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Pace eggs and plays

17 May 2019

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or to add to the answers given below


French and other European lan­guages use words derived from pesah (Passover) for Easter. Even we use paschal lamb and other technical terms. The data of the Survey of English Dialects (1948-61) disclose that, north of a wavy line from Liverpool to Middlesbrough, Easter eggs were apparently called “Pace eggs”. Is this still common? Further, apart from scholarly usage, does the use of Pace or similar for Easter extend beyond this? [Answers, 26 April]


Your answers: Jane Carter says that in the 1970s Pace eggs were still made. I can confirm that in 2019 they are still made in Alston (North Pennines) and, I have no doubt, more widely, too.

Sarah Glover
Alston, Cumbria 

Our thanks also to Frank McManus, of Todmorden, who sends a cutting from the Halifax Courier of 29 April, with the headline: “Sun shines down on the annual Pace Egg plays”. The report, by Abigail Kellett, states: “The sun shone down on Good Friday as crowds gathered to be entertained at an annual Calder Valley tradition. The Heptonstall Pace Egg play takes place every year in Weaver’s Square and follows an unusual story that has been performed for several centuries.

“This year David Burnop celebrated his 40th year as The Doctor in the play and was cheered on by the crowds. . .

“The Midgley Pace Egg play also took place on Good Friday. . .” Editor


Your questions: Do any parishes still crown a May queen? If so, how is she chosen?

P. M.


Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.


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