Diary events of
Kicking off the New Year in style again we held our annual ceilidh. Barry Evans took us through a selection of interesting dances whilst Mally and friends provided the excellent music once again.
The hall was filled
with just the right number of dancers, including some from various local dance
sides, together with other friends and family members. There were plenty of
rests between dances leaving time to chat to people; as one remarked –
a very friendly evening. Thanks to all those who came either to play or dance.
Folk Festival, April 2017
Our first dance out this season was at Oxford Folk Festival, quite a distance away from home. By all accounts we were luckier than those who went last year and encountered snow, as we had two lovely sunny days, albeit a little chilly in the shade.
Our first spot
was outside the Ashmolean Museum and turned out to be the opening event with
a group singing before the dancing began. Over the weekend we also danced in
George Street, outside the Pitt Rivers Natural History Museum (a lovely Victorian
glass roofed building) and at Gloucester Green, a large enclosed square near
the bus station. Many of the sides were from the surrounding areas and we seemed
to be the most northerly side in town.
A great start to the season, and many thanks to the organisers for inviting us once more after a gap of a few years.
Folk Festival, April 2017
This week saw a return to this fairly local festival after a couple of years. We had met most of the sides before, although Bollin Morris from Lancashire were new to us. There was a good mix of styles – North West, Cotswold, Border, Clog, Rapper, Belly dance and the famous Britannia Coconut dancers.
We danced at three different spots around this little town, and completed the day with everyone performing a display dance at the picturesque Fielden Wharf. Thanks to Esther and her team for a good day out and a lovely little festival.
Festival of Folk, May 2017
Another return visit after some years to Holmfirth, the “Last of the Summer Wine” town. We danced alongside many old friends, many of them local (White Rose, Buttercross Belles and Briggate), but others from the likes of the Far Fens (Pig Dyke Molly) and other far flung places (Sergeant Musgaves and Poacher Morris and even Rivington from Lancashire!).
It was somewhat
chillier than the last two weeks, but we danced all day long, ending with a
procession and a display dance in the small park up the hillside.
Many thanks to Slubbing Billys for organising the dancing and inviting us.
The Lock In Remixed, Wakefield, May 2017
The Demon Barbers are on tour again with their exciting, exhausting, exhilarating show, this time at the Theatre Royal in Wakefield. Together with Wakefield Morris and White Rose Morris we took to the stage for the pre-show display. The stage was slightly sloping and not terribly big so dancing was fairly challenging, but the audience seemed to enjoy it!
Thanks to all those who managed to work out Wakefield’s interesting road layout and eventually find somewhere to park, to those who had to navigate West Yorkshire in the rush hour coming from work and to Danielle the drummer on her first performance!
Heifer afternoon, June 2017
We spent a lovely sunny afternoon at the Airedale Heifer pub in Riddlesden, between Bingley and Keighley, dancing alongside many friends.
The landlady, in conjunction with Flagcrackers of Craven invited us along with Buttercross Belles, Rainbow Morris, Clogarhythm, Fiddle ‘n’ Feet and Crook Morris to dance outside the pub, drink a bit of beer, and provided us with a very welcome light lunch. A good time was had by all
Lamb Ale, June 2017
This was a return after more than 20 years to this traditional weekend in rural Oxfordshire. Kirtlington Morris invited Hammersmith Morris and ourselves for the weekend, and we were joined by several other local sides on Sunday.
We camped behind the village hall, round the cricket field, with the church opposite us – a really beautiful English scene. On Friday we met together in a local pub.
Saturday morning we danced at a few locations around the picture postcard village
before setting off by coach to the same pub for a good barbeque lunch. The coach
then took us to Blenheim Palace to entertain the paying public, followed by
a short walk (or dance if you were from Hammersmith!) to Woodstock village.
Later in the evening came the lamb “feast” – roast lamb with various accompaniments, followed by a ceilidh in in the village hall.
Sunday saw us processing through the village with all the other visiting sides to the church for a service, complete with music and some dancing. Then it was off again processing to the school for more dancing around the village. A lovely relaxed weekend in delightful surroundings, and with lovely weather too.
Greyhound, Tong Village, June 2017
As part of their series of summer dance outs we joined Buttercross Belles, along with Wharfedale Wayzgoose and Fiddle ‘n’ Feet at this picturesque village between Leeds and Bradford. The weather was kind, being cooler than some of the preceding very hot days. We danced for a good two hours (on a slightly sideways sloping surface!), and finished this enjoyable evening with a massed“Greenham”.
to Buttercross Belles.
40th anniversary weekend, June 2017
A great weekend away with Rivington and some other cracking teams! Based in rural Lancashire we were able to get together in the sports and social club where we were camping.
On Saturday we went to Garstang in the morning, dancing outside two different pubs in fine weather. We moved on to a very windy Morecambe on Sunday where there was also a kite festival.
had to hold on to their hats several times, White Rose appeared to be held up
by the wind on at least one occasion, but the kites and flags flapped merrily
in the wind.
On Saturday evening after a good meal, we danced away to The Old School Band with Roger Downing in charge.
On Sunday, after a wet night and very damp morning, it eventually dried out and we danced in the local village – well at least we tried. The church bells, at close quarters to the pub drowned us out for well over half an hour. Previous experiences have included Concorde over Bradford and the Red Arrows over Whitby, but at least they didn’t hang about!
