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Number of posts : 4
Age : 37
Location : Lockerbie
Registration date : 2007-09-03

PostSubject: Reddlemen   Sun 21 Oct 2007, 2:54 pm

Does anyone know any stories connected to reddlemen?

When I read Thomas Hardy's "Return of the Native" a few years ago, I was fascinated by the character of Diggory Venn, the reddleman - a travelling salesman of dye for sheep. There are references in the story to folktales about reddlemen snatching children, and the sacks in the back of their caravan being full of children's bones. I've never been able to find any mention of these stories anywhere else, and I've always wondered if they are just very specific to the Dorset area or even just a complete fabrication of Hardy's? It would be interesting to know. Question
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Number of posts : 193
Age : 33
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2007-10-01

PostSubject: Re: Reddlemen   Sun 21 Oct 2007, 5:36 pm

I've never heard of these things, but they sound quite creepy pale

I tried them on the ever reliable ( Rolling Eyes ) Wikipedia. Nothing. I wonder if they're just a fabrication of the author? Sound a bit like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
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Number of posts : 163
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria, UK
Registration date : 2007-08-26

PostSubject: Re: Reddlemen   Sun 21 Oct 2007, 7:26 pm

New one to me, too. 'The Reddlemen', sounds very Stephen King.

80s/90s rock band The Rainmakers wrote a song called Reddleman Coming, the lyrics of which are:

On the day that I was born
Cross the plain come a red dust storm
First the wind, then the rain
Streaks of blood down the windowpane
Hole in the roof, leak on the bed
Bad baptism on the baby's head
Mama cried the curse is come
The mark of the reddleman's on my son
Reddleman coming
He's coming for me
Reddleman coming
Learn to crawl, learn to eat
Walk and talk that double-speak
Hide my heart and show my hand
Listen in the dark for the reddleman
He come selling that dirt that stain your soul
Saying this don't hurt anyone at all
Just sink your eyes into little girl lost
But don't waste your time, it don't wash off


Late in life I fell in love uptown
With a one-armed woman who'd been around
I said how my love did you lose your hand
She said a pound of flesh for the reddleman
A daughter born, a father sees
There's a red in the thread of the web he weaves
Clean his clothes in the holy font
But the rank of the reddle come back to haunt

Red hawk sits on a telephone pole
Watch to see which way I go
When I fall and when I stand
And tells it all to the reddleman

I ran the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool, but Internet Explorer is still installed on my computer.

↓ dn ʎɐm
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Number of posts : 771
Age : 44
Location : Carlisle, Cumbria
Registration date : 2007-08-24

PostSubject: Re: Reddlemen   Mon 22 Oct 2007, 4:03 am

I think reddle is an earthy variety of Hematite. Also refferred to as Ruddle or Red Chalk. I take it this was then used to dye the sheep. I came a cross a refernce that said the reddlemen were all gone by the time of Hardy. I'll check some books and see if I can find anymore.
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