Plough Monday raises £1600 for charity

PUBLISHED: 17:35 08 January 2008 | UPDATED: 18:00 31 May 2010

Photo: Michael Boyton

Photo: Michael Boyton

AN ANCIENT and tradition was carried out in Balsham on Monday night, raising more than £1600 for local charities. Plough Monday, an annual event, sees a team of ploughmen drag a heavy plough around the village, accompanied by Morris dancers, collecting mo

Photo: Michael Boyton

AN ANCIENT and tradition was carried out in Balsham on Monday night, raising more than £1600 for local charities.

Plough Monday, an annual event, sees a team of ploughmen drag a heavy plough around the village, accompanied by Morris dancers, collecting money as they go.

Jan Ellam, whose husband is one of the ploughmen, said: "This year was a real success, we got a great welcome at all of the houses we stopped at and raised £1615.75.

"Around two-thirds of that came from street collections on the night, while the other third was from raffle ticket sales."

Photo: Michael Boyton

Plough Monday originates from the 15th century, when it was traditionally the day that farmhands returned to work after the Christmas break.

The tradition declined in the 19th century but was revived in 1972 and the village has re-enacted the age-old ceremony every year since.

Mrs Ellam said: "We still have two founder members taking part now and in the 35 years the event has been going, we've raised about £65,000."

Beneficiaries this year included The Church Institute, MAGPAS and the parish council.

Photo: Michael Boyton

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