Tidza Guisers

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The Tidza Guisers after performing "Tidza seen by ye" in 2010 Tidza Guisers.jpg
The Tidza Guisers after performing "Tidza seen by ye" in 2010

The Tidza Guisers are a group of mummers who perform in the Peak District village of Tideswell in Derbyshire. They were formed in the late 1980s to revive the ancient tradition of guising (or "guisering"), in which people dressed up in elaborate costumes, blackened their faces, and went round the village asking for food and money.


During the Tideswell Wakes, a week-long local festivity held around St John's Day in midsummer, the Guizers (dressed in colourful costumes and masks) perform a local mummers' play known as Tidza Saw Y'eds which tells of a farmer whose cow gets her head stuck in a gate. The farmer tries to solve the problem by sawing off the cow's head but then a doctor comes along, sews the animal's head back on and she is miraculously restored to life. [1] The Guizers also recite the local ballad known as The Drunken Butcher of Tideswell. [2] M

The Guisers sprang to national fame by being runners up on the CBBC programme The Wonderful World of Weird as well as making an appearance on Bear Behaving Badly in the backdrop of season 1 episode 3 and were featured, with a photograph, in the May 2012 edition of Country Walking magazine.


In 2016 the group came under fire from local activist groups due to the blackening of their faces in their play "The Elephant man" which was seen as racist.[ citation needed ]

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  1. "Historic Sports: Bull-baiting Was A Popular Fair Sport". ByGone Derbyshire. Youandyesterday. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  2. "A Derbyshire Poem: The Drunken Butcher of Tideswell". Peak District Online. Retrieved 10 September 2011.