Tin Can Band

Tin Can Band
   Young people in Broughton, Northamptonshire, gather at midnight on the second Sunday in December for an hour's worth of procession round the village making as much raucous noise as possible. To this end they bring tins with stones in, dustbin lids, old metal containers with sticks to bang them, and so on. They do not know why, or for how long the custom has existed, but the villagers have successfully fought off attempts to suppress it. There are one or two stories to explain the custom - it was done to frighten off Gypsies, or it was done to express disapproval of the birth of an illegitimate baby, and the latter is possible because of the similarity between the Tin Can Band and *rough musicking. However, most writers point to the fact that this is the eve of the town's *feast day (Old St Andrew's Day) and may simply be a way of starting the festivities attached to that celebration. A very similar gathering, *Teddy Rowe's Band, formerly signified the coming of Pack Monday Fair, at Sherborne, Dorset. Kightly, 1986: 219; Shuel, 1985: 71; Sykes,1977: 148.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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