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Dexter St. Clair
QUOTE
Hi

Can anyone advise the Glasgow term for this ritual involving the bride-to-be walking round the streets with a chanty filled with salt. Her friends would be banging pots and pans and singing. A pub crawl was completed collecting money for kisses from any willing man. Its driving me a my friends and family mad trying to remember the term for this.

Hopeful thanks

A1424


Was this always called a Hen Night or was there a particular Glaswegian phrase to describe it? Did it take place after the show of presents?

stuarty
the show of presents was after you got engaged and the hen night was just an excuse for a booze up a never had either as my leave time in WRAF would not allow it so it was home 2 days married then a weeks leave then back to work
GG
From the Scottish Wedding Folklore section of the Scottish Wedding Pipers site:
QUOTE
Pre-Wedding Day Traditions:

Bridal Shower:

The term 'bridal shower' comes a bride’s 'show of presents'. Local women-folk would traditionally give items to help establish the new couple’s home. Today, the show of presents frequently takes place in the mother of the bride’s home. Gifts are now a bit more luxurious - rather than just practical as they were in days gone by. Invitations for the bridal shower are sent to the people who have given the couple wedding gifts. These gifts are unwrapped and set out for viewing. Guests can come round and see what the couple has received.

Hen Night:

It's traditional that after the show of presents, the bride to be is dressed up and her friends will take her through the town singing and making noise with pots and pans to announce her wedding day. This is now known as the ‘hen night.’

http://www.scottishweddingpipers.co.uk/Sco...g_Folklore.html

GG.
Dexter St. Clair
The phrase Bridal Shower appears to have originated in America to describe a tradition brought over by the Dutch when a dowry was not provided by the father of the bride friends would step in and donate useful gifts. It was practiced elsewhere but in Scotland the phrase used was the more direct "show of presents".

The phrase "Bridal shower" to my knowledge has never passed the lips of any Glaswegian, Even Lulu's.

The only exception of course would be Glaswegian journalists who refer to the Underground as the Clockwork Orange.

I have a feeling that the tour of the pubs by the Bride, her sisters and her pals was part of the "Show of presents" which was continued at her mother's house with her aunts and friends of her mother.

In later years it split off into the "Hen Night"

I will be guided by the females on this board and in the tradition of the show of presents I will remove myself from the house and go the pub.
Melody
laugh.gif Your quite correct Dexter, in Glasgow while the aunts and mum's pals were having tea and sandwiches and (possibly a tiny sherry) at home, the bride's pals and sisters would dress her up and take her round the local streets. The bride would carry a baby's potty with salt in it and passers by would be encouraged to kiss the bride and put some money in her potty. smile.gif You still see that same tradition locally. Most brides dreaded it but had to just go with it and it usually ended up being great fun. Pots and pans were bashed together to draw attention. :
*Sooz*
Hi - new to all of this and fell upon it looking for a restaurant named The Fountain which I think used to be near Charing Cross.....

The tradition of the bride going round the pubs used to be called a Shirraking - (sp?) - as I recall from the lasses in the punch room at Rolls Royce!
Heather
I remember during the 60s one of the girls I worked beside was leaving to get married.
We had the usual 'sheet' round the Office for money to buy her a wedding present.
On her last day at work and as our Office was in Ingram Street, we dressed the girl up and took her round to George Square where we made a circle with her in the middle and danced and sung all the usual silly songs sung on those occasions.

At one point a man asked what was going on, he was from Holland and had never seen anything like our carry on. One of the girls explained to him it was a Scottish custom to do this when a girl was getting married. He set up his tripod and camera and asked us to start again and he filmed us.

As it was 5-30pm and the works all closing for the day George Square was very busy, so we had quite a big crowd enjoying the fun.

We also had a laugh when we took the girl to Buchanan Street underground to get the subway home. One of the presents we had got her was an alarm clock and another girl had set it to go off when they were on the subway.
When she came back to work after her honeymoon she told us she near collapsed with fright and embarrassment when the alarm went off and everyone was looking at her and her two friends with her did nothing to help in getting the clock out the box to switch the alarm off, they were too busy laughing. laugh.gif
Elma
When I got married in 1959 I was working in Stow College of Engineering. The janitors decorated one of their big dollies that was used to moving the equipment around and they and the girls in the office put me on it and they pulled it onto New City Road where we stopped the traffic (at 5 o'clock in the afternoon!!) all the way to St. Georges Road and back along Shamrock Street. laugh.gif I was really embarrassed and was glad to get back into the College tongue.gif I have never heard about the salt though.
kentzo
Dexter, perhaps the event had an ‘official’ name but it seems to have been lost over time. Somebody out there knows. I suppose we’ll just have to call it ‘Hen Night’ or ‘Hen Parade’ for the moment.

