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Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour

Bob TB 24 Dec 05 - 05:46 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Dec 05 - 06:07 AM
Bob TB 24 Dec 05 - 06:32 AM
Fidjit 24 Dec 05 - 09:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Dec 05 - 10:55 AM
breezy 24 Dec 05 - 02:13 PM
Malcolm Douglas 24 Dec 05 - 03:29 PM
The Shambles 24 Dec 05 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,Rumncoke 24 Dec 05 - 04:12 PM
Bob TB 24 Dec 05 - 04:15 PM
The Shambles 24 Dec 05 - 05:02 PM
Manitas_at_home 27 Dec 05 - 03:17 AM
Liz the Squeak 27 Dec 05 - 07:17 AM
Herga Kitty 27 Dec 05 - 08:41 AM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM
The Shambles 27 Dec 05 - 09:59 AM
The Shambles 27 Dec 05 - 10:12 AM
Bob TB 27 Dec 05 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 28 Dec 05 - 07:35 AM
Liz the Squeak 28 Dec 05 - 03:10 PM
The Shambles 30 Dec 05 - 09:21 AM
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Subject: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Bob TB
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 05:46 AM

Merry Christmas to everyone.

For those in the London area this Christmas the Herga Mummers will be continuing their 30+ year tradition of Boxing Day performances on Monday 26th. This year we will be performing without safety net or licence! I doubt any of the pubs is licensed for "plays". In fact the songs may be the only legal part of the activity! Next year I'll submit a "temporary event notice".

We start at the Case is Altered, Eastcote at noon, moving on to the Queens Head in pinner. Full details can be found at www.hergamummers.org.uk.

If anyone wants to come and join in they are welcome, to be honest I'd be happier with another member this year. Email me today. No experience necessary.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 06:07 AM

Or Herga Mummers

Mick


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Bob TB
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 06:32 AM

Thank you for that Mick. I hadn't checked the link. Brain on holiday for Christmas!

BTW - you're welcome to join us. Your ad-libs are greatly missed!

Bob


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 09:45 AM

No collars on the tatter coats, so no chance of getting the collars felt then. 'allo, 'allo. What's this 'ear then?


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 10:55 AM

Sorry Bob - much as I miss vanquishing Turkish Knights, I'll be watching Handsworth again this year.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: breezy
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 02:13 PM

All the best

L O m once


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 03:29 PM

Since Morris dancing and "similar" activities are exempt from licensing requirements, and since Morris and Mumming often overlap in tradition, there would seem to be a good case for considering Mumming (even where no dancing is involved) to be covered by the exemption.

Most local authorities will know nothing about either mumming or morris, of course (and neither will their legal advisors); those that acknowledge their lack of expertise on the subject might be inclined to accept an assurance that the two things are "similar" within the intention of the legislation. Others, I suppose, might argue the toss; but would perhaps be wary of the very good chance of being made to look ridiculous in the local (or even national) press.

It would be interesting to have a (informed) lawyer's opinion.


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 03:54 PM

It is morris dancing or any DANCING of a similar nature, or a performance of unamplified live music as an integral part of such dancing - that is exempt.

Not sure why this dancing is exempt - but there appears to be nothing to explain it or any reference to the word 'tradition'.

Clearly a play is not exempt - not even poor old Punch and Judy. But is mumming a play?

This 'guidance' from the DCMS website is of questionable use as it tends to futher confuse rather than provide a guide as to how the words of the Act should be taken - but it may give some support for an argument that mumming may not be a licensable play.

It may be possible for a non-licensee to pay and apply for a TEN for mumming their pub - but perhaps it would be better for all concerned if it did not need to be licensed at all.

Will Re-enactment Societies require a licence?

This would depend on the precise nature of the specific activity being carried out. If the re-enactments are dramatic pieces in which what is done by the persons performing (whether by way of speech, singing or action) involves them playing a role in the presence of an audience for the purposes of entertaining that audience then they would come within the definition of a "play" under the Licensing Act. If they are then performed for the public or for a charge and with a view to profit, or for the members and their guests of a qualifying club, a licence would be required unless an exemption applied.

If the re-enactment was staged purely for the enjoyment of those taking part and not for the purpose of entertaining an audience, no licence would be required. It is the same for masquerades and other forms of role playing (depending on the nature of the masquerade, there may also be a performance of a dance). The existence or otherwise of a script will not affect whether what is done falls within the definition of a "play" under the Act.


