IN 1992, Angel Morris − at the time a powerful, and for us as fledgling Holt Morris, a potent, inspirational, force in the great Morris pantheon − were celebrating their 20th Anniversary with a weekend of dance in London to which we were invited.
IT IS TRADITIONAL for the first note of a Morris tune to coincide with the first drop of rain, but the watery end of our fabulous July heatwave waited until the last note of our Saturday spot with the Widders – a very friendly border side from Chepstow.
What a lovely contrast in styles – their colourful and exuberant dashing across the ground to a 15-piece orchestra, our black and white aerial manoeuvres to the measured beat of reeds, trombone and occasional drum.
The rain held off on Sunday too and the measure of appreciation has to be that many people took the trouble to seek us out on both days!
Off-piste, so to speak, Bertie Wright played a gorgeous set on his hand-crafted melodeon accompanied by a grizzled Holt Morris drummer, the rain failed to make mud of a beautiful setting, Eric Bibb brought echoes of his appearance at the Village Pump in 2007 – this time accompanied and enhanced by awesome electric guitar, Mervyn Grist amused with total irreverence, Mrs Wok fed the body and the Milk Street Brewery fed the soul – when their tent wasn’t doing a hang-glider imitation in the blustery winds.
“Thank you” to Terry for being Squire-for-the-weekend with calm efficiency and to all the dancers and musicians who, with partners, sisters, children (and grandchildren), made this a lovely weekend under the watchful eye of the White Horse.
Organised by our newest member, Alf Windsor, this will be a spectacular day of dance, the details of which will become clearer as the organisation develops! But you may depend on locating us along with the many other sides who will be here on the day, by homing in on the inimitable sounds of bells, clashing sticks, melodions and whoops of delight from fellow onlookers, emerging from nefarious parts of the town. You may possibly even see us in one of the watering-holes inevitably linked to our energetic performances.
Since the dawn of time, we have been a fixture at this famous West-of-England event, and we shall be exhibiting two spots at the Bandstand and one at the Cider Tent (our now infamous early Summer Wassail presentation) throughout this, the first, day. The times of these events will be posted here as the programme is agreed.
Another of our main events will see us in various locations on both Saturday and Sunday. Once these have been finalised, details will be found in the Festival Programme. However one thing is already certain, you will catch us breathing heavily during the wonderful, extended procession which is an amazing feature of this unmissable event. We might even stop and pose for a selfie or two with you, if that is your desire. And why wouldn’t it be?.... Many reasons I hear you say.
These above represent but the bare skeleton of our public performances during this our 30th. year of action, date-stamped at this present moment. The flesh...further self-generated events, throughout Wiltshire and beyond as our committee develops its celebratory strategy, will become excitingly clear as the spaces on the calendar are filled. Watch out for them here!