About this website…

By John Burrell


John B                  Ted D

The site was designed, and the material compiled by myself , with the magic that makes the whole thing work, being done by Ted Dodsworth. So blame me if I’ve got the details wrong and Ted if you don’t successfully “return to main menu” !

Firstly, if you are looking for the history of the mumming tradition or for a detailed list of texts for research purposes, I must apologise for you will not find them here.   In due course, more information of that nature may be added but at present, this site is about one particular team and what they have got up to since 1974, in the hope that it will provide those that have seen us down the years, with a pleasant trip down memory lane or perhaps it might give inspiration to a team in its infancy.   The views expressed and memories that you see are mostly mine, at least for the moment.   Visitors and team members, existing and old, are welcome to contact me if I have forgotten something or got something wrong as inevitably I will have done.   For this I can only apologise – this is after all, a first attempt and things will get better, I hope.

As the longest serving member of the team I have wanted for some time to pull together some of the photographs and bits and pieces that have been cluttering up our study for years, and try and put together some logical record of our history so far.   This is, I hope, a good start.   Those that know me will be aware that I have a certain love of keeping records and statistics (something to do with a misspent childhood train spotting and a career dabbling in and out of railway timetabling!!) – the little books that I kept on the Knaresborough Mummers’ activities have proved vitally important in being able to track what we were up to down the decades and have enabled me to pinpoint the date and location of most of the photographs that are available.   The photographs themselves are , I’m afraid, mostly of poorer quality for which I apologise, but also thank those who took them for the sake of posterity.  From my point of view, a few pictures of every play at each stage of its development, taken on an expensive camera by David Bailey would have been ideal – sadly, the extreme opposite applies!!  Not only were most of the pictures taken on little point-and–shoot cameras of dubious quality, but there seem to be fistfuls of pictures about one particular play, all taken at the same performance, then nothing at all about another play!  The early years have suffered the most and I know I am guilty of keeping a unique colour slide so “safe” that I could not find it for use on the site!   I have tried to document all stages of the plays that we have performed and I hope that these pages will expand as other material comes to light or if memories are re-kindled.

Cranks !!

I would like to thank John Hutt, Dave Dearlove, Doug Child, Valda Atkinson, Julian Sharpe, Ian Hazell, Jeff Garner, Ted Dodsworth, Margaret Kershaw, My Old Mum, and many others for the pictures taken over the decades. Also, Ted must get an extra pat on the back for pulling all this together!

Finally I would like to thank Richard Hardaker for persuading me to do a mummers play in the first place, all the team members that have trodden the boards down the years and given us all a laugh, and particularly Jim Mayer and Stuart Rankin for influencing the way we did things, also Chas Marshall for lighting a match under me at critical moments.   And let’s not forget the audiences – their laughter makes it all worthwhile!!   Cheers!