The literal meaning of widdershins is to progress in an anticlockwise direction or to go AGAINST THE SUN. In many old folk tales, traditions and superstitions to proceed widdershins was tempting fate if not downright dangerous.

Superstitious sailors would never turn their vessels anti-clockwise and after a good meal the port decanter was never passed widdershins around the table.

Local children would never dance round a ring of toadstools in the fields either nine times or widdershins because to do so would give the fairies power over you and you would be taken away to work for them.

On the North Yorkshire Moors in Fryup Dale there is a mysterious spot (picture) called Fairy Cross Plain and here many years ago a boy by the name of Thomas Skelderskew did both just to show the silly local girls that this was superstitious nonsense - you can guess what happened!!!

Fortunately, whilst we might ask you to dance widdershins we will never do it nine times and never round fungi of any description.
Copyright Dave Chapman 2010

Here is one for the curious.

Visit the Interesting Facts About the Meaning of Widdershins page.

Widdershins Ceilidh Band

In The Beginning

The band was formed more than 20 years ago and for a number of years was called The Broadgate Band, named after the local farm in Westerdale on the North Yorkshire Moors in whose barn it first performed. Two of the original members Melodeon/concertina player Adrian Hopley and Bass/mandolin player Dave Chapman (men of the moors) then met up with fiddle player Gillian Edwards and caller Nigel Staton from Robin Hood's Bay (folk of the coast) and Widdershins was born.

So Who's Left?

Widdershins was greatly influenced by the introduction of ex Bully Wee keyboard player Phil Moore (another coastie despite his name) with his great feel for the style of music and his sometimes uncontrollable flare and ex jazz drummer/singer Jack Gibson (man of the moors) with his tuned percussion and his woolly gloves cellotaped to the skins.

Both Jack and Phil also play with the Rough Diamonds backing blues man Steve Phillips.

This line-up has remained constant for longer than we care to recall.

But What On Earth Does Widdershins Mean??


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