Thursday, January 03, 2019


Dancing the conger to see in New Year 2019 at the Exchange Bar in Brigg - see Nigel Fisher's Brigg Blog

Seeing the conger (above) being danced at the town centre's Exchange Bar to welcome in the current New Year set Brigg Blog thinking about other January 1 traditions.
Someone posted images online showing people linking arms and singing the words of Robbie Burns' poem Auld Lang Syne outside the Lord Nelson Hotel.
But was the old custom of 'first footing' celebrated anywhere in Brigg when 2019 arrived?
We can recall people appearing at the front door in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s carrying a lump of coal which signified warm good wishes for the year ahead.
To qualify for good fortune over the next 12 months you were expected to invite them in for a drink and a bite to eat to say thanks for dropping by.
Elsewhere within the UK, first-footers brought salt and bread.
It was specified that the first-footer had to be male. So perhaps that explains why this custom has waned.
Society today practises equality and male-only preserves are felt to belong firmly in the past.
Brigg Blog takes a 'sit on the fence' approach.
If someone makes reference to 'chairman' in a meeting we attend, that's the term used in our posts.
If we receive a quote from 'a spokeperson for North Lincolnshire Council' that's how we report it.
But we refuse to re-write history. If a man's job was 'foreman' we stick with this term, while 'linesmen' assisted referees at football matches we covered in the past.
Moving with the times, Brigg's Ladies' and Men's hockey club joined together some years ago to form Brigg Hockey Club.
New Year's resolution: We shall work hard to stay consistent in our approach to equality throughout 2019. But we won't be striving MANFULLY to achieve this.


Ken Harrison said...

As I grew up, I was often expelled outside just be midnight of New Year with food, a lump of coal and some cash....these represented future good fortune with substinence, shelter/warmth and wealth.
On one occasion, I was licked outside for a considerably long time during a New Year's party occurring inside....the conditiions were a snow blizzard and despite my loud banging on the front door, no-one appeared to hear over the party's singing.
Eventually, I had to gain access via a neighbour's house and climb over the fence and enter via the back Mum was more concerned that I hadn't entered via the front door, which was seemingly also part of the custom....
Never heard of salt being used...

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