The main and perhaps the only question that needs to be answered for all the activities that could now be considered as Regulated Entertainment boils down to one: Is it is for the purpose of entertaining an audience? Is munmming for this purpose?

Morris dancing is certainly for this purpose but this is exempt.


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: GUEST,Rumncoke
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 04:12 PM

You could always claim it is part of The Great Dance - the circling of the seasons, the turning of the year, the movement of the planets - and it is not performed for the entertainment of the audience but to ensure the sun's strength will return to light the world.

See just how far you can push the nonsense back at them.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Bob TB
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 04:15 PM

I looked at the Act itself. Mumming clearly falls within the definition of a play given in the Act.

Morris dancing is specifically exempt. The section is headed "morris dancing, etc" but it is specific that this is for dancing. As the courts will interpret the act on the normal English meaning of the words used I can't see us getting away with mumming under this clause (we don't dance).

Also I can't see that bursting into a pub and performing a short play will be seen by the courts as purely for our enjoyment. Pushing the point a bit.

We can twist words and look for loop holes but in the end it is a judge's interpretation of the words that counts - and you better be pretty sure that he will read it the same way you do.

The only safe way for us, that I can see, is the "temporary event" route as we only perform once a year. Or for the Minister of State to use his powers and make us exempt :-)

HAppy Christmas,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 05:02 PM

Also I can't see that bursting into a pub and performing a short play will be seen by the courts as purely for our enjoyment. Pushing the point a bit.

Sadly I would tend to agree.

Unlike a participatory session - which I accept may certainly have added value in the presence of an appreciative pub crowd but is NOT for that purpose and could still repeatedly take place to the satisfaction of the participants without any form of audience. It is difficult to argue that you could or would continue to perform in the continued absence of spectators.

You do at least have a year to work on the route of pressurising the Secretary of State to change the words of Schedule 1, before you need to think about paying for TENs.


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 03:17 AM

One of the mummers was a licencing officer who said that a lot of the pubs in his area were ticking the box that allowed them to put on plays. It's possible that the pubs we performed in had done the same but I don't think anyone thought to check.


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 07:17 AM

Put on plays? Maybe we should form the Herga Mummers Shakespeare troupe and burst into pubs spouting 'Once more unto the bar dear friends, and mine's a Campari and soda'.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 08:41 AM

The customers who were in the Royal Oak before the Herga Mummers arrived were only there to watch the football match on TV. They left once the match had ended and before the mumming started, so the only audience apart from the guv'nor and his wife were the Mummers' friends and relations. I think that might count as a rehearsal...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:35 AM

As an American looking at this stream of legal/semilegal controversy, and reading the quote above about reenactments wholly for the pleasure of the participants, seems to me that a jam (as I guess you'd say "session") could be seen as reenactment for one's own pleasure of what the old folks used to do to entertain themselves.

Whether that would fly with the powers that be is, I suppose, questionable.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:59 AM

This seasional reply from the second-in command of my local council may explain why regular congregations of musicians are thought so problematic that any review must wait until 2007 and on the following conditions........

I write following our recent meting. Apologies for not writing earlier – I needed some time to gather views of colleagues to respond to your specific points. Please also consider this as a response to your letter dated 19th November to Councillor Ames.

You raised 4 points. I have reproduced these along with our response to each below:

Firstly Perhaps our Licensing Authority can be advised to formally hold and issue a policy that pub sessions are considered locally as incidental live music – if or until there is any test in the nations' court that may decide to the contrary and require a change?

As you know, we have a Statement of Licensing Policy and I understand that you have had input into this. We will review this policy every three years and will consult on this as a matter of course. If we discover there is a problem in the Borough regarding sessions and incidental music, we seek to provide clarification when we revise the policy (in December 2007).

As I said when we met, if we do this, we will need to provide a definition of a session. Whilst we will need to prepare specific wording, and consider any relevant case law, our definition would stress that session:

could take place without an audience;

would not be advertised;

would not be amplified; and

would be spontaneous and not organised to take place on a regular basis.

We would also stress that the musicians involved do not receive payment.

