Balsham’s Ploughmen and the Cambridge Morris Men took to the village’s streets to celebrate their annual tradition yesterday (Monday, January 13) and raise more than £2,000 for good causes locally.
Plough Monday is celebrated in Balsham every year on the first Monday after Twelfth Night (Epiphany), with cries of ‘Pity the poor old plough boy!’ and ‘Gee up!’ ringing through the streets.
Instead of raising cash to see the Ploughmen through the winter months as they did centuries ago, the modern Ploughmen, accompanies by Morris dancers, now raise money for good causes.
The event was revived in Balsham in 1972 and carried on annually ever since, with Ploughmen carrying buckets to raise the cash and also holding a raffle.
Jam Ellam, who organises the event, said: “It went really well and was really nice.
“Without the fantastic welcome that our hosts give us it wouldn’t have been such a success, as they were brilliant and so generous.”
The £2,045 raised will be split between the Church parish nurse scheme, new crockery for the church institute, the 1607-2017 400th Anniversary Map Project and replacing the Ploughmen’s bench in Mays Avenue Green.
The event alternates which end of Balsham it starts at, and this year began at Fox Road before heading down the High Street to Woodhall Lane.
West Wratting Road was next before Princes Close and then The Bell before finishing at The Bull.
Theories as to how the event started range from the Danes introducing it as a tax to a celebration of a return to the work for the Ploughmen and even the agricultural workers demanding money from residents while they was no work and threatening to plough up their lawn if they did not give.
For a full report and all the latest news see Thursday’s (January 16) Echo.