THE ancient tradition of Lymm Rushbearing is set to be revived after an absence of two years.
But the event will not involve a procession on local highways which brought an end to the tradition two years ago because of the cost of road closures.
The event, being organised by Chris Limb, is set to take place on Sunday, August 12, gathering at the Lower Dam at 4pm.
Chris, who helped keep the tradition alive before the costly road closures came into force, said: “We are back in business this year but not processing on the roads and therefore no need for road closures or accompanying expense.
“We will gather near the Lower Dam about 4 pm and then process up the Dingle. People will then meet up again on the grassy area below St Mary’s car park. We will as usual have Morris dancers and Rushbearing garlands. We will then have a service at St Mary’s at about 4.30.”
Lymm Rushbearing was re-born in the early 1970’s (having probably died out in the early years of the century, possibly during the First World War) and has been held on the second Sunday in August, although it has over the years been held on other days. For many years in the twentieth century Rushbearing Monday was a local bank holiday.
Ormerod’s late Victorian history of Cheshire refers to the festival taking place in many communities on or near to the feast of the parish’s patron saint – hence Lymm’s tradition of having the festival during the summer holiday period and close to the feast of the Assumption of Saint Mary.
Although the carrying of fresh rushes to church (normally on a horse-drawn cart) was a central feature, and the replacement of the old rushes upon the earthen church floor a very practical necessity in former days, this gathering of locals also involved festivities including not only the procession and Morris dancing but also sports, fairground stalls, and very full public houses!