Members of the Stalham Band gave Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh a good ‘mumping’ this year, as they visited the royals at Sandringham House in West Norfolk.
Established in the twelfth century, the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle is on December 21st, and is locally known as ‘Mumping Day’, as the poor went begging to the homes of wealthy landowners singing or playing instruments to increase their appeal. In Norfolk they became known as ‘Mumpers’.
Recent research has revealed that the Stalham Band has been ‘mumping’ in the community for over 150 years, although the practice has now changed from knocking on wealthy doors and playing carols, to holding day-long sessions in shopping centres, playing at carol concerts and visiting residential and care homes for the elderly.
“For the last five weeks the band has been on its yearly festive campaign of ‘mumping’, raising funds for the band and local charities,” Director of Music Tim Thirst told 4BR.
“And last Saturday, the house we were invited to play at was something rather special.”
In 2007 the band became the first to be invited by Her Majesty to start off her holiday in Norfolk by playing carols at Sandringham House, and this year the invitation came again.
After undergoing last minute security checks the band coach was given a police escort into the House grounds, before 37 players and their MD assembled in the ballroom to provide the royal party and over 50 house staff with a half-hour programme of Christmas music.
In 2007 the band became the first to be invited by Her Majesty to start off her holiday in Norfolk by playing carols at Sandringham House, and this year the invitation came again4BR
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh spoke with all the players, with Her Majesty being very interested in the band training scheme running in the Stalham area schools which gives children free instrument loan and free tuition.
Before the players were treated to festive refreshments in the house, the Duke arranged for a group photograph in front of the house to mark a ‘mumping’ to remember.