VIDEO: The ancient tradition of Lymm Rushbearing festival was kept alive with a mini socially distanced event on the car park of St Mary’s Church in the village.
In a closely guarded secret, to ensure members of the public did not attend a mini Rushbearing went ahead on a glorious sunny afternoon.
Lymm Morris, Parish Council Chairman Cllr Geoff Hawley and his wife Alison , Eileen Mundy representing the local history society attended with “cameraman” Rev Bev Jameson and event organiser Chris Limb.
Chris decided not to let the coronavirus pandemic bring another halt to the tradition after stopping it four years ago due to the rising cost of road closures before reviving a scaled down version in 2018.
Lymm Rushbearing was originally 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!