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The Lincolnshire Ran-tanners

May 19, 2009

What on earth is the woman on about now!!  Pray tarry awhile and all will be revealed….

The old custom of ran-tanning goes back to the Middle Ages, and died out after the First World War.  In the north of the county it was called ‘riding the stang’…but more of that later.  Ran-tanning was by no means a local tradition, for in East Anglia and Sussex it was known as Rough Music.  No doubt other counties and regions had their own name for it.

Ran-tanning was a form of mob justice whereby the ‘victim’, usually someone who was a wife-beater, would be intimidated by the whole village parading outside his house banging on pots and pans, indeed anything that would make a noise…hence ran-tanning…or rough music.


Back to ‘riding the stang’…this was another form of ran-tanning, but this time the…er…’victim’ was tied astride a pole and forced to complete a tour of the village surrounded by the noisy mob.  According to the Rev GS Streatfield, writing in 1884, ‘stang’ was derived from the Anglo-Saxon  word ‘steng’ meaning pole.

And did you know…this brings me to my sunbonnets….?  Yes, because back in the 80s, I was asked by Thames Television to make some East Anglian sunbonnets for an episode of Hannay (starring Robert Powell)…called That Rough Music.  Stop me if I have mentioned this before…….hehehe…..Wink  

49 Comments leave one →
  1. Bran permalink
    May 19, 2009 11:30 pm

    Stang was an Anglo-Saxon word commonly used for distaff the stick that was used to hold the wool or flax, whilst spinning yarn with a drop spindle before spinning wheels were used, wonder if that\’s why the men were made to ride it as an insult to their manhood? Nowadays the forked Stang is seen by many who practice "modern Witchcraft as a symbol of the old horned god, bit of a turn around from ultra feminin to major masculine. Like the idea of rougth music though, should bring it back so that we can hand out a form of summary justice to some of the little b@$%* that seem to be around today!

  2. Sandi permalink
    May 19, 2009 11:49 pm

    I\’m with you on that one, Bran…it is so frustrating when \’officers of the law\’ say that they can\’t do anything because they didn\’t catch the buggers in the act!!And thanks for the info about the \’stang\’ thang. Sorry…that one just fell out…!!

  3. Natalia permalink
    May 20, 2009 12:10 am

    Re, Rantanning. I wonder if that is where the word Ranting now derives from? I also feel that it hasn\’t really disappeared from our culture as there are still incidents of this sort of behaviour happening all the time. It\’s now seen as bullying or Mob rule perhaps?? It\’s has been not unknown for a whole area to turn up outside a police station where a suspected Peodophile was being housed for an interim period. Needless to say crowd dispersal tactics where employed. Good Blog Sandi, very interesting and ehem the Bonnets. A feather in one\’s cap. :o) xx

  4. Curiosity permalink
    May 20, 2009 5:39 am

    I could nominate a victim for you if he ain\’t bucked his ideas up by the time he gets in from work!On another note…3am yesterday, a girl and a boy aged about 11 were trying to vandalise our car, we caught them on video ( as suggested by police) and hubby followed them and \’had a chat\’. They were both drunk and unruly. Now, don\’t you think the parents should be ran-tanned.Good blog Sandi.

  5. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:03 am

    I agree with you, Anne…I\’m sure there are plenty of ignorant, self-indulgent, couldn\’t-give-a-monkey\’s-about-their-kids parents out there who definitely need ran-tanning, along with kiddie-diddlers, abusive husbands, abusive wives, etc., but these days they are the ones who hold the law on their side and claim that their \’human rights\’ have been violated. What about the people whose human rights have been violated by them, and theirs…?!If the criminal classes had to run the gauntlet of their own neighbourhoods turning out en mass to mete out justice, I think a lot of them they would think twice about committing crimes.What has happened to this world…?!!Natalia, I know that mobs do form where a paedophile is being held…but do they bang on cans, and pans and things to make a racket?

  6. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:06 am

    I can also add to that list: Those who mug old people and prey on the vulnerable, and those who abuse children. There are many, many more, but you know what I\’m getting at, here.

