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Villagers keep ancient Lymm Rushbearing Festival alive

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VIDEO: VILLAGERS gathered to keep alive the ancient Lymm Rushbearing Festival, as it followed its new route through the Dingle to avoid the expense of road closures.

Organiser Chris Limb had decided to stop the tradition three years ago due to the rising cost of road closures but revived it last year.

Members of the Parish Council, were joined by Lymm Morris, Bollin Morris andRev Beverley Jameson and members of the public to parade bullrushes through the Dingle to a specioal service at St Mary’s Church.

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!

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