Mark Norman

Folkmoor: Red Hair Members Public

As I quickly write this column late (sorry Editor Laura!) I note that it is 5th November. As everyone will be considering the Gunpowder Plot and fireworks as being associated with this date, I thought I would instead note that it is also International Love Your Red Hair Day. Stereotypes

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

Folkmoor: The Maypole Members Public

1922 © The Lustleigh Community Archive‘Right well aloft, and high ye beare your head, As ye would beare the great shaft of Cornhill’ So wrote Geoffrey Chaucer in reference to the maypole which used to be found at the church of St Andrew Undershaft in London. This pole was so

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

Histories and Mysteries: Arsenic and Old Eggs – Some unusual Devon crimes – Part 2 Members Public

A county stereotyped for its quiet rural life, Devon finds its notoriety occasionally. We continue our look at some of the seedier and more unusual crimes from Devon’s past. Appearing before Plymouth magistrates on 11th December, 1947, photographer William Baker was accused of selling obscene photographs. He entered a

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

Histories and Mysteries: Concealed ferrets and shredded trousers – Some unusual Devon crimes Part 1 Members Public

Chapel of St Clare at Livery Dole – Copyright Richard DorrellAlthough generally a peaceful place, Devon has – like everywhere else in the country – its share of crime. Thankfully only a small percentage of recorded crimes are especially dangerous or a threat to life. Looking back through history, many crimes in Devon

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

Folkmoor: Laying Ghosts Members Public

As we are approaching All Hallows Eve, Samhain or Hallowe’en (depending on your viewpoint) we should all be on our guard for the possibility of increased hauntings! As a liminal boundary time, Hallowe’en (to use the modern generic term for the period for simplicity) is a time associated

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Local Life

Folkmoor: Is Widecombe really the Otherworld? Members Public

Along with many other long-standing traditional events which take place on an annual basis (Ottery St Mary tar barrels being the latest to fall) Widecombe Fair is having to take an enforced hiatus this year. Twelve months ago in this column I wrote about the traditional song associated with the

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

Histories and Mysteries: Beyond the Hound of the Baskervilles, Pt 2 Members Public

In the last part of this serialised Histories and Mysteries investigation into the legends behind The Hound of the Baskervilles, we noted that people have recorded stories of phantom dogs for many hundreds of years. We also explored some of the history of the  physical dog and saw that it

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Features

BEYOND THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, PART ONE Members Public

© PAUL ATLAS-SAUNDERS“I sprang to my feet, my inert hand grasping my pistol, my mind paralysed by the dreadful shape which had sprung out upon us from the shadows of the fog. A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever

Mark Norman
Mark Norman
Columnists