Congratulations to Rivington on 40 years of dancing and for putting together a great weekend.
and Castle/Queen’s Oak annual weekend, July 2017
Back again to our early July weekend in Northamptonshire. There was a large gathering, including several from the North – Horwich Prize Medal. Saddleworth, Stockport and even Wrigley Head alongside ourselves.
mystery tour took us into previously unknown territory – Buckinghamshire.
We danced in Buckingham outside the old gaol, somewhere alongside the Grand
Union Canal, the beautiful village of Adderbury and finishing up at Bloxham;
some Hook Norton pubs were involved.
the evening we had our usual fantastic meal followed by a ceilidh (and interesting
“turns”), to the accompaniment of Banter.
Sunday it was off to Stoke Bruerne by the Canal Museum, with all the survivors,
crossing back and forth over the canal to dance at the two spots.
All in all, another superbly run weekend, with great company all round and good weather prevailed after a poor week at home. Thanks everyone.
Monkey Club, Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield, July 2017
A lovely evening in this little hidden village on the outskirts of Huddersfield, in the convivial company of our hosts, Slubbing Billys, and Thieving Magpies.
We have a history of rainy evenings with Billys, but this one was exceptionally warm and dry!
danced until dusk was falling, watched by quite a few locals and club members.
Thanks for a good evening Billys!
Morris Men’s 50th anniversary, July 2017
Another trip to the seaside, this time the east coast of Lincolnshire. We camped at the Meridian Centre in Cleethorpes at the far end of town, where everyone gathered together on Saturday evening – for dancing, drink and cake!
On Saturday we were taken to Grimsby where we danced in a shopping centre, outside St James's Church and, in the afternoon, at the delightful People’s Park. There were about 8 teams altogether, including a group from Germany with their traditional dancing.
On Sunday we danced at various spots along the long seafront at Cleethorpes, until, unfortunately, we had to stop early due to some injuries. We made our way back to the campsite, travelling first on the land train from the Pier to the Kiosk, then taking the miniature railway for the rest of the journey.
Thanks to Grimsby
MM for organising the weekend, and congratulations on this milestone anniversary!
Yorkshire Day at Hartshead, 1st August 2017
We’ve been to this celebration a few times, invited by our friends Eileen and Dic. It usually rains, but this time, despite atrocious weather during the afternoon, it was dry and sunny.
Hartshead stands high above one of the highest parts of the M62 with stupendous views over the Pennines. (It’s also the place where Patrick Bronte was the vicar in 1810; he married whilst there and had his first two children, before moving on to Thornton and eventually Haworth.
year we were joined by a local brass band which added to the Yorkshire flavour,
and also Thieving Magpies and Rainbow Morris. The dancing area was crowded with
people and there was a great atmosphere. At times it was so noisy it was hard
to hear the music!
Thanks to all who came for another great Yorkshire Day!
Folk Week, August 2017
This year we busked on Saturday only, dancing opposite The Angel (now Wetherspoon’s) during the afternoon and joining the parade later on.
Briggate Morris were already there by the time we arrived (several of us struggling to make progress along the notorious A64 to meet at the designated time), and we danced with William Morris after lunch. It was a beautiful day and we attracted good crowds. We also welcomed 2 extra musicians and a dancer (all of whom we knew!) during the afternoon to help out.
For those of us who stayed for the festival it was great start to the week – although a few people wondered why they didn’t see us dancing again! However, we witnessed many fine sides around town and in the ceilidhs.
Bromyard Folk Festival, September 2017
A return visit to one of the friendliest folk festivals! This year Bromyard celebrated 50 years and they certainly know how to organise it – good camping, fabulous food outlets, the brilliant bar from The Fleece at Bretforton and a wide selection of craft and music stalls and even a weaving workshop. There was excellent entertainment around the site all weekend too. Despite somewhat changeable weather everything ran well, and we somehow managed to avoid most of the very heavy showers.
Dancing began on Friday night with the (noisy) procession through the town complete with flaming torches.
On Saturday morning we led a workshop, teaching “Knutsford”, and after lunch went off to town to dance at some of the pubs.
On Sunday our first spot was on the site arena – a square of slightly damp wooden boards making dancing a bit difficult – then it was off to town again to dance outside some more pubs before setting off home.
met several sides we hadn’t come across before, and others such as Jackstraws
and Silurian that we had. However, a special well done and thanks to Earlsdon
Morris who not only danced with their usual fun and vigour but worked hard around
the site too.
Morris Federation AGM day of dance September 2017
Our final dance out of the season was in the City of Culture 2017, Kingston upon Hull, for the Morris Federation AGM. Registration was at the splendid Guildhall, later to be used for the actual AGM and then the evening ceilidh.
The day dawned bright, warm and sunny as all the sides met in Victoria Square, recently pedestrianised providing an excellent meeting point. The Town Crier announced the day’s proceedings from the steps of the Victoria monument (Victoria proudly standing above the rather fine loos beneath!) before we all set off to our various dancing spots. Each team had a volunteer guide for the day, ours being Pauline who thoroughly enjoyed her day.
Our 4 spots were in the fine Old Town; firstly at the Streetlife Museum (next to William Wilberforce House and also the Hull and East Riding Museum), on to the Marina, back to the River Hull and the recent pedestrian swing bridge, returning to Humber Street near the Marina for the final spot. It’s a town worth seeing, and there is still a lot of revitalisation going on.
The day concluded back at Victoria Square where the 4 host teams (Green Ginger Garland, Beverley Garland, Makara Morris and Rackaback Morris) did a final display dance, with the Town Crier seeing us all off!
great way to finish the season and thanks to all involved in the organising.