  7. Eileen permalink
    May 20, 2009 12:49 pm

    Very interesting blog Sandi I\’m shocked at the parents of those 11yr olds! 3am on a school night! Some people don\’t deserve to have children! Grrr

  8. Curiosity permalink
    May 20, 2009 1:10 pm

    More shocking that the kids think it ok to rip off aerials, wipers, scratch paintwork and smash windows.I left for work at 6 this morning and the three of the roads were littered with plant pots taken from various gardens and strewn across the roads. The industrial bin was a hazard having been plonked in the road at a junction.

  9. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 1:36 pm

    They know they can get away with it…just get told not to do it again!! There is no real \’punishment\’ any more because of this \’human rights\’ crap!! (OK, it\’s crap in instances like this, but not for the real reasnons that it was brought out for! People like these just abuse it…too many people abuse the Human Right thing, and it needs editing!!)

  10. Eileen permalink
    May 20, 2009 1:44 pm

    Don\’t even get me started! Back in my day (oh I\’m so old! lmao) if we were naughty the police man would come and give you a right telling off, clip around the ear, possibly lock you in a cell for a bit (with parents permission). Now a days the kids laugh at the police and teachers? we grew up with the slipper etc.. now a teacher\’s not even allowed to touch a child to help them up!Grrrrr

  11. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 2:06 pm

    I\’ll join you on that soapbox, Eileen! Hey, Anne! Remember some of our teachers…throwing the blackboard rubber or chalk at anyone who played up. Then there was the slipper or ruler! We had more respect for our teachers…well, we knew our boundaries, and that is something kids today don\’t seem to have, so they get away with all sorts. It\’s scandalous!!Those do-gooders who made it an offence to hit children, and stop aduls laying a finger on \’em…again, it was all to help and protect the vulnerable but has been abused by the wrong ones!! This is another thing that needs revising, so that bad kids and vulnerable kids can be seperated and dealt with differently. Human rights, and kids sueing adults (in some cases their own parents!) has got out of hand, and it\’s the honest, law-abiding citizens that end up suffering because of it!!!!Rant over (for the time being!!)

  12. Curiosity permalink
    May 20, 2009 2:25 pm

    Our lives are just a microworld of the bigger picture. Look at history..every dictator that ever there was or is has been pulling power over weaker beings despite the masses knowing they are awful people. Seems that disregard for others, bullying, me me me and temper tantrums on a massive scale exists in every level of \’class\’ Yet they still get away with it..why?…do we fear the reprisal of facing bad with good? Or should we be as bad as them and blow the consequences and live above the law.Oh yes! I remember that chilling fear of walking to the heads office and dreading my parents finding out. Especially the day I said a swear word!!! Never cursed since, good girl me!

  13. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 3:03 pm

    Um…I\’m afraid I swear like a trooper when my blood is up!! But otherwise….I don\’t like to hear people peppering (liberally) every sentence with expletives…lack of vocabulary, is all it is, and they are showing themselves up.This governmet of ours is the worse ever…greed, lies, bullying..definitely time to get rid of the buggers!!!

  14. Eileen permalink
    May 20, 2009 3:20 pm

    Very rarely swear unless I\’m in a foul mood, and like Sandi I hate it when every other word is a swear word (eldest son is a good at that one and I normally tell him to leave if he can\’t have a conversation with me without swearing).Sandi – blackboard rubber.. now you\’re talking!! ruler accross the nuckles (that had just been banned when I started school but the teacher used to smack the table next to you with the ruler).

  15. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

    Banned, eh? The rot beginning to set in!! One teacher even had an old-fashioned cane…and he used it! Can\’t remember who that was. Mr Kilby (maths) was evil with the chalk…he never missed!!

  16. Mike permalink
    May 20, 2009 4:01 pm

    Lol just knew this blog would turn into a general rant! :-)Yeah, funnily enough most of the maths teachers i knew had a wild look in their eyes when pushed too far! Quite often \’The square of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle is equal to the sum of the square\’s of the adjacent sides\’ turned into a slap on the back of the head if got wrong! 🙂 xxx

  17. Eileen permalink
    May 20, 2009 4:47 pm

    lol.. Mike I\’d have thought you\’d be brilliant at Maths!Oh infant school the Head Master had a cane … I was a good girl then so I didn\’t get to feel it.. it all went downhill rapidly at junior school!

