Lymm Rushbearing, 1840

Click for large version of the postcard

Other information from a variety of sources

Colour photo and some information on Art UK website (external link - opens in new window)

Police Uniform

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The [painting] shows a mounted policeman leading the procession which gave me something to go on regarding uniforms etc.
Further research from the Cheshire Police Museum proved that The Police Committee for the Cheshire Constabulary, was not established until late 1857, and after a further meeting decided that the Cheshire Police uniform should follow that of the Metropolitan Force i.e. the colour of the uniform be blue. Superintendents wore frock coats with braid, and white gloves; so this depiction can date from no earlier than 1857. 
Usually, we must be cautious with such sources because of a degree of artistic licence, but here however it is highly unlikely that any painter would depict such fine details as a superintendents uniform before they existed.

From the e-book

(new win)

The painting was sold by auction as part of the estate of the late Robert Oldfield at Oak Villa Farm Burford Lane, Oughtrington, Lymm, on Thursday December 12th 1918 by John Arnolds, Auctioneers, of Altrincham and although many locals were keen to acquire it, the picture was sold out of the village, and no-one knew the purchase.

The picture is described in the auctioneers listings as a 'large Oleograph "Rushbearing at Lymm" in a gilt frame'. (Note: An oleograph is a print in imitation of an oil painting).

According to the diary notes of folklorist Derek Froome, Donald Adamson, successor to Robert Oldfield had many enquiries about the painting but could not help. 
In January 1954 Derek Froome met the old clerk of John Arnolds, the auctioneers who remembered the auction, and he subsequently met with Mr. Arnold (son) who endeavoured to find a record of the auction which he also remembered, but all the records were pulped c.1938.

The painting is now in the possession of the Castle Folk-Life Museum in York, but there is no record of when or from whom it was acquired. The museum kindly supplied the photograph.

Location of art work

Internet blog

We headed for one of the reserve collections of York City Museum -- "outstores" they call them, in the jargon -- which is housed in an exceedingly anonymous-looking unit on an industrial estate on the Hull road. 
I was keen to see a painting "Lymm Rushbearing, 1840" which I had traced to York, and was in the happy position both of learning more about this picture and also of being able to tell them a lot about it myself. A curator opened the door and, through all the cardboard storage-boxes, took us upstairs. 
This picture, a good example of naive folk art, records a traditional ceremony enacted for hundreds of years in the village of Lymm in Cheshire, where I was brought up. 
From 1861 to 1918 it hung in our farmhouse at Lymm. As a boy I remember my father being consulted about it several times: in particular, where had it got to? Somehow it surfaced mysteriously in York. 
My father could tell them nothing, for we did not take over the farm until 1923, by which time the picture had been gone for five years. 

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ŠThe Lymm Morris
Last updated 16 September 2016