Royal Oak Day,
The twenty-ninth of May.
If we don't have a holiday,
We 'll all run away!
Above is a picture of a descendant of the oak tree at Boscobel House in Shropshire in which Charles II is said to have hidden.
I used to live in Wolverhampton, which is near to Boscobel (well worth a visit), and it always reminded me when we went there that when I was a child we still had a half day holiday for Royal Oak Day - a day meant to celebrate the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
I asked this morning at our usual Friday Coffee morning and out of the eight of us only two of us knew anything about it.
I think it has probably died out completely now (unless it survives in village or town festivals somewhere), but we had to wear a sprig of oak or risk being stung with nettles by the boys.
So many of these ancient customs have faded into antiquity - don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. What do you think?