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The Northern Antiquarian Forum

Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!

    MELSH DICK DAY 10th October ! WARNING !


    MELSH DICK  DAY 10th October  ! WARNING ! Empty MELSH DICK DAY 10th October ! WARNING !

    Post  Guest Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:08 am


    Mid October is the seasonal time to go nutting in Lancashire, but to gather nuts on or before the 10th October is strictly out of bounds.

    Traditionally this date is the limit of blackberrying, it is the day that the devil goes round the countryside and spits on the bramble-bushes, it being the Old Michaelmas day. It is still held in Lancashire that it is a dangerous thing to go out nutting till this day is passed for fear of encountering not only the Evil One but others less malevolent:

    A wood-demon, a sylvan goblin, guards the unripe nuts from the depredations of mischievous boys and often comes to the young nutters in friendly guise, holding down the branches for them to strip before working his impish charms. “Melsh Dick’ll catch thee lad,” was a common threat used to frighten children going nutting at this time. Far better to gather hips of the wild rose on Old Michaelmas for mother to make a confection.

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