  18. Mike permalink
    May 20, 2009 5:03 pm

    I was a boy wonder at maths….then my mind turned to girls and as far as i was concerned Pythagorous could stick his Theorum where the sun didn\’t shine! 🙂 xxx

  19. Curiosity permalink
    May 20, 2009 6:03 pm

    My mum used to say a little bird told her all that I had been up to. It knew I was up to no good so many times (usually round Sandi\’s house, bad influence that she was) and I was always caught out. Same little bird helped me with my daughters, funny how it knew their mischief too. Ask "What have you been up to today? because the bird told me anyway" in a stern voice and see if the guilty crumble and get flustered or not! The truth is always in the look. Works every time. Birdy is watching grandkids now!

  20. Cornish permalink
    May 20, 2009 7:41 pm

    I used to tell my two that I could see them across the valley and into the school. They\’ve never mis-behaved but then I think I\’ve dragged them up right. I\’ve never had to smack them and a word in their ear about right and wrong has always done the trick. I like your blog Sandi, very informative as usual. Are there any tanners available these days. I know someone who could use them!Serendipity is on tonight again (so I\’ve been told). Don\’t ask where or when though cos I haven\’t looked.Enjoy the rest of your evening. xx

  21. Eileen permalink
    May 20, 2009 7:59 pm

    And it all went downhill from then on eh Mike?I can\’t comment on my boys.. they\’re both terrified of me but still get into trouble! Boys will be boys eh? (daren\’t tempt fate by saying any more on that one!)

  22. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 9:01 pm

    I\’m staying out of this one…except to say that that soddin\’ little birdy didn\’t half get around a lot!!!

  23. Bob permalink
    May 20, 2009 9:07 pm

    Dat\’s cos ickle birdies got ickle wingy-fings for flyin wiv, innit!

  24. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 9:13 pm

    Dat don\’t givs \’em the right to spy on peeps, though, does it!!!

  25. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:01 pm

    Mike…maths is a foreign language to me…never did get on with that subject…art was more my thing. Oh, and history, english, science and even geography…but maths…nah!!!! I did enjoy needlework when I was young, but when we took it at school…I was looking forward to it…our teacher soon put me off! Anne remembers the same thing, doncha."That\’s not good enough! Undo it and do it again!!" It was to be years before I picked up a needle again…when I had my first encounter with a sunbonnet at the museum…but you already know this…

  26. Curiosity permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:23 pm

    Yep. Only so many times you want to unpick a snake draught excluder! Had better things to do like go to Sandi\’s house for the parties and cider.I can still feel the rap on my knuckles if I rest my wrists on the desk when typing. Used to have to balance a 2p on top of our hands while we typed, as I am doing right now. whoops! the right hand one just fell off. Keyboards have changed a lot since th….. oops fell off again…since the sit up and beg typewriters. Keys are much less of a slant now, closer together and don\’t have to hit keys with mallet to make them type. Oh the memories long forgot are flooding back now…carbon paper, the white paper thingys to correct mistypes, ribbon, the ding of the return bell. Do you know what….I miss my old dinosaur typewriter. oops left one fell of now while wiping tear from eye.

  27. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:34 pm

    LOL! I remember when I learned to type at college (well kinda)…we had those old things where you had to ash the keys. Then off we all went up to the main college and brand new electric things…you can imagine what we ended up with using the same force…a page full of one lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleetterrrrr….! Oooooooopppppppssss!!!!!!!!! At least with today\’s keyboards you can touch lightly or bash \’em, but you don\’t end up with a llllllllllllllline of one letttttttttttter.You make snake draught excluders? We made an apron, and I remember the dress pattern and fabric I bought for a dress…that never got finished!! Why? Because I spent so long undoing it and doing it again…it must have been thrown away in the end…gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

  28. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:46 pm

    Sorry, I meant made snake draught excluders, not \’make\’…! Keyboard again…can\’t spell…!!

  29. Sandi permalink
    May 20, 2009 10:49 pm

    Erm…actually, I think it was Gary who had all the cider and Party Sevens…remember those…?!!! We either gathered down at the shed, or indoors…\’cos his parents were out in the evenings….oh, those were the days…(sigh)

  30. Eileen permalink
    May 21, 2009 8:39 am

    lol.. the first thing I made was a rag doll.. I sewed it to my skirt and had to undo the whole thing!I was actually asked not to consider history or geography for my O level options! I can\’t think why! But numbers are really my thing (just as well in my profession).

