse-and-Cart Parade on Whit Monday with the town band in attendance, followed by fun and games. The sport included c1imbing the greasy pole slung out over Doctor's Pond. This postcard remembers the day in 1908, when just about everybody who was anybody paraded down the High Street, following the band and the beautiful!y turned out horse-drawn vehicles. The strong breeze which is tossing the blossom on the chestnut trees has also wrapped the great flag hoisted above the White Lion completely round its pole. The shop immediatelyon the left is E.J. Dowsett, the newsagent, who could have sold this and other, coloured postcards special!y produced by Arthur Willett, another newsagent further along the High Street.


Whd )'t1onocy paraoe.

72. Could Dunmow ever have witnessed a busier scene than this? It is the occasion of the Horse and Cart Parade on Whit Monday in 1907 as proved by the postmark on the card. The judges of the smartest turn-out are using a cart (the shafts can be seen pointing upwards) as a viewing platform in front of the Saracen's Head. It was a popular site in those days for all kinds of presentation and public address, including awards for the ploughing match and the hedging, stacking and thatching competitions. The importance of agriculture in the area at this time is shown by the fact there there were at least twenty-one farmers listed in the immediate vicinity of the town, including the Barnards: Dan, Henry, Oswald and Thomas of Marks, Bigods, Roughie and Lower Hall farms respectively.

73. The Dunmow Pageant of 1912 can still be remembered by older folk as one of the greatest events ever staged in the town. It drew thousands of spectators and involved over three hundred townspeople in acting out the chapters in the Dunmow story, including the Flitch Ceremony of 1751, in suitable costume. Here we see the jury selected to judge the case ofthe claimants to aflitch. MI. T. Gibbons who always 'examined forthe bacon', was well-known for his humorous repartee. lt was due to the famous novelist William Harrison Ainsworth that the Flitch Ceremony was revived not at Little, but at Great Dunmow on 19th July 1855. On that day some seven thousand people attended, special trains were laid on to Bishops Stortford from whence a convoy of horsedrawn vehicles carried the excited crowds to the Town Hall and then to Windmill Field, on the Downs, to see the spectacle.

74. After the grand re-introduction of the Flitch Trial, it was re-enacted intermittently down to 1890. In that year a very determined Iocal committee kept the custom alive through to 1912. This was probably the best year of all, for the ceremony was included as part of the pageant of Dunmow history arranged by Hugh CranmerByng, well-known local poet and wrîter. The scene shown here represents the chairing of a successful couple who claimed the flitch at the trial of 1751, one of the rare occasions in the eighteenth century when the ceremony was actually performed at Little Dunmow. The flitch is being carried before them on a long pole exactly as it was arranged in the ancient rul es of the ceremony.

75. One could be forgiven for thinking that the camera had been invented by 1751, when Thomas Shakeshaft of Wethersfield, weaver, and Ann bis wife were being chaired, because of the realistic costume of the part

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