Teddy Rowe's Band


Teddy Rowe's Band
   In the morning of Old Michaelmas Day (10 October) in Sherborne, Dorset, the coming of Pack Monday Fair was formerly signalled by Teddy Rowe's Band. The Band was composed of young people who paraded the streets making as much discordant noise as possible on horns, bugles, whistles, tin trays, saucepans, and so on. The origin story explains that Teddy Rowe was the master mason employed in the 15th century to build the great fan vault in the nave of the Abbey Church. When the work was completed, the workmen packed their tools and paraded in triumph around the town. This neatly explains the procession and the name 'Pack Monday' for the fair itself. Teddy Rowe's Band was suppressed in the 1960s because of the potential for rowdyism it offered. The signalling of a fair with a discordant band is not unique (see *Tin Can Band), and such a noisy gathering is also a core feature of *rough music ceremonies.
   ■ Hole, 1976: 291-2; Wright and Lones, 1940: iii. 95-6.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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