The culture that is England

For the last 156 years the Britannia Coconut Dancers have blackened their faces and donned skirts for their annual dance through the Lancashire town of Bacup to ward off evil spirits in a tradition recalling the area’s mining history.

The Nutters’ dance traditionally takes place on Easter Saturday over a 12-hour period, taking in various pubs and locations in Bacup.

There is one part that does not ring true though:

After taking legal advice, the group refused to pay and vowed to proceed with the event with or without the co-operation of the local authorities.

Following a month-long stand-off, the authorities have now backed down.

Bureaucrats? Backing down? Has the revolution already happened and no one told me about it?

9 thoughts on “The culture that is England”

  1. Rob,

    Road closures? I normally end up with 3 policemen sorting the roads for our Remembrance Parade. And the local Inspector marching and laying a wreath.

    Permission needs to be applied for a month in advance and the police get to comment (which, in my case, is usually, “Same as last year?). As do other members of the community.

    It all depends on how many people are going to attend. And how much of an obstacle to the usual course of business you are going to be. Traditional, community or otherwise.

  2. Indeed. This sort of thing is basically “there is a new idiot on a committee who thinks things need to be done by the book”. So instead of signing off all of the things, the others reluctantly let the newbie raise them.

  3. And the police seem to have put the cat amongst the committee by withdrawing support for the road closures (according to the report which we will acknowledge might be up to the usual standard of British journalism.) Which means that the parade stewards will need to be appropriately trained in order to manage the traffic.

    I wonder what training they make the guys with the twirly “stop / go” signs at roadworks go through? Although a moving parade is a more difficult thing to manage. Especially as it is moving from pub to pub.

  4. We’ve had a similar state of affairs in my own East Lancashire town. Basically, every year there is a race around the town, and young men dress in silly costumes in freezing weather. The police threatened to close it down but, eventually, they simply gave in and didn’t ban the entire event but told the organisers that, basically, they’re on their own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *