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2016

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Persephone New Year Ceilidh

The New Year was greeted by another great ceilidh – now becoming a tradition. Barry Evans called yet more dastardly dances whilst the band played a magnificent melange of melodies for the delight of the dancers. The hall was filled with friends, families and familiar faces who all seemed to enjoy the evening - well worth leaving the fireside on this very wet night!

Wakefield Food, Drink and Rhubarb Festival, February 2016
This was our first visit to this very early spring festival, where around the Cathedral precinct are gathered a variety of stalls, many selling rhubarb related delicacies. The city was extremely busy with many shoppers around.

Our day began near the Cathedral with the host side, Rhubarb Tarts, Hornbeam Molly and Way of the Wyrd. The day way fairly cold and quite breezy but not bad for the time of year! We then walked across town to the modern Trinity Walk shopping centre, covered with glass but not enclosed – a rather draughty spot! Rain meant we had to be careful on the slippery surface. After lunch we returned to the same spot, whereupon more rain came and eventually all the other sides joined us from the other outdoor slippery spots for an early mass dance.

We were pleased to have 12 dancers out with a band of 7, a good start to the season. With about 9 other sides we provided a very colourful spectacle to the assembled shoppers. Thanks Rhubarb Tarts!

Alive and Kicking Day in Keighley, March 2016
In order to support our friend Elaine Wood who suffered a heart attack last year we danced in the streets of Keighley as part of a charity fund raising day.

We were joined by our friends Silkstone Greens, Richmond Castle Clog, White Rose Morris and Rainbow Morris, taking turns at each end of the Airedale shopping centre.

We danced to good crowds collecting money on a very cold day! We moved on to the main venue, Victoria Hall, late in the afternoon to perform one dance each for a large audience who had come to watch a huge array of acts during the afternoon and evening. A very enjoyable and successful day for a very good cause.

 

Wallying in Whitby, April 2106
Something a bit different! We were invited to Sally Smith’s big birthday bash in Whitby, beginning on Friday night at The Station, where many Morris dances and friends made merry.
On Saturday, in somewhat dubious weather, we took to the streets (and pubs) to entertain Joe Public (and ourselves). Frumptarn Guggenband supplied plenty of loud exciting music, whilst Silkstone Greens, Rivington, Goathland Ploughstots and ourselves provided the dancing.


In the evening, all repaired to The Metropole for an evening of exquisite entertainment, everyone dressed in their best “Where’s Wally?” gear. Singing, music and dancing was the order of the day, with spots from She Wallies, Frumptarn Guggenband- very noisy inside but they did manage to quieten it down a little! Silkstone Greens and Rivington (using found implements instead of sticks!) The double Princess Wally jig, Wallington Morris, 3 Wally Clog, the Price Wallies with their Wallyfirth Anthem, the Goathland Plough Wallies, Wallyport Rapper and the late night sessioners, and even a rare performance of the Cleckheckmondsedge Feather Duster Dance (at great expense).


As they say – a good time was had by all – thanks Sally!

JMO Day of Dance York 23rd April

A bright but fairly chilly day saw 50 sides of the Join Morris Organisations gather together in York for their annual day of dance. We had 5 different dance spots around the city, joining 2 other teams at each, all extremely well organised by the hosts, Minster Strays. Unfortunately it was impossible to meet everyone but we saw lots of others in passing as we moved around the historic streets. Our dancing partners were New St. George, Dolphin Morris, Glorishears of Brummagen, our old friends Southport Swords, Danegeld Morris, Silhill Morris (twice!) Headcorn Morris, Tatterfoals (with whom one of our team used to dance) and near neighbours Fiddle ’n’ Feet. Facebook provided many splendid photographs of the day, some of which we have “borrowed”! A great day out in a beautiful city.

Hornbeam Molly’s day out in Knaresborough, May 2016
About a dozen sides gathered in Knaresborough on a beautiful sunny day to help with the town’s Spring Festival. We each performed a dance in the Market Place before setting off for various spots around the town.
We started near the station in a rather quiet area along with Black Sheep Morris and White Rose Morris before moving on to the centre where we had all met earlier – another quiet spot! After lunch we danced below the main part of the Castle where the crowds were much bigger, along with Briggate, Pateley Longswords and Strictly Clog. Our final spot was by the War Memorial, still within the Castle grounds with Stricty Clog and Clogarhythm.

 


The final massed dance spot had to be cancelled due to a medical emergency near the Market Place. An ambulance and helicopter were called, the latter dramatically landing in the confined space of the Castle green.
Thanks to Hornbeam Molly for organising this very enjoyable day.

Ossett Beer Cart
Everyone assembled at the football club as this year the cart was setting off from there and going all round the town and finishing at the town hall. All the musicians were to be ahead of the cart this year. Most of the dancers were pulling the cart. Persephone and Green Ginger Garland walked behind.

Due to quite low numbers and some 'walking wounded' Val had a hard task, juggling the dance list to make sure that we danced well. After a short rest after the long walk we did the first dance spot In the middle of the precinct with Five Rivers and Locos in Motion. Inside the Town Hall we danced Queensbury and Janes. Behind the Town Hall we danced with Hexadaisy, and Val an Viv also did some stepping. Then back to the middle of the precinct with Boggart's Breakfast, and after that outside the library with Green Ginger Garland. The final spot was outside the Town Hall.
In spite of the quite low numbers and some 'walking wounded' we danced well. We were able to dance Altrincham, Waltons for 6, Pipers Ash. Hindley Street, Whitby, the Train Dance, Queensbury and Janes.

