The Christmas lecture for the Gainsborough and District Decorative and Fine Arts Society was given by historian and author Anna Hallett.
The lecture at the Trinity Centre was entitled A Magical Mystery Tour of Britain’s Ancient Customs or Have you seen my Hobby Horse?
For hundreds of years hobby horses, Jack in the greens, mummery, morris dancing, straw men and other similar characters brought life and colour to civic processions in towns and cities across the country, particularly in the West Country and Cornwall.
Mrs Hallet told the group that hobby horse festivals coincided with the arrival of Maytime spring where the obby oss - a costume worn by a single person and bearing only the vaguest of resemblances to a horse - danced through the town and performed various rituals.
The group learned that the idea that young women might be captured or struck with a stick to bring them luck or fertility suggests a pagan, or at least medieval origin.
The AGM for the Fine Arts Society will take place on 6th February 2014 at 1.15 pm in the Trinity Centre.
Lunch is bookable with Rachel from 12pm on 01427 838780 - details on the membership form.
The lecture to follow at 1.50pm will be from Sally Hoban on Julia Margaret Cameron lady photographer.
Hot drinks are served at 3.15pm. Visitors are always welcome and membership is available by calling 01427 788568.