A BLAST from the past! Well, 4th July 2009 to be exact. Holt Morris Announcer/Dancer Jonathan Nibbs leads the side in a hearty rendition of ‘The Wiltshire Song’.
ELEVEN O’CLOCK saw us once again on “The Village Green” at The Shepton Mallet Show Ground where, to a hugely enthusiastic crowd of at least a dozen people (including Colin’s younger family members, James’s father, and a couple of our more obviously encouraging wives), we performed a very tidy set - the approbation for which brought about intermittent sunshine for most of the day until about 4.30 pm when rain set in.
Intermittent periods of dance precision were interspersed with some interesting improvisational meanderings by certain nameless members of the side during the afternoon set, after some hearty interim real ale consumption. The responses from the crowd - now augmented by a goodly number of real people - were as enthusiastic as were the attempts from the side to bring the wandering miscreant dancers into line. Cheering… or jeering? Whatever… We all agreed that, overall, our performance was worthy of public exhibition - as did the organisers of the Village Green programme, who intimated that our presence will be desired next year, member survival rates allowing.
On, then, to the Cider Tent and the now traditional out-of-season Wassail. This year’s spirit-meddling ritual, we believe, will bear serious fruit this coming Autumn if the proliferate orchard blossom, the dignity and application of Alice, our Wassail Queen, the quality of the rendering of The Gloucester Wassail and the noisy enthusiasm of the assembled cider aficionados (James and his father included) is in any way indicative. Must have been a reasonable harvest after our efforts last season, as the generosity of the producers threatened to overwhelm… Jugs of cider overflowed… Pretty darned good, as was “The Hollow Tree” and “The Rose.”
This curiously improvised and aberratively-timed version of the January festival left us all feeling rather pleased with the days efforts. The justification (or otherwise) for our satisfaction rests with the public, most of whom have remained silent on the matter…
Another great day out for us all.
GREAT NEWS – Holt are back at the 2013 Village Pump Festival! After the festival’s year off in 2011, we were tickled pink to be invited to perform at 2012 VP Festival, which was a delightful affair: lovely atmosphere, good music and more sun than in the whole of June 2012 (not difficult, really).
So we’re really happy to be invited back for the 2013 festival, which runs from 26th to 28th July. No one seems absolutely sure, but we think this will be our 14th appearance at “the Pump” since our first foray in 1992... Reason enough, if any were needed, to quaff a glass or three of the fine local ales and ciders.
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!