'Heaving' in Dolday

  • 27 Oct 2020
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The strange custom of 'heaving' took place in Dolday on Easter Monday. A chair decorated with ribbons and coloured streamers was placed in the street and the women would wait for the unwary male to pass along the street, and then by a combined effort, they would force him into the chair and heave him up and down, and only by payment of a kiss and beer money would he be allowed to go free. The next day the men turned the tables on the women. This strange custom was also practised at Kidderminster.

The custom was said to have religious significance, but Victorian churchmen tried to find this for every occasion, when in reality, it was the excuse for high spirits and a little vulgarity, which otherwise would have been suppressed by magistrates and others.