The venerable institution known as "rush-bearing" was observed
at Lymm, in Cheshire, up to about half a century ago.
The troupes of morris-dancers which accompanied the cart still parade
the village on Rush-bearing Sunday, but the rush-cart disappeared some
years ago. The cart was drawn by grey horses, selected from the village
teams, and decorated with flowers and ribbons.
On the rushes sat persons holding garlands which were to decorate the
church for the coming year. These garlands were made of hoops slung
round a pole, the strings being concealed by artificial flowers and
All the hamlets the neighbourhood were visited, pre-ceded by morris
dancers, both male and female, who were attended by a fool and Maid
Marian. The latter jingles a bell to a quaint tune, at the same time
holding out a big wooden ladle for alms.
At sunset the cavalcade returned to Lymm where the garlands were fixed
in the church and a peel was rung on the bells.
The morris dancers still turn out at the wakes. The troupe consists of
seven men in fantastic dress, amd maid Marian, who is not so fashionable
attired as when she is Queen of the May.