Dance Display - Cast Theatre – Doncaster – 30th May 2015


Maltby Sword Dancers & Plough Bullocks

Their home town of Maltby in South Yorkshire is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the Parish Church of St. Bartholemew in the oldest part of the town dates back to Saxon times.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Plough Bullocks, were groups of farm lads who went out between Martinmas and Plough Monday with dances and plays to entertain the gentry and hopefully, earn a bit of money to tide them over the winter months. Maltby’s team of Plough Bullocks were mentioned by Fred Kitchen in his book, ‘Brother to the Ox’, a wonderful account of the life of a farm lad in the town.

The tradition enjoyed short-lived revivals in the 1920s and the 1970s until in 2002 the dance was revived by students at the local secondary school. Since then the team has grown and, with the support of parents and friends has developed into a community folk dance club performing their own sword dances and plough bullocks’ dances collected in East Yorkshire.