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Here we come a'shroving

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Mar, 2019 10:19 AM

A Headteacher in Dorset says hers is the last church school in the country to take part in the ancient tradition of 'Shroving'.

Shroving, which once took place throughout the country on Shrove Tuesday, is the custom which marks the beginning of Lent by encouraging local children to sing and recite poetry in exchange for food or money.

Durweston VA Primary School staff believe they are the only school to continue this tradition, but the children ask for no financial reward as they walk around the village, singing the Shroving song and placing flowers on the doorsteps of local homes. They just hope for something nice to eat.

The song they sing is a traditional Shroving Song, although nbobody knows how old it is. The song's words, which suggest certain foodstuffs as a reward, also suggest these are served hot:

Here we come a'shroving
For a piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle cheese
Of your own making
So blow the fire
And heat the pan
For here we come a'shroving!

Nicola Brooke, Headteacher at the School said:
"We believe we are the last school to carry out this ancient tradition and we do it every day, rain or shine, but let's hope it is a sunny day.

"At the end of the morning, after the children have sung and eaten their full, any remaining flowers are laid on the grave of Valentin Rickman, a villager who set up a fund to ensure that Shroving continues in Durweston, and on the grave of Mr John Paulley, another villager who was a long-standing governor and friend of the school."

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