The Scottish Film Archive has an excellent video of a hen night in 1989. It shows a ‘hen night’ in the Partick Tavern, Glasgow, with the bride-to-be being dressed up and the girls with their pots and pans. They’re also singing “Roll Me Over”.

Have a look at the video : Glasgow Hen Night

They maybe ventured out into the streets later.

The last time I saw a live "hen’s parade" in Glasgow must have been in the 60’s or 70’s. If I remember correctly, they were ‘hurlin hur roon thi streetz’ in a pram, singing something like :

Hard up, kick the can
Bride's Name got a man
If you want to know his name
His name is Groom's name

When I was in Norway (Bergen or Stavanger), I saw something similar in the 80’s – so perhaps the Vikings brought the custom to Scotland. The next time, someone’s in Norway, ask them about this custom.

Heather can you remember what this Dutch man looked like, and we can nip over to Holland and get a copy of his video.
Karen horgan
can anyone tell me the song or rhyme you sing when the bride to be jumps over her potty before going round all the pubs??/
angel
Was this event not called " the Bottle-ing'...
Heather
I can't remember the songs we sang when taking the bride to be around the streets and pubs and we sang plenty of them.

I remember the Show of Presents for another friend who was very shy and when we took her into a pub in Maryhill Road, we sat her on the potty and told her she had to sing. She sat there on the potty singing the Al Jolson song, ' Mammy'. She got a big applause from the men and plenty of money was put in the pottty for her being such a good sport. laugh.gif
Scutch
Not sure if anyone still has their eye on this thread, but just in case, in Kilmarnock (which if you live abroad, you describe as Glasgow), a hen night is called a "Pay Off", as historically the bride stopped working when she got married, so it was in effect her payoff.

I am now in Holland and I am organising a Pay Off for another Scottish Friend who lives over here and I can't remember what else we put in the potty. I have the crepe paper for the paper flowers, the verses, (attached) salt for the potty, L signs..., is there anything else?

For anyone inter
andy wilson
QUOTE (*Sooz* @ 8th May 2009, 02:45pm) *
Hi - new to all of this and fell upon it looking for a restaurant named The Fountain which I think used to be near Charing Cross.....

The tradition of the bride going round the pubs used to be called a Shirraking - (sp?) - as I recall from the lasses in the punch room at Rolls Royce!

"Shericking" was to come later in the marriage!-if a husband decided to stray with a "fancy wumman" or punctuate an argument with his hands, or decide to spend too much time in the pub or bookies,his aggrieved spouse would meet him coming from work or the pub at the close mouth and loudly and publicly explain to the neighbours exactly what the abberant behaviour was!-ALWAYS at the top of her lungs!,the reason for this was safety,NO Glasgow male would "lift his haun" in public to his wife-the rest of the female neighbours would quickly emasculate him!-seen a few in my time-had one? no chance! sad.gif
nippynell
I think it was called " A Shirraking " Not really too sure, but that name rings a bell, it would be good to find out. biggrin.gif
Heather
' A shirrackin' no decent women with any respect for herself would behave like that in public. ohmy.gif
benny
As Angel said, it was called a "bottling", at least in some areas. The last one I remember was about 1978 in Alexandria, near Balloch. Ah wis caught in two different pubs by aw the mad wimmin wi their chanty fulla salt, an covered in ribbons. Even worse, ah had tae pay twice! biggrin.gif
baggymaggs
rolleyes.gif the last bottling i ever saw was in 1997 i worked in the rock bar in possil rd and the girls came in and a few of the boys ducked into the toilet ha! ha! thay sang hard up kick the can and im getting married in the morning it was good fun and i got the bride to be a big drink. wub.gif
baggymaggs
rolleyes.gif oh! i forgot to say it did take place at the show of presents just before the wedding you had a wee get together a wee drink and some food had a look at the presents and then you hit the streets with your pots and pans and the couple that i went to we had a wee drink in every pub it was hard going ha!ha! it was a great laugh and the lass got a few bob to boot! laugh.gif
Andy Wilson
QUOTE (Heather @ 2nd Nov 2010, 09:56pm) *
' A shirrackin' no decent women with any respect for herself would behave like that in public. ohmy.gif

Aye mebbe so but in those times the only protection from an erring spouse was the protection of her neighbours-any "decent woman" having to endure a philandering husband or a partner spending his weeks wage in the pub would gladly behave like that in public other than get "shown the hoose" by her loving husband!-remember this was 50-60 years ago,women had no protection like todays modern women-no hostels for battered wives or the like-a lot of women "put up with it" and lived their lives in misery,so a "shirriking" was no bad thing-it told the general populace of the area just what was going on behind closed doors and normally stopped the miscreant dead in his tracks.

