Bears, Beers and Bards

As part of the Being Human Festival 2023.

In 1609, Sneinton locals Robert Blatherwick and John Ogle were jailed for drinking and bearbaiting during the hour of common prayer. But what did bearbaiting mean at the time? And why did people sing songs about it like the 17th-century Broadside Ballad, called ‘The Great Boobee’?

To find out, grab a copy of a map of the historical presence of bears in Nottingham and explore the hidden rhymes and reasons behind the old Nottingham such as Bearward Street (now Mount St.) and Houndsgate, where 17th-century locals would have seen bears and dogs walking through the streets.

Walk the route (self-guided, suggested start time of 16:30/17:00) and then come along to an evening of song and storytelling about bears (starting at 18:30).

This will feature original ballads from early modern period and a lively performance by re-enactor storyteller.

This event is part of the University of Nottingham’s festival Hub programme.

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