Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

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Date:12th of September 1904

Description:This colour-tinted postcard view shows the Abbots Bromley Horn Dancers posing for the camera in their new costumes on 12 September 1904 in the garden of the Vicarage in Abbots Bromley. On the reverse (dated in 1917) there is a message for the recipient: “Many Happy Returns”.

The Horn Dance is an annual event which takes place on the first Monday after the first Sunday after the 4th of September. The tradition is believed to date back to 1226 when it was part of a three day event celebrating St. Bartholomew's Day (24th August), although the earliest documentary evidence is Robert Plot's description of 1686.

There are usually 11 performers. Six dancers dressed in green jackets, breeches and green stockings, three carrying white painted reindeer horns, the other three, black horns. In addition there are the Fool, the Hobby-horse, Maid Marion, a cross-bow bearer (often a small boy), and a melodeon player.

The annual Horn Dance usually attracts many visitors from around the world to view this amazing spectacle. However, in 2020 the Horn Dance that was due to take place on Monday 7th September was cancelled due to Covid-19 Virus.

This postcard was franked in Rugeley on 31 August 1917 and sent to an address in Rugeley.

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Image courtesy of: The Arthur Lloyd Collection

Donor ref:A_Lloyd-382aa (232/42899)

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