NEWS

THE SEASON BEGINS


BY JONATHAN NIBBS

The apparent fallow period between the end of September 2017 and May 2018 draws to a close as the new 2018 season of intense public activity kicks off. But of course along with our now traditional public events during this period- Bradford Roots, Mount Pleasant Xmas Extravaganza, Boxing-Day, etc, behind the scenes, intense activity has been taking place every Thursday evening in the practice room, as we have prepared for the Spring, Summer and Autumn onslaught. Much of the programme is similar to every other year, but some exciting new activities have insinuated themselves. The Winchester Mayfest, for example and a different pub dance-out programme which is presently being planned, supported by essential preliminary research by Chris and his team. We hope, of course, we’ll see some, if not all, of you during our travels in 2018 and that you will consider our dedicated effort in the rehearsal space rewards you with a worthy public spectacle, wherever that may be.

BOXING DAY 2017


BY PHIL

Holt Morris and Bell’s Angels perform Lads a Bunchum at Little Parks.

Here is a list of the dances performed around the village on Boxing Day by Bell’s Angels and Holt Morris. Thank you to the kind folks at Little Parks and Fir Lawn for providing food and drink to Sides and spectators alike.

Little Parks

  • HM – Jack’s Alive
  • BA + HM – Lads a Bunchum
  • BA – The Rose Tree
  • HM – Laughing Cavalier
  • BA – Rick O’Malley

Fir Lawn

  • HM + BA – Shepherd’s Hay
  • BA – Constant Billy
  • HM – Hollow Tree
  • BA – Lollipop
  • HM – Cuckoo’s Nest

Holt Store

  • HM – Lass Of Richmond Hill
  • BA – Highland Mary" (a.k.a. Chicken Chasing)
  • HM – Bonnets So Blue
  • BA - Balance the Straw

As the Boules tournament was still in full swing on the village green, we decided to press on to the Tollgate Inn where, it became apparent, spectatators who missed us on The Green, flocked to see us in their droves.

Tollgate Inn

  • HM – Jack’s Alive
  • BA – The Star
  • HM – Postman’s Knock
  • BA – Jenny Jones
  • HM – Country Garden
  • BA – Constant Billy
  • HM – Bonnets So Blue
  • BA – Rick O’Malley
  • HM – Signposts

Boxing Day Photos can be found on the Gallery page.

DAVE RUTLEDGE


BY JONATHAN NIBBS

Yesterday, around lunchtime, we danced out with Bell’s Angels and a goodly number of his friends here, in poignant but robust celebration of Dave Rutledge. Dave joined us in the Autumn from Minnesota Traditional Morris, whom regular perusers of this site will know we hosted back in the Summer during their 3-week tour of this country.

He and Caroline Nisbett, a Bell’s Angel whose son Jake and daughter-in-law Chloe also danced with us yesterday, met on the village green in Holt, chatted vigorously, and rather sparklingly fell into a happy, loving friendship, which rapidly burgeoned into their desire to set up home together in Bradford-on-Avon. He joined us as a vibrant new member of our squad, quickly and enthusiastically adapting to our particular dancing style.

Just before Xmas, Dave passed away, overnighting in Dublin on his way back to visit other members of his family in St Paul, Minnesota, cutting devastatingly short our new friendship with him, but most significantly that friendship with our friend Caroline.

Our dance-out and gathering in The Ham Tree afterwards where Caroline, ably assisted by Jake, spoke movingly of her deep, growing and loving understanding of Dave, was everyone’s tribute to a vital, energetic, friendly man whose contribution to the richness of all our lives was, simply, too short.

EVENTS

BATH AND WEST SHOW., THE SHOWGROUND, SHEPTON MALLET

We’ve been doing this one almost since our formation umpteen years ago, and will be doing our customary 2 spots near the bandstand either side of lunch, with a reprise of our legendary wassailing presentation at the cider tent mid-afternoon. As usual, a cheery greeting from you will be responded to with great gusto!

WIMBORNE FESTIVAL, WIMBORNE, DORSET

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Another hardy perennial in our performance calendar, Wimborne is one of the foremost festivals of Folk and Morris in the South of England and blossoms particlarly with one of the finest, publically-supported processionals ever to be seen. Be there on the Saturday afternoon, to witness the phenomenon, along with the literally thousands along the route. You can’t miss it!