So... The busy festive season is bearing down on us with that exciting air of inevitability after a relatively fallow Autumn Period. We’ve not been entirely off the radar during the last few months, but our performances and workshops have been at private events, so now we are preparing to emerge into the public spotlight of Xmas. So cast your eyes over forthcoming events to discover where to catch us over the approaching holiday period.
Life commenced early on Sat. 12th Sept. as we had decided to make this event a day trip necessitating a 2hr. drive in each direction.
The organisers were very considerate in allocating our first dance spot out on the end of the pier at the furthest end of the town away from the car park. Were they trying to tell us something? Fortunately we shared this spot with Quayside Cloggies fr4om Poole whose dances seem to go on for ever necessitating a reduced input from our superbly fit, eager and disappointed dancers.
The next spot, 1 hour later, was at Prince Albert Gardens by the entrance to the pier with MAGOG, a stave dancing side. These ladies were very sociable and polite and danced very well, but I am still none the wiser on the history or principles of stave dancing. They just seem to wave them about in a threatening manner.
Lunchtime and the chippy along the sea-front called. Terry and Ray lost their way and ended up in The White Swan for a pint. The wisdom of this decision became apparent as more and more team members drifted in. It would appear that the chippy’s offering was not up to par this year!
After suitable refreshment we wandered further along the sea-front to the strategically placed "New Toilets", which provided much-needed rest and recuperation facilities before the next dance spot with a team who, it would seem, appear nameless.
On completion, it was a hike back to Prince Albert Gardens for the start of the procession. The side in front of us took off like a bunch of racing snakes, prompting PC (Patrick Cousins, our Squire) and BB (Bryan Baker, an erstwhile Squire) to try and match them. This initiated loud calls to "SLOW DOWN" from the senior members bringing up the rear and gradually things settled down to a steady pace which we were able to control reasonably well, whilst still satisfying the many, many requests for our photographs from the adoring, watching punters.
There were no further dance spots, and it was time then to take stock and count the casualties. Young Peter (Smith, an erstwhile Squire) had done extremely well to stay the course whilst recovering from a heavy cold. He deserves the morris equivalent of a "Brownie Well Done" ( when we discover what that is!). Everybody else, 6 dancers and 2 musicians, checked in more or less OK. Old and new members alike aquitted themselves in fine manner, and all in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. The weather stayed fine with plenty of sunshine and a gentle breeze. We met many friends, old and new, making it well worth the extreme effort to attend. An excellent day out!
My broken ankle mitigated totally against my attendance and participation in this event. However I have it on very good authority that it was a great day. Martin’s photos show that the lads enjoyed their contribution with a will, whether or not anyone else did.
James is an erstwhile enthusiastic member of the squad unfortunately (for us) posted away for 18 months or so. However he is back, and was foolish enough, despite what I am sure were loud and long protestations from Linda, to invite us to their big day at Church Farm, Kington Langley.
The boys enjoyed themselves as is evident from Martin’s photos and Linda must have enjoyed it enough to allow James back with us later in the Summer. We look forward to that (he is so much younger than most of us) and look forward to seeing Linda with us socially whenever the novelty of the younger man wears off.
With practice numbers returning to normal after the Summer rest period, we are now working up a repertoire for our primary charity fund-raiser. Starting at The Castle from around 7.30. pm. onwards, things will go physically and metaphorically downhill from then on as we approach closing-time and the taxi home, having demonstrated our considerable work ethic and imbibic skills in the accommodating hostelries of our favourite local town. Catch us if you will. Just locate us by the sound of bank notes being unfolded and deposited in our collecting buckets, and augment that sound yourselves in emulation thereof... Or just listen out for "The Bells...The Bells..."