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The Haxey Hood. 2020.

This game, now nearly 700 years old, is held on the 6th of January* each year. Thousands gather in the early afternoon to see the “Fool Smoked” , hear his speech and to watch or partake in the game.

The group then moves to a nearby field where the game is to be played.

The games start with the Children’s Hood Games where, over a period of time, 12 soft canvas hoods are throw into the crowd.
The enjoyment this gives the kids is written over their smiles and heard in their laughter. The adults cheer them on laughing and whooping. Yes it’s violent but there is no anger. 

Each throw in of the canvas Hood is performed by the Lord of the game or other notables as well as the Boggins (Marshalls). These children’s games are supervised by one of the fitter and faster amongst the group of Boggins. The kids are a bit quick.
This year I didn’t stop for the adult games so I’ve include a  shot from years past.

Notable this year is the appearance of a new “Fool”, the last one having retired last year after 25 years in the role – though he was here, in the thick of it.

You can read all about the tradition and the game itself here on Wikipedia

The Haxey Hood, Haxey, North Lincolnshire.

Note on above…
* the exceptions being when that falls on a Sunday.  In those years the Hood is played on the Saturday before.

Jan 2020


The adult Sway from a few years back


Lord of the Hood


Smoking the fool


Smoking the fool


The Boggins Smoking the fool


The field of play


Smoking the fool – he nearly got roasted this year.


The Lord and Chief boggins with another Boggins. The Chief Boggins has the Adult Hood in his hands.


Enjoying the Children’s Hood


A canvass Hood in full flight


Children in the Children’s Hood Game


The Lord launches a canvas hood for a children’s game


This is my 3rd picture by way of a contribution to the  “One a day for a year” project initiated by David Barrett, a British photographer living in Gloucestershire.

David says the project, which he calls “Trip around the sun” was inspired by Barry @pixelsonapage and ‘The Once More Around The Sun’ project shot by Joel Meyerowitz.
It’s not intended to produce a masterpiece everyday” he says. Adding, “It’s more a survey of your everyday”.

This is my image No3. It’s a wooden mask I have at home.

The developing results of the project reside over on Twitter under the hashtag:


Lincoln. Today.

Jehovahs witnesses stand beneath the arches of the 16thC “Stonebow” in the High St at the bottom of what was once the Roman Lincoln Colonia.

The “Stonebow” we see today replaced the original Roman Southern Gate to the city. It was completed in 1520 and has survived two seperate decisions to demolish it.


Vibrant art in Lincoln Gallery.

An exhibition of picture by the artist Jacob Lawson opened in the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln this week.

It’s hard to believe this is Jacob’s first show. What is not hard to believe is the work is strong, strident and selling well, The first images were snapped up by a buyer from Germany.

This is a must see show. Be ready for an overload for the eye. If there is one criticism it would be there is simply too much.

Go to see if you can. The show is open until 4pm on the 22nd December.
You can find information about Jacob, his work and the gallery here…

Sam Scorer Gallery. Lincoln



16th December 2019.


Christmas, Lincoln 2019


This weekend, it’s the Christmas Market in Lincoln. I rarely go into the city at this time but yesterday I did.

It’s the usual mayhem – and this was just on a Saturday morning, I’m told it’s much more crowded when it’s dark- with thousands of people puffing and panting their way from the lower ground at the bottom of the city, up Steep Hill – and it is – to the Cathedral Quarter at the top of the city. I walked down the hill against the flow. The crowd was that dense it was difficult to pass.

The castle and the asylum grounds were open and were filled with the usual Christmas market stuff, tat and tacky gifts, mulled wine with a side order of fast food. I’ll give you that the surroundings are very special with the 1000 year old cathedral as a backdrop. And yes, at night I’m sure it provides a very special experience but, it all seems like a senseless waste of money.

I was talking to a Big Issue vendor. I asked him if he sold more papers at this event. He said he did, slightly, but that it was ‘overwhelming’. It was all too much for him and he was going home. This excess just made me think of those who have little, and how this time of year must magnify the differences.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses occupy their usual spot under the Medieval ‘Stonebow’ arch in centre of the city; all glowing, well fed faces with their leaflets and signage, “Find Family Happiness” it said. A homeless man with his swaddled canine friend sat nearby, the ghosts of Christmas shoppers drift by, faceless.

I was struck by the tragic image created. Have’s and have not’s all in one frame. Religion and poverty side by side. Trite, hollow, unhelpful messages about imaginary friends and yet they seem oblivious to the tragedy at their feet. The Christian message – at least as I understand it – seems weak in them, perhaps in us all – and that’s from an atheists.

I’m reminded of some time spent in India when we experienced Langar* at a Gurdwara provided by the followers of Sikhism. Free food is provide for all. Langar is provided by Sikhs all around the world. Iv’e seen it in Birmingham. The Sikh community provides excellent free food to those in need, or indeed anybody who wishes to take it. That’s what you call a caring community.

*served to all, without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity.

PD Barton
Lincoln 2019



Barristers. Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln castle sits high on Lincoln Edge, overlooking the city.

Within the space created by the  Norman curtain wall defences of the castle there is an early Victorian Prison, now disused, and a building housing Law Courts. The law courts are still in use. It’s not at all unusual to see prison vans delivering those who are about to be put on trial lined up, within the walls, at the back of the law courts.

It was a sunny day towards the end of September 2019. I was walking the circuit along the top of the castle wall. Looking down into the castle I saw a couple of Barristers discussing a case, probably with their instructing solicitor.

Lincoln 2019