Letter: Bringing back Bielby to the fore

John Peel pictured in a rag coat at Bielby fair in 1990.
John Peel pictured in a rag coat at Bielby fair in 1990.

Recently The Pocklington Post’s Memory Lane (28/7/16) included a picture of me in a rag coat in 1990, complete with pipe and tabor.

The occasion was Bielby village fair, when Pocklington School pupils and staff performed traditional English stick and sword morris dances, plus a St George play.

We had also just performed that morning at Beverley Folk Festival.

The previous Christmas, the school had staged “The Mysteries” and the youngsters had learned various folk arts to incorporate into the ancient plays.

They enjoyed them so much that they asked if they could continue to practise and perform elsewhere.

So, a touring side was set up, head of drama Alan Heaven came up with its name, “Solstice”, musician and technician John Williamson made the props and we then appeared at numerous seasonal celebrations and folk festivals.

The group attracted some highly enterprising and individual pupils.

Of those performing that day in Bielby, one subsequently married a French lawyer and lived in Paris, one entered business in New York and narrowly escaped the Twin Towers disaster (out of the office at the time), while a third went on to tour the world with The Royal Shakespeare Company: all a very far cry from a summer’s afternoon in Bielby.

John Peel