Bawming the Thorn

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‘Bawming’ means decorating, and the thorn in question is in the centre of the Cheshire village of Appleton. The tree is duly adorned in late June or early July with ribbons, garlands, flags, and so on, nowadays mainly by local children, who also process and sing, but previously by the villagers enmasse. Successive revivals and changes have seen the custom tamed. The present tree dates from 1967 when it was planted to replace a predecessor which had been blown down. Unsubstantiated tradition maintains that the first tree on the site was a cutting from the famous Holy Thorn at Glastonbury.

Kightly, 1986: 47;Hole, 1975: 81.

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