Today(5 Nov 2014) we welcomed a new member Mr Kenneth Dewar and a guest Mr John Leadbeater. In total 43 members/guests attended today’s meeting. Our Chairman reminded everyone that there will be a Memorial Service outside Kirklands just before 11:00am next Tuesday 11th November.
Today’s talk by John Billingsley was titled “Things we do for luck”. He started by saying that good luck and bad luck are often down to a personal interpretation. For instance in Japanese shops for a few yen you can buy a lucky scroll. These scrolls are graded 1 to 5 where 1 is extreme good luck and 5 is the other extreme of bad luck. If you by chance get a good luck scroll you fold it up, tie it with some ribbon and tie it to a wire so the wind can blow the good luck for you. If however you get a bad luck scroll, you fold it up, tie it with a ribbon and tie it to a wire so the wind can blow away the bad luck.
Bad luck instances can actually occur as a result of medieval health and safety. It is bad luck to cross on the stairs; well if the ancient spiral stair case in the castle had no outside hand rail and a knight with dangling sword was coming down the stairs then it may be prudent to retrace your steps in case bad luck should befall you.
Many celebrities have “lucky” rituals or talisman because at one time as a result they had been successful. Serena Williams bounces the ball 5 times before her first serve. David Coultard always wore the same lucky red underpants and Don Revie wore the same thread-bare blue suite.
Holes, doors and thresholds have major significance in bad and good luck. Putting a coin over a door opening can bring wealth, a dark stranger must be first through the door on New Year’s Day, you carry a bride over the threshold when first she enters the home and a stone or a coin with a hole in it is considered lucky. There are many superstitions about mirrors. It is thought that behind the mirror is another world which might not be so benign.
But often bad or good luck comes down to what folk actually believe. John told the story of the Hebden Bridge lucky dog. A few local folk patted its head for good luck. This was reported by Darren Brown, the illusionist, on TV and now the dog has become an international celebrity.