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Revel Home Page  •  Revel 1940  •  Revel Date  •  Revel History  •  Report 2009  •  Report 2010  •  Report 2011
 
REVEL
an extract from 'Week St. Mary Village - a community at large'
written by David M Martin regarding the Revel activities...
We cannot afford to lose this ancient event!!

The origins of the popular annual Week St. Mary Revel are lost in the mists of time although we recall again John Wesley's comment in his journal for 15th September 1746; "A guide, meeting us at Camelford, conducted us to St. Mary Week…. It was the time of the yearly revel, which obliged me to speak very plain".
The Harvest Queen is a fairly new innovation. When Week St. Mary Carnival ceased to be held there was a lapse of some years before the Harvest Queen was crowned in Revel Week to take the place of the former Carnival Queen.
 
High up on the west face of the church which was built in 1643 are three bands of carvings depicting two hounds in full cry after a hare. This could well indicate a connection with the Revel celebrations which have always featured a hunt which met in the square early in the morning of Revel Monday.

This was followed by sports, dancing to a band and fun for the old and younger, including a public tea and a service with a visiting preacher in the evening.

At one time there was a Revel King who was drawn in a farm cart sitting on a pumpkin. This old custom was revived for one year in 1937 when Jack Colwill, sitting on a pumpkin, was crowned 'King' by Rev Hambrook. The King's identity was kept strictly secret until the last moment, adding spice to the occasion.

In former days, celebrations were confined to the Sunday and Monday following the feast day of the patron saint, St. Mary the Virgin. Revel is remembered with great affection by the older inhabitants of the village, not least because Revel Monday meant a day off school. It was a day when any absent member of a family would make a special effort to come home.

The following song was written by Wilfred Rablen, Int.Mus.Bac., F.R.C.O. He was Headmaster of Week St. Mary Council School from about 1903 until the middle of the World War I. He was very musical forming a school choir and entering pupils for some of the County Music Festivals. The song certainly gives a cheery start to Revel time and we are indebted to the late Mrs Vedrenne for producing it.

WEEK ST. MARY HARVEST HUNT AND REVEL

Rise and sing this happy morning:
Hail with joy the festal day.
Week St. Mary holds her revel,
Mount your steeds and ride away.
Join the huntsmen on the moorland,
Parsons, Doctors, Farmers all.
Greet with smiles each jovial sportsman,
Short and fat, and thin and tall.

Refrain:
Shout hurrah! for Week St. Mary:
Shout hurrah! for Revel day.
Jolly boys and buxom maidens
Mount your steeds and ride away!

Ladies fair, with shining tresses
Gaily decked, shall grace our band.
Come my lads, and bring your sweethearts,
Fairest beauties in the land.
Farmer Bunt shall blow the bugle:
Doctor Dick will sing a song.
Hark! the merry bells are pealing.
Get your horses: come along.

Then when all the sport is over
And o'er earth the shadows steal,
To the dear old church we'll wander
Where the Village ringers peal:
Join in harvest hymn and anthem
While the mellow organ rolls:
Render thanks for village comforts,
Pleasant homes and happy souls.

© All of the content of the Week St. Mary website is the copyright of David Martin & Linda Cobbledick except where stated 2006-2015