  31. Princess permalink
    May 21, 2009 9:58 am

    Yo Sandi! Good Morning! Ooh thanks 4 that, very interesting! Hope u have a Good day 2day, it\’s bucketing it down here! Luv PF XXX

  32. Bob permalink
    May 21, 2009 5:52 pm

    Didn\’t do much in the way of crafts at school, I was one of the nerdy types (before the word was heard of over here) that actually wanted to do well academically, so spent most of my time in junior school trying to be top of the class at maths and english.

  33. Cornish permalink
    May 21, 2009 7:11 pm

    Still use the pinny I made when I was eleven. I even made a copy of it for number one chile to give to her Nan for christmas last year. How good am I? :o)

  34. Cornish permalink
    May 21, 2009 7:11 pm

    *sigh* That pinny\’s ten years old now. ;o)

  35. Sandi permalink
    May 21, 2009 8:50 pm

    Er…I\’ve still got the sunbonnet I made for myself when I worked at the museum…1984…\’you do the math\’, as they say across the pond. I don\’t have anything older than that.

  36. Sandi permalink
    May 21, 2009 9:16 pm

    I ran out of fingers and toes, so I added a few pens…and it came to…e…twenty-five years…there!!

  37. Curiosity permalink
    May 21, 2009 9:26 pm

    I still have my teddy that my gran gave me when I was born. It still is and always has been on show in my bedroom since then. That is the oldest thing of mine that I have.

  38. Sandi permalink
    May 21, 2009 9:31 pm

    I remember your teddy…you used to call her Tedditha, or something like that, and you made a dress for her in purple satin…how am I doing…close…?

  39. Curiosity permalink
    May 21, 2009 10:22 pm

    I don\’t know if I remember that or think I remember. Something in the deep recess of the gray matter is stirring. I would be helpful to be really old and start remembering further back in time and forgetting what I have done recently.

  40. Sandi permalink
    May 21, 2009 10:40 pm

    What did |I do today…? Anyone tell me…?!! I haven\’t a clue…!!!!

  41. Sandi permalink
    May 22, 2009 1:01 pm

    OK then…what is your teddies name, now….?

  42. Curiosity permalink
    May 22, 2009 1:02 pm


  43. Sandi permalink
    May 22, 2009 1:19 pm

    Ted? Is that it? These days I\’ve got Toby, Humphry and Timmy, Pennell, Andy, Big Ted, Humphrey, Jack, and a couple of little Crimbo teds….plus a few tigers, a lion…and others. I was going to put them all together for a group photo, for Kayley and Phil…\’cos they\’re not the only ones with a flat full of teddies…LOL!!! What\’s wrong with being a big kid…?!!!!!

  44. Curiosity permalink
    May 22, 2009 2:02 pm

    Who says that as we grow older we HAVE to be mature as well?

  45. Eileen permalink
    May 22, 2009 2:41 pm

    I have Eeyore, Eeyore, another Eeyore and a few more Eeyore\’s! 2 Eeyore\’s sleep on my bed with me (when I\’m on my own!) Oh and I have a Bath Me2You Bear that I was given by Sandie at Marc\’s wake – who also sits on my bed.

  46. Sandi permalink
    May 22, 2009 7:52 pm

    Can I infer from this that you…er…like Eeyore then…?For Kayley and Phil…we have a teddy shop in Lincoln called Teddy\’s Den. I daren\’t stop to look in the window becaue I want to buy them all! So sweet, cute, and cuddly. Why are men only like teddies when we are getting to know \’em, but are more like bears with sore heads afterwards…? (Hmm…maybe I shouldn\’t have added that last comment, because there\’s bound to be a reply to that!!!)

  47. Curiosity permalink
    May 22, 2009 10:24 pm

    If men were like Bears it would be great because they could hibernate for months at a time in a cave instead of in the pub and on the sofa for hours each day. What is that knack they have of falling asleep with the tv remote underneath them making it near impossible to get for fear of waking them up again therefore suffering endless repeats of Top Gear …("oi! I was watching that" muttered amongst the snores if the channel is changed) ..or does that only happen in my house?

  48. Sandi permalink
    May 22, 2009 10:49 pm

    No, I\’ve heard the same story from other women. I don\’t remember Robert ever doing that.

  49. Bob permalink
    May 24, 2009 9:53 am

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ*snort*mumblemumble Oi! I was watching th……. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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