As I said in our meeting, it is important to emphasise that if musicians regularly congregate at a pub to play, this could constitute regulated entertainment and so the pub would be likely to apply for a licence to provide regulated entertainment as the Cove House Inn already has. I would emphasise that we have had very few issues regarding incidental music to date. I would also like to emphasise that we are not keen to apply 'one size fits all' rules and so we will continue our approach to consider each case on its individual facts wherever possible.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:12 AM

This same council have recently advised my local MP's office that an arranged congrgation of carols singers outside a local supermarket was not Regulated Entertainment and would not require Premises Licence entertainment permission.

I suppose that in the eyes of certain people - there are musicians and there are musicians.....


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Bob TB
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:26 AM

Thanks to all who turned out to see us.

Quick correction - it is one of our regular "fans" who is a local cousellor and sits on the Licensing Committee (not himself a Licensing Officer) who confirmed that most pubs who have applied for an entertainments licence have ticked all the boxes, including plays, as it is as easy as not doing so. Isn't that what the government said would happen? :-)

Kitty pointed out that I shouldn't really drop the pub managers in the proverbial by publicly announcing that we may be breaking the law. Good point that I had considered but I gave in to temptation and used a controversial title to raise the profile of the thread. I couldn't see anyone getting more than a slap on the wrist this year, and that is highly unlikely. In any case all managers had agreed and I assume that they are well briefed on the law.

Liz - feel free to rewrite the play in ambic pentameter if you wish. We know you're the literary one - see the last of the 2003 pictures on the web site.

First pictures of yesterday will be on the web site within an hour. More to follow.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 07:35 AM

Lord Redesdale's Clause (actually termed a script ammendment)

Musicians playing un-amplified for Morris dancing or similar are exempt from PEL. Mumming has long been intimately associated with Morris - Oh yes it has.

I have a reply from Rupert himself thanking me for naming a ceilidh dance in honour of his "Clause" - eponomously called that above.

see http://cresby.com


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 03:10 PM

IT WAS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!!

Or you could call it research for fresh ways of doing in St George in cruel and unusual ways....

(for those who can't see it, I'm reading a Patricia Cornwell novel....)

LTS


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Subject: RE: Herga Mummers illegal Boxing Day Tour
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:21 AM

The following advice to LAs for inclusion in your local Statement of Licensing Policy - from the Act's Statutory Guidance.

Live music, dancing and theatre

3.58
Statements of licensing policy should also recognise that as part of implementing local authority cultural strategies, proper account should be taken of the need to encourage and promote a broad range of entertainment, particularly live music, dancing and theatre,
including the performance of a wide range of traditional and historic plays, for the wider cultural benefit of communities.

A natural concern to prevent disturbance in neighbourhoods should always be carefully balanced with these wider cultural benefits, particularly the cultural benefits for children. In determining what conditions should be attached to licences and certificates as a matter of necessity for the promotion of the licensing objectives, licensing authorities should be aware of the need to avoid measures which deter live music, dancing and theatre by imposing indirect costs of a disproportionate nature.

Performances of live music and dancing are central to the development of cultural diversity and vibrant and exciting communities where artistic freedom of expression is a fundamental right and greatly valued.

Traditional music and dancing are parts of the cultural heritage of England and Wales. Music and dancing also help to unite communities and particularly in ethnically diverse communities, new and emerging musical and dance forms can assist the development of a fully integrated society. It should also be noted that the absence of cultural provision in any area can itself lead to the young people being diverted into anti-social activities that damage communities and the young people involved themselves.

3.59 To ensure that cultural diversity thrives, local authorities should consider establishing a policy of seeking premises licences from the licensing authority for public spaces within the community in their own name. This could include, for example, village greens, market squares, promenades, community halls, local authority owned art centres and similar public areas.

Performers and entertainers would then have no need to obtain a licence or give a temporary event notice themselves to enable them to give a performance in these places. They would still require the permission of the local authority as the premises licence holder for any regulated entertainment that it was proposed should take place in these areas.

It should be noted that when one part of a local authority seeks a premises licence of this kind from the licensing authority, the licensing committee and its officers must consider the matter from an entirely neutral standpoint. If relevant representations are made, for example, by local residents or the police, they must be considered fairly by the committee. Those making representations
genuinely aggrieved by a positive decision in favour of a local authority application by the licensing authority would be entitled to appeal to the magistrates' court and thereby receive an independent review of any decision made.

3.60 The Secretary of State recommends that licensing authorities should publish contact points in their statements of licensing policy where members of the public can obtain advice about whether or not activities fall to be licensed.


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