The story of The Mexborugh Ragger begins in Mexborough town centre located in Doncaster. The area was known for its gypsy community and many gypsies was seen dancing and singing in the Mexborough town center for food or selling items. During this time gypsies was sadly classed the lowest of the low and was often treated quite badly.
Its said the Mexborugh ragger was a young girl who was often seen calling out for hold rags especially on market days, the story goes that she never shown any malice and that when it wasn’t market days she would often carry water to the nearby quarries to sell rags to the workers.
This is where the story begins because the story goes on such a day this is where tragedy struck. It is said that she must have took a short cut through the railway tunnel which is named The Cadeby Tunnel. The sounds from the quarry may have been so loud that she just wouldn’t have heard a approaching train on the tracks.
It is said that the young girl scrambled as the train entered the tunnel, she just made it into the archway (which can be seen in the live we did here in the link below), but she dropped her rags and she reached out to retrieve them but has she did the train sadly hit her.
Some time had past until the remains of the Mexborough Ragger was found, It was her grandmother who raised the alarm after asking at the quarry and finding out that she never arrived.
On the next market day, word had got out about the little Mexbourgh Ragger and silence had fell on the crowd which is normally a busy and boosting environment.
The carts entered the market place and as they did the grandmother was leading the first cart and it is said she began to curse the crowd.
”ALL YOU WHO JUDGE BY APPEARANCES BEWARE.
IF ANY OF YOU DARE TO CALL OUT MY GRAND-DAUGHTERS NAME AGAIN, A JUDEMENT WILL BEFALL YOU”
So this is where the legend of the Mexborugh Ragger arose and of the tunnel. It was said that if you enter the tunnel and call upon her name, the Mexborugh Ragger will surely Appear. But be-aware because true to the the old gypsy prophecy, the fortune befitting your nature shall befall you.
Is there any truth to the tale?
Well it is true, Gypsies did live within Mexborough, so yes it could be. The gypsy community was tight and they didn’t really register births, marriages or deaths which makes it difficult to find it on records, which pinpointing this girls name if the story is true is extremely difficult.
Within the archway there is old doll parts, these doll parts have been here for many years which I can see with various pictures available on google. It is understood that these dolls parts have been placed there in her remembrance. (this can also be seen on the live, even though at the time we wasn’t sure what these doll parts was for).
It is said that if you stand where the doll parts are and call out ”Mexborough Ragger” 3 times this is where she is suppose to appear.
However, Cadeby tunnel does have a recorded suicidal death. In 1903 a worker from the near by estate laid his head upon the tracks just outside of the tunnel and waited for a train to come to reach his death.
The amazing thing is that Chrissie and the audience viewing the live both picked up a female and a male which haunt this area, though during the live I only knew about the one and that was of the girl.