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Costume in Legend and Tradition

  • 31 August to 1 Sept
  • 09:30-17:30
  • Blackburn Museum, Blackburn BB1 7AJ

Costume in Legend and Tradition:  


Doc Rowe dressed as “Heather Man” at Whitby Folk Week August 2019; photo Jill Pidd

31st August– 1st September 2019 at Blackburn Museum, BB1 7AJ, UK

“What have we here, hempen hampen? St. Martin has cut the feather cloak of the swanwife into an ale-conner’s breeches. Tell her to buy me a cambric shirt and tie a knot in the handkerchief. We will stitch together green gowns and drowned men’s jerseys, wooden shoes and iron crowns. It doesn’t take a cloak of invisibility to spot the invention of the traditional kilt. In the language of fans, widow’s weeds form a hat-trick with bridal veils and christening gowns. It would be best to turn your coats, for the mantle of Elijah has fallen on the shirt of Nessus.

Is that a pantomime dame or is it just a boy in a dress to confuse the fairies? Do not dress up as a stag, for that is devilish; red riding hoods and vampires’ cloaks were all the rage when this old hat was new. Armed with the Virgin’s girdle, Janet’s tied her kirtle green and is not afraid of doing penance in a shift. The glove is up! or was it thrown down by a champion in spiked armour? Throwing his cap into the ring and her bonnet over the windmill, the outlandish knight pulls off a silken gown. It fits, Sire, it fits. Suits you Sir!

Come to this two-day conference on Costume in Legend and Tradition, to be held on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September 2019 as the fourteenth Legendary Weekend of the Folklore Society, at Blackburn Museum, Lancashire BB1 7AJ.



The conference fee is £25 for speakers, £50 for others attending.

To book, contact Jeremy Harte, Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF. 020 8394 1734