Weather And Folk Lore Of Peterborough And District Part 7

Weather And Folk Lore Of Peterborough And District -

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On July 26th, 1681, the Rev. John Wray, M.A., F.R.S., writes in his diary:--

"We (Mr. Wray and Mr. Willoughby) began our journey northwards from Cambridge, and that day, passing through Huntingdon and Stilton, we rode as far as Peterborough, 25 miles. There I first heard the Cathedral Service. The Choristers made us pay money for coming into the choir with our spurs on."


Helpston cracked pippins, And Northborough cracked pans, Glinton fine Organs, And Peakirk tin pans.

The Churches of Tansor and Cotterstock are not very far from each other.

Cotterstock has four bells, and Tansor only two. The villagers say that the Cotterstock bells ask:

"Who rings the best? Who rings the best?"

and Tansor proudly and rapidly replies,

"We do, We do, We do, We do."

Tansor now possesses three bells, so their answer now is "We three do."

The Pancake bell is still rung regularly in Peterborough on Shrove Tuesday.

The Gleaning bell is rung in the district.

In some Parishes a bell was tolled during the time of a corpse being put in its shroud, and was called the "Winding Bell."

The Church Bells of Helpston, Northborough, Glinton, and Peakirk are described as:--


A mole spot on the body, is considered lucky.

One with the mole on the neck, will gather money by the peck.

A mole on the left shoulder, betokens a drunken husband.

Right eye itching, sign of joy, Left eye itching, sign of sorrow.

Right eye joy, left eye cry.

If your nose itches, you will kiss or shake hands with a fool.

Nose itching, going to hear news.

Rub it on wood and it's sure to come good.

Palm of right hand itching, you will receive money.

Left palm itching, you will pay money away.

If your knee itches, you will kneel in a strange Church.

If your foot itches, you will walk on strange ground.


The moon, meek guardian of the night. _John Clare_ (unpub.)

To see the new moon for the first time through glass is unlucky especially the first one in the year.

You should always turn the money in your pockets when you see the first new moon in the year, and if one of the other sex is near an interchange of kisses increases the good luck.

To see the new moon the first time over your right shoulder is lucky, but if over the left shoulder it is unlucky.

The first new moon in the year is stronger in its influence than the others.

If the new moon does not appear until the fourth day, it foretells a troubled time for the whole month.

When the moon appears on the fourth day very clear and sharp and rather on the slant, it promises mostly fair weather for the month.

An erect moon is said to threaten wind.

Near full moon a misty sunrise, Bodes fair weather and cloudless skies.

When the clouds of the moon to the West fly away, You may safely rely on a settled fair day.

When mountains and cliffs in the clouds appear, Some sudden or violent showers are near.

Sun rising red and fiery foretells wind and rain. If cloudy and the clouds decrease it is a sign of fair weather.

If after rising the sun goes to bed again (that is going behind clouds) it is a sure sign of rain.

The evening red, the morning grey, Are surely signs of a very fine day.

Children are told they may go and play in the fields, or open, when the sun shines on both sides of the hedge.

A black cat following anyone into a home brings good luck.

Mice coming into a house indicate a death.

A mouse running over anyone is an infallible sign of death.

The squeaking of mice behind the bed of an invalid, or the appearance of a white mouse running across a room, are also signs of death.

Pigs should be killed when the moon is on the rise.

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