Suffolk tradition takes hold tonight

A SUFFOLK tradition revived ten years ago will be taking place at Middleton, near Leiston, tonight .The Old Glory Molly Dancers and Musicians will be blackening their faces and donning farm labourers' clothes to perform entertainment dating back hundreds of years.

A SUFFOLK tradition revived ten years ago will be taking place at Middleton, near Leiston, tonight .

The Old Glory Molly Dancers and Musicians will be blackening their faces and donning farm labourers' clothes to perform entertainment dating back hundreds of years.

Molly Dancing is a form of ceremonial dance, and Old Glory perform only in winter, led by a 'Lord and Lady'.

Every Boxing Day evening after 8pm, they process through Middleton and perform dances, music, Cutty Wren songs and retell the story of how the Cutty, or little, Wren became the king of the birds.


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Up to 200 people attend each year to see the carved wren being carried on a garlanded pole.

BBC Radio Suffolk has commissioned a documentary about the tradition, which is being broadcast at 1pm on New Years Day.

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A book and CD produced by Pete Jennings in conjunction with BBC Radio Suffolk & Old Glory about the origins of the custom and the history of Old Glory are also being launched today.

The Old Glory & The Cutty Wren costs £4, and a CD of the same title is priced £8. For more information, phone 01787 238257 or visit www.old-glory.co.uk.

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