Last Friday a huge marquee was erected on the front lawn of the Metung Hotel. There was obviously going to be a wedding the following day.The hotel is known for its location as an ideal wedding venue as it looks out onto Bancroft Bay.
You might be asking what this has to do with the title of the post, “Will there be a poor-oot?”, well the link is weddings. When I saw the marquee it got me to thinking about weddings and one thought followed another until I ended up with a childhood memory of the poor-oots we had when there was a wedding in our little village in Fife, Scotland.
Our village was only small so when there was a wedding in the village church it was a given that most people would know about it. It was something that was looked forward to with anticipation by the village children as there is a wonderful Scottish tradition called a Poor-oot which takes place after the wedding and as the bridal party is driving away. The children are congregated around the gates of the church and are eagerly awaiting the throwing out of loose change so they can supplement their pocket money.
I was wondering if it still happens nowadays and when I checked on the Internet I found this.
“This custom is still observed in some places but is becoming increasingly rare. A reason is to be found in one of the quotations in the Dictionary of the Scots Language illustrating the word scatter. The Church Notes (Nov. 5 1967) for St. George’s West, a church right in the heart of Edinburgh, comments: “The increasing volume of traffic today makes the traditional ‘poor oot’ or ‘scatter’ a hair-raising experience”.” (Scottish Language Dictionary)
This is taken from the book “Oot the Windae” by Davie Reilly
The kids in the street were going mad
for into his pocket reached her dad
he had a handful of money to chuck away
he’d been saving for months for this special day
through the open window his hand was raised
and all the kids got strategically placed
where you stood was always a gamble
out came the money that started the scramble
Ha’pennies an pennies an thrupenny bits
trying to catch some in your grubby mits
silver thrupennies disguised as tanners
and all the kids forgetting their manners
pushing and shoving on the ground
chasing the coins that were rolling around
down in the gutter for the last few pence
and at the time it seemed perfect sense
When the dust had settled after the stramash
we stopped and counted all of our cash
now tenpence ha’penny was a fair haul
four pennies a ha’penny and a tanner an all
my hands were cut and my knee was grazed
a small price to pay for the money raised
pulled up my socks in which I bled in
and went up the road to another wedding
You can read all about the tradition here.