Voices and Pictures from Tideswell and Litton's recent past
Terry Yates describes how everyone got involved in Tideswell wakes, including the rivalry to decorate houses and streets the best.
“What’s your earliest memory of Wakes Week?
Wakes Weeks everybody used to be involved, because there was rivalry in the place between each house and each street as to who could decorate house or street the best. Sometimes, like you get up Town Head now in Lower Terrace Road, all the streets in Tideswell used to be like that. It was more competitive than it is now because you see in them days there was no TV or very few and people started about February/March time making paper and crepe flowers and that sort of thing. So by the time Wakes came, everybody had got what they wanted to all more or less set up and settled. There was a lot more rivalry then than what there is now.
What did you parents do, did they decorate the house?
No, I did it because me dad wasn’t artistic in any way, shape or form and mother was always at work, she hadn’t got time. So what was done really, I did it. No Wakes Week was totally different altogether. I think actually I’ve a photograph somewhere where we went in as Tidsa saw’y’heads heads. Where we had this couple dressed up in cow suit with his head through the gate and two stood the side of it, with a big cross-cut saw, and I think now, thinking back, I’m the only one on that photograph who is still here. All the others have passed on. It was enjoyable. Everybody used to look forward to it. We got better weather then as well. It didn’t get rained off like it do now.”