Pierrots, Scarborough, England


The Pierrots, Scarborough.
1900s
Publisher: Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis Co, London

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Pierrot troupes, alongside Punch & Judy and pantomime are one of the very few, indigenous, British performance forms – they are an important part of our cultural heritage and folk traditions. The origins of the pierrot character come from the medieval Italian Comedy or Commedia d’ell Arte, as do those of Harlequin & Columbine, whom we associate with pantomime and Mr Punch of Punch & Judy fame. What is unique about pierrot in Britain, is that there evolved troupes of pierrots specifically at the seaside: the story begins with the development of the seaside resorts and the mass market of holidaymakers as the industrial revolution took hold.
Seaside Follies

[The] story begins with theatrical entrepeneur Will Catlin (real name William Fox) whose popular pierrots were a regular sight on Scarborough’s South Bay during the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. Often referred to as the ‘sad clown’ the pierrot character has a long history – dating back to the seventeenth century, but became popular during the nineteenth century in France and beyond, as a recurring motif in theatre. With a whitened face and baggy attire, the pierrot was a naive, innocent character, whose antics included comedy, mime, song and dance.

Catlin, a former music hall performer first visited Scarborough in 1894, and it was during that time that he formed his renowed group of exclusively all-male pierrots. Whilst his pierrots toured widely – even over the winter months, when they visited a variety of cities and towns – in Scarborough they performed (during the early days) on a makeshift stage on the South Bay. They were not the only pierrot group in town – George Royle’s ‘Imps’ performed a similar act on the South Sands from the early 1900s, but adopted different tactics after being invited to entertain audiences at Floral Hall in Alexandra Gardens. Unlike Catlin’s group, Royle’s performers were male and female, and in their new venue wore period costumes, calling themselves the Fol-de-Rols.
Stories from Scarborough

The Grand Hotel is a large hotel in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, overlooking the town’s South Bay. It is a Grade II listed building that is owned by Britannia Hotels. At the time of its grand opening in 1867, it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in Europe.
Wikipedia.

Procession of the Holy Carpet, Cairo


CAIRO. — Procession of the Holy Carpet.

Publisher: Levy & Neurdein Reunis (1920-1932). image might be earlier.

At the beginning of the century, there were several types of popular ceremonies in Egypt that have disappeared or faded with time. One such ceremony is the procession of “El Mahmal” or “The Holy Carpet.” The yearly celebration involved the Egyptian government manufacturing a new cover for the Holy Kaaba and offering it to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After the cover is prepared in the factory, a large ceremony takes place in Cairo, where a parade organised by the Egyptian army tours the different districts of the city.

The parade included a caravan of decorated camels carrying the Holy Carpet, as well as many other gifts. After the caravan ends its tour in Cairo, it starts its long trip, guarded by the Egyptian army, across the eastern desert, then on to the Suez Canal and Sinai till it reaches Palestine. From Palestine, it goes directly to Saudi Arabia, crossing its northern borders to the heart of Hijaz, then to Mecca. Normally it reached Mecca before the pilgrimage season, where another ceremony takes place that ends with the covering of the Kaaba with the Holy Carpet.
ahramonline: Egypt 100 years ago: The Ceremony of the Holy Carpet (Mahmal)

Capture of the Holy Carpet
London, Friday.–The “Holy Carpet,” which is annually despatched from Cairo with the pilgrims’ caravan to the Prophet’s tomb at Mecca, has been capture in the Arabian Desert by Bedouins. Six of the guard were killed. The Bedouins demand £600 as ransom for the carpet

Newcastle Morning Herald, 19 June 1899

PILGRIMAGE OF THE HOLY CARPET.
The theft of the Holy Carpet during the Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the most sensational things that could have happened to those faithful to the Koran, who will regard it as an unexampled calamity. The yearly departure from Cairo to the famous, mosque, where with other coverings it adorns for a time the sacred enclosure, has always been the most imposing sight witnessed in the Egyptian capital. The camel bears a carpet trapped with gold, embroidered with crimson, and bears upon, its back a canopy cantaining it, the latter being of crimson and gold, with gilded ornaments at each corner of its base, and its pyramidal roof. Behind the animal comes another camel, carrying the chief Egyptian standard. This is followed by others, the last ridden by a man bearing the flag which sets forth a line from the Koran. The holy carpet itself is a number of pieces of silk embroidery, periodically manufactured in , Cairo by Jews, so that the loss in. this present instance is not serious from a mere point of commercial value. The yearly departure for Mecca, called the ceremony of the Kisweh, is characterised by the greatest Oriental splendour. The carpet is borne through the streets of Cairo, then taken by rail to Suez, thence to Jeddah and Mecca. It is generally blessed by the Khedive in person, and the sacred camels are always escorted by picked household troops,, who keep back the crowd of donkey boys, street vendors of sherbet, closely veiled women, merchants, beggars, and cripples. Among the crowd English people are allowed to mix with impunity, but after the departure of the carpet it is expected that they shall disperse, To follow it on the pilgrimage is considered an affront, and any European sufficiently venturesome to press forward at subsequent stopping places to catch a glimpse of the article does so at the risk of his life.

Clarence & Richmond Examiner, 27 June 1899

RANSOMING THE “HOLY CARPET.”
The capture by a tribe of marauding Bedouins of the “Holy Carpet,” somewhere between Medina and Mecca, has not unnaturally roused the pious indignation of the whole of the Moslem world. In the fierce conflict that ensued, four Turkish soldiers and three natives of the convoy were killed, the remainder escaping to Mecca. The “Holy Carpet” or Kiswa, consists of a series of-oblong strips of black brocade richly embroidered-in gold and silver with Arabic inscriptions from the Koran. It serves the purpose of beautifying the exterior of the Ka’aba the sacred shrine within the precincts of the Mosque at Mecca. It is renewed and sent every year at the expense of the Sultan from Constantinople via Cairo, where with its escort of Bashi Bazouks, it forms part of the great Egyptian caravan. the most important of tie. many which annually converge towards Mecca. Having done duty for a year, it is cut up in pieces and sold as relics to wealthy pilgrims . Our sketch shows the carpet as it is carried under a canopy. on the back of a camel through the streets of Cairo, during the festival preceding its departure, with two symbolical trophies that each year accompany the pilgrimage from Egypt. These are the Mahamal, a kind of canopy, and a pyramidal construction containing a copy of the Koran. Both are exquisitely embroidered in gold upon green cloth, and are held in superstitious reverence by the multitude. The proceedings are quaintly interesting. The women give their shrill, quaint cry of “Hooloo, hoo loo, hoo-loo” as the carpet passes.

Kalgoorlie Western Argue