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Quack doctor resurrects dead Turk in miracle at West Berkshire pub: the Mummers return



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Pictures by Geoff Fletcher & Barry Hopperton.

THE Aldworth Mummers made a triumphant return to the village on Saturday night, after falling victim to pandemic restrictions last year.

The roving players, who by tradition remain anonymous, visited The Bell Inn, to act out the allegorical play about good versus evil/death and rebirth.

Cheered on by the pub customers, with a healthy dose of hiss and boo from ‘hecklers’, hero King George slayed the Turkish Knight in bloody sword-play. Enter the quack doctor, who performed the ‘miracle’ of bringing him back to life. And so the cycle was complete.

Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers

The plays, going back hundreds of years, are traditionally performed in villages around the midwinter solstice. The players, in various guises, have performed regularly since 1976, at numerous local drinking establishments, including the Pot Kiln, the now defunct Star in East Ilsley and in more recent years at West Berkshire Brewery. The Aldworth Mummers also visited The Royal Oak, Yattendon, this year.

It was rumoured that there were new actors among this year’s line-up, many from Aldworth itself, although their identities are kept a strict secret. However, there were some familiar voices in the pub tap room after the performance, enjoying the award-winning pub’s famous rolls and mince pies, courtesy of landlady Heather Macaulay.

Some believe the mumming tradition dates back to pagan times, while others say they are medieval. It is now thought that the type of play popular today dates after the mid-18th century.

Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Barry Hopperton Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Barry Hopperton: Aldworth Mummers
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher (53812996)
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher (53812996)
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher
Aldworth Mummers 2021, picture Geoff Fletcher


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