STRONG WINDS blowing across the Lambley playing fields did nothing to diminish the celebrations of Cowslip Sunday on 1 May 2011. The performers, mostly residents of the village, rose to the challenge presented by the elements and delivered their one-time-only performance of Lambley Jack and the Giant of Ploughman Wood to the great enjoyment of the crowd.
In the play, Rotbeard the giant is wakened from his slumbers deep in the wood by the merriment of the cowslip fairies and humans celebrating Cowslip Sunday. He determines to destroy the cowslips, and the fairies, by stealing the fairy treasure during the annual accounting.
Local hero Lambley Jack sets out to save the treasure and rescue fairy Princess Paigle, but even with the help of Ralph de Cromwell and members of the audience the mission seems set to fail. At the last moment, the Green Man is summoned and proves to be a force so powerful that even Rotbeard is defeated. Seeing the error of his ways, thanks to a bucket of cowslip wine, the giant determines to be friends with the fairies once again.
The performance was the focal point of the day, which also included a procession through the village of Lambley, and Arts and Crafts Fair in the village hall, and the Cowslip Ceilidh in the evening.
The photographs on this page were taken by local photographer Mel Fletcher, to whom we are grateful. We’ve also found a couple of short videos on YouTube, which show the challenge presented by the conditions. We’d be happy to see any other footage and perhaps add this to YouTube ourselves, if any reader has a video recording we can make use of. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help (and of course your original material will be returned).