Thanks to Val Marsden for keeping us on track as squire for the day.

An evening with Slubbing Billys, June 2016
Slubbing Billys kindly invited us to dance with them one evening, and ended up coming to our local pub. We did this last year too, with very inclement weather, and this year threatened to be similar but the rain stayed away. We spent a good hour dancing in quite high temperatures to a small audience but had a great evening with many of us staying to sit and sup outside the pub afterwards (a rare treat!)

The evening ended with a joint Wakefield Morris “Celebration” which we don’t know, but several of our members bravely took up the challenge; there was some confusion at times but they enjoyed themselves!
Thanks to Slubbing Billys for the invitation and a lovely evening out
.

A night out in Huddersfield, June 2016
Our youngest member invited us to an evening dance out at a pub in Huddersfield to celebrate the end of her exams.

We joined White Rose, Hexadaisy and Oakenhoof for an evening of dance in the pub’s back yard which was admirably covered by a large marquee – although rain never arrived. There was no audience but ourselves and a few groupies, but a very pleasant evening ensued. Well organised Ivy!!

Annual weekend in Northamptonshire, July 2016
Every year we brave the M1 (south) to spend a weekend with our friends Queen’s Oak Morris and Rose and Castle Morris, this being the second year at the new venue in Towcester. Friday evening was partly shared with a wake of a member of the club where we were based with a seamless changeover to a morris evening (hog roast included!)
On Saturday we took a trip to Olney, 2 Red Lions and a canal side pub to complete the day. Followed, of course, by a splendid evening meal and a ceilidh with Banter.

 


Sunday was spent at Stoke Bruerne by the canal, dancing in two spots to entertain the passing public and ourselves.

 

It was great to be meeting not just old friends but some new ones too. Thanks to both host teams for another splendid weekend. See you next year!

Warwick Folk Festival 23rd - 24th July

One of our favourite festivals which we last visited some 6 or 7 years ago. The sun shone all weekend as it usually seems to do here, although the heat made dancing hard work.
On Saturday we met many different sides including old friends Chinewrde, Earlsdon and Saddleworth and also watched the talented NYFTE groups. The spots were all scenic, particularly Warwick Castle which was teeming with visitors. We completed the day back at the main site on the arena stage and finally at ceilidh spot in the large sports hall, well appreciated by the audience!
On Sunday we danced with Sheffield City Morris and NYFTE, including a procession from the church with dozens of local dignitaries which ended at some small public gardens where refreshments were served – very welcome indeed!
Apart from the dancing a good time was had by all, either sampling the delightful food stalls, the craft market, the beer tent, a few concerts and workshops and of course a good bit of socialising in our rather high density camping area. A great weekend with most of the team in attendance.

 

A Windermere wedding, July 2016
We were honoured to be invited to the wedding of one of our previous dancers in the beautiful surroundings of the southern Lake District. Based near Windermere we danced at the venue for the wedding weekend, a school not far from the town.

Whilst the bridal party set off for the registry office we danced alongside The Witchmen, Rockingham Rapper, Tap and Sync and the Bradshaw Mummers – all groups with which the bride and groom had been associated. On their return there was a guard of honour followed by more dancing.

 


Later in the afternoon an outdoor handfasting ceremony took place, followed by a splendid buffet meal, entertaining speeches, a ceilidh and finally pie and peas! The weather for the whole weekend was fine, and the camping facilities first class. Thanks to both families for a great time.

Local dance out, August 2016
We were invited to perform for the residents at a local retirement home in their lovely garden setting. The weather during the day didn’t look promising, but by the evening the clouds had cleared, although it was a bit chilly.

We danced in the garden on circular paving – a challenge for any North West side – but managed very well and were accompanied by a large band.

We incorporated a couple of stepping spots, where the band played a lovely arrangement, and also a song from one of our band members. All much appreciated by the audience who braved the cool evening well wrapped up.

Otley Folk Festival, September 2016
We were invited to this local festival, which we have attended several times before, only a few weeks ago. Consequently we had a fairly small side and danced most of the day for 6.

The sun shone on us all day as we met various sides – Jet Set, Flagcrackers, Ragged Robin, Kitchen Taps, Rhubarb Tarts, Wayzgoose and 400 Roses - at The Woolpack, The Bay Horse and the Courthouse, all of which have relatively small areas which suited us well. The little town was full of people either for the festival and tourists and of course the locals going about their usual weekend business.

Another lovely day out!

Morris Federation AGM day of dance, Nottingham, September 2016
We always 2016 try to go to the Federation day of dance if it’s near enough, and this year Nottingham suited us just fine – some people taking a weekend break, others travelling for the day, and most of us using the splendid tram system to reach the city centre.


Mortimers Morris were the hosts, finding a meeting place at the Canalhouse (very attractive) and spots scattered around the centre. Our first was at the St. Peter’s Centre, with a good, large dancing area, followed by the Robin Hood Statue, Nottingham Contemporary art gallery and finally back by the canal. Here, Mortimers has arranged a fun massed “dance” to complete the day. We danced with different sides all day which is always good, and once again the weather was kind to us (a good year in all!)

A number of us attended the meeting at the end of the afternoon whilst others made their way home.

Many thanks to Mortimers for organising the day and providing us with a great end to the dancing season.