This memoir was written in 1976 when Lilliian Wragg lived in Fountain Sq, Youlgrave, she was in her 70's at the time and reminices about her childhood in the early part on thr 20th century on Midsummers day. She talks about the Tap Dressings which is commonly known as welldressing


Reminiscences of "Midsummer Day"

What megic in these words, as we look back almost seventy years ago!

Only those who have been born and bred in this village can fully realize the meaning of Midsummer Day in Youlgrave. So much to do and see! Tap

dressing, band playing, club walking, and the final attraction the cricket field

and Hurdy Gurdies!

A whole year bound up in a day - Midsummer Day. What eager hands, and feet rushing about for moss and flowers, climbing the hillside, knocking at the doors! "Please have you got any red daisies. Please have you got any pinks?" etc, etc. And how we asked each other "Which tap are you helping?"

The one of course your father helped to dress. And the taps! Top Tap,

Bank Tap, Frank Evans Tap, The Cross Tap, and the Bottom Tap!

And what a thrill when we were allowed to stick in the Indian Corn on

the borders!

So to bed the previous night, tired out, but with dreams of a marvellous day on the morrow - Midsummer Day - confident "Our Tap" would get the first prize.

The day arrived! What a busy morning! Second best clothes to get out, shoes out of their boxes from under the bed and the little dawer in the

bedroom unlocked from which a tissue paper parcel was taken "The Club Sash".

How we gathered round to look at the lovely green sash worn by members of the Forestere Club, and after many instructions, not to mess our clothes -

they were our second best - not to climb walls eta., we went to see the Club Walk!

What a thrill! The changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

could have given no bigger thrill.

The band in their uniforms, the lovely banner of the

Foresters Club, then the men in their bright green sashes,

with little fingers clasped as they walked in twos.

There was one special figure in the procession

"My Father" in that lovely green sash - mustn't miss him!

Service in Church followed the procession and dinner in the huge tent.

What a dinner! How they sang its praises! To us children

it was a Royal feast just to hear about it!

Procession again after tea, then - a very important occasion for us children - meeting Aunts, Uncles and Cousins, because this meant so many relations,

so many pennies for the "Hurdy Gurdies".

We were rich on Midsummer Day if it only amounted to sixpence and very often went home not having spent up. How we looked at those pennies, and how many times we counted them! for this was one of the three days in the year we had money of our own. A birthday penny, a bright penny in our stocking at Christmas, and a Midsummer Day penny!!

After all, our pleasure in the cricket field was not in spending all our pennies but rather in seeing all the things there were to amuse those who had

more money than we - Cocoa-nut stall, Aunt Sally, Try your weight, Shooting gallery - not spending a penny to win a pound but getting

real enjoyment forour penny.

And so, tired out but happy we wended our way home. It didn't matter if

"Our tap" hadn't won the first prize.

A year today we would be dressing it again and

we might win first prize then

It would be Midsummer Day!!

L. Wragg•