Every May Day, the farmers would gather their cattle at the extremes of the Wide Open, and stintage was assessed to make sure each farmer was assigned a fair share of the grazing pasture. The heads were counted and, if necessary, the new proportions of the Wide Open were measured out and fenced off. As the boundaries would change every year, the fences were of slight construction in order that the appropriate adjustments could be made without too much undue labour. Unfortunately, their makeshift nature also allowed the cattle to cause damage with ease, and it was expected of the individual farmers whose cows had strayed to mend the fences.
Amos Coatham-Mundeville, Livestock Management in the Villages of County Durham (1831)
Newcastle: Gotham Press (out of print)
NOTES ON THE PIECE
Northumbrian Smallpipe characteristic:
"False relation" in bars 1-2 and 5-6 [blue boxes]
Major 7th interval in bars 4 and 8 [orange boxes]
Ends on Dominant (D or So) [purple circles]
"Stinting" would take place on the 1st May every year as part of the Beltane festivities. As such, it has been designated the Lenten Tempo, presumably by Robson Booth. The above recording, therefore, features the appropriate preceding and succeeding of the tune with Lenten.