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.