Whit Sunday 12 June sees one of the most important events in the calendar of members of the Ancient Order of Sherston Mangold Hurlers – Mangold Maid Making.
After local candidates had undergone vigorous examination by members this year’s Mangold Maid was ‘choosed’– to use the right expression – at the Orders AGM in April. The chosen young lady’s identity has since been a closely guarded secret in Sherston village but all will be revealed at the Mangold Maid Making ceremony at the Rattlebone Inn at 2pm this Sunday. With traditional mangold songs and impressive regalia on show this is an event not to be missed. Landlord of the Rattlebone Inn Jason Read, in his capacity as Keeper of the Maids, said ‘being made Mangold Maid is the highest accolade
bestowed upon a young lady of the village and will lead to her enjoying a whirlwind of
social occasions between now and the Mangold Hurl on 2nd October ‘.In times past a night with the Mangold Maid was the ultimate prize for the Mangold King – the winner of the Hurl. Whilst modern sexual discrimination legislation has ended that aspect the maid is still vital part of the sport of mangold hurling in Sherston.
Years ago many villages’ orders of hurlers had their own maids who would visit en masse all the local hurls. Indeed it was at the Alderton Hurl in 1934 that an initial spat within the Maids enclosure led to the mass brawl or ‘Altercation’ as it became known and subsequent acquittal of all charges against 21 members of the Sherston Order at Devizes Quarter Sessions the following year. Sadly today Sherston is the only village remaining with a maid.
As well as the Making there will be a competition before hand at 1.30pm to appoint a new Summoner for the Order. Sadly Summoner Malcolm Jarrett passed away last year after sterling service with the Great Horn of Moyne, the historic hunting horn used to call participants to hurls .Those entering the competition will need to be able to show equally impressive techniques on the horn as Malcolm if they are to be deemed worthy of stepping into his smock and gaiters.
All are most welcome to attend the Maid Making and to dink a toast to the Maid with a glass, or two, of scrumpy.