Not all of us were brought up in nice middle class areas Heather!-The Tenements had a really bad dark side as well.
poolie
By this is another trip down memory lane for me.i left glasgow in 1959 but I lived near two factories and it was a common occurence to see a crowd coming out at closing time friday with THE BRIDE all decorated and carrying her potty and all the others singing along beside her.
i remember show of presents which took place at brides home shortly before the wedding we don't have that down here in England.
RonD
I only remember one, I was sent to Margaret's stationery shop on Broomston Road in Balornock. Loud noises and singing attracted my attention as I watched some young ladies cavorting along the road banging pots and singing songs, being seven or eight years old I was mesmerized by it all.
Guest
This was a common practise in among the "Mill Lassies" of Paisley and surrounding districts to dress up and with their friends, bridesmaids and wedding guests, go out on the "bevvy" and dance through the streets decorated and stoshious. Males were cornered and expected to contribute cash to the "chanty" carried by the future bride. As this was normaly on a Friday night they did quite well. After making a contribution you got to kiss the bride, and as I recall in one particular occasion I got to kiss most of the wedding party. A grand old Scottish custom I was more that happy to participate in.
Melody
We still see them occasionally here and they always make me smile. smile.gif

I remember having a bouquet made of weeds and a baby's potty with salt in it, passing men and boys who seemed to have been forced to put money in it . laugh.gif Some of the men ran away ( well they did have to kiss the bride laugh.gif)

Although I remember dreading it all it was great fun and everybody was lovely. Mind ye I was shocked when I saw the state of my granny's pots after all that bashing of them. Great fun and a lovely memory really. None of the really crazy limos and stuff they seem to have today though.
mlconnelly
I haven't seen a hen night like that in years, remember the song "hands up kick the can". Mary laugh.gif laugh.gif
Guest
A Shirrakin was a public argument usually done by the Women to the man a public. Riddiculing if you like when the man got caught out or spent his wages . It would also happen to women who whent with married men.

My Nana told me all this born in 1906 Govan lived until 1999 in Pollok.

Most of this came from Gossip doon the Steamie.

God Bless Her.
petunia
Another song I remember was "Down in yonder meadow where the green grass grows"
Tally Rand
QUOTE (nippynell @ 2nd Nov 2010, 09:53pm) *
I think it was called " A Shirraking " Not really too sure, but that name rings a bell, it would be good to find out. biggrin.gif

Described in full in the novel " No Mean City" where "Razor King" gets a sherriking from a long time girl friend he has dumped for some
other woman.
Billy Boil
QUOTE (Guest @ 26th Aug 2012, 02:17am) *
This was a common practise in among the "Mill Lassies" of Paisley and surrounding districts to dress up and with their friends, bridesmaids and wedding guests, go out on the "bevvy" and dance through the streets decorated and stoshious. Males were cornered and expected to contribute cash to the "chanty" carried by the future bride. As this was normaly on a Friday night they did quite well. After making a contribution you got to kiss the bride, and as I recall in one particular occasion I got to kiss most of the wedding party. A grand old Scottish custom I was more that happy to participate in.

I remember the 'Mill Lassies" and their round the streets wedding ritual and all the kisses I could get after the pubs shut.
Great times and good fun. Danny Kyle wrote a song about them.
magaret
this was called hard up kit the can when i was younger...
*TAM*
It was called a "Bottling" in Dumbarton in the 50s 60s & 70s early 80s then Hen Night took over .

Girl wid go roon wi pots & pans banging them singing, "Hard Up,Hard Up Hard Up Tin Can Sharon Bakers got a man" . Etc etc or whit ever the lassies name wiz . smile.gif
ExPOW
One night walking to my aunt's house in Balornock, I happened to be accosted by some pot-banging
young women dragging some hapless about-to-married friend around looking for a possible suspect.

Crossing the street (heading eastwards on Broomfield Road Springburn) some fifty yards ahead of
them as they approached, I saw that they had spotted me, a callow youth, allbut eighteen years old.

It was obvious, I was an intended target as they made a beeline straight to me allthewhile increasing their
"Kick the can" chant rising towards fever pitch.
Not quite at the intersection of Broomfield and Drumbottie (how apt?) Road we collided and where it was
announced that some serious lip-locking was required immediately.

And so we did.
The lady in question may have been a little under "the influence" but it became apparent the some of her other
senses quickly woke up. She was quite responsive if not to say entheusiastic.

After what seemed about seven or so minutes she disengaged gasping and was duly lead away.
Half a minute later two of her pals caught up with me stating that they wanted some of what she had
just had.
(women talk)

Oh well.....

Noblesse Oblige.
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