& Hermitage Mummers
About us: Cold Ash
(map) is a medium-sized village just north of Thatcham in
Berkshire and quite near to Newbury. There were mummers all around
this area in the early part of the 20th century but, as in many
places, they gradually died out. Various revivals have occurred but
have not lasted long. The most successful of recent years has been
the Aldworth band, under Rowlie Brown, who have been going for 38
years (2014). We can’t match that but we have been going now (2014)
for 21 years.
The Cold Ash
band grew out of a village play staged in 1993 in which a mummers
play was performed. This version was 'borrowed' from a Hampshire
play and whilst it bore some resemblance to the local one was
a result of researching and writing the village play, I thought it
would be good to try to revive the original Cold Ash play as far as
we could. Rowlie Brown let me have copies of various publications
and I visited the Folk Law Library in London to see if I could find
an original version.
was that of Thatcham plus a few snatches of the Cold Ash play
remembered by some of the older residents when interviewed a number
of years ago. So with a bit of imagination we have managed to
recreate something of the original. I'm certain that there was a lot
more that has been lost but we've made up for it.