We fielded a strong side of nine dancers and our two musicians Sian and Kevin for an enjoyable day dancing at the Chippenham Folk Festival on Saturday. Whilst Keith and Dafydd were unavailable as they were committed to dancing with Typyn y Bopeth Welsh dancers, and Ken and Di could not make it, we managed to poach Isca’s Nigel Britton for the day.
The sun decided to shine on us which made for a smashing day out although it would be good if the pubs and hotels could open up a bit earlier for the day than 1130am - thirsty work is Morris!
We danced at three different spots in the town centre, doing 3 dances at each, which was good as it meant we did not dance ourselves into the ground!
Highlight dance sides of the day were Five River Morris from Sheffield (male side, all young, tall and athletic, getting off the ground in a way reminiscent of Hammersmith), Bampton (wish we actually got to see them perform!) and Tatters and Tails Border for their great snarly faces. Best pub and dance spot was the Rose and Crown which seemed to be a natural gathering place for dancers and Musoes who were belting out great tunes in the small bar! We actually met up with a few of our ex musicians in the shape of Martin Hughes and M.J.Searle who play for other sides these days.
We thought there was a walking Procession through the town but there was an expectation that everyone dance, so we hashed together a slightly different version of Bampton Speed the Plough which seemed to work. It was good to see Sian back in action, and her fiddle playing unaffected after the injuries she received from her recent dog attack.
A lovely day out, although the drive back was made a bit tedious by the car crashes on the M4 and the congestion caused by an Ed Sheehan gig in Cardiff. Pics by Alison Haworth Geoff Wildman and Paul Tarrant.
On Thursday 26th May 2022 we met at The Village Inn, Killay for an evening tour. The beer was splendid and the landlord gave us a fiver before we started, guaranteeing our return. The weather was miserable and the musicians (Sian, Kev and Di) sheltered under a canopy while we danced in the drizzle.
We had a few dancers missing but still had seven dancers (Alex H, Alison, Ben, Di, Geoff, Ken and Nige). Alex is still carrying a shoulder injury, and with only 7 dancers we had a limited repertoire that we could perform. Alison and Di are up to speed with Bampton, Adderbury and Fieldtown handkerchief dances so we managed a few dances from these traditions. Sian played in spite of being attacked and badly bitten by a neighbour’s dog at the weekend, her fiddle playing seemed unaffected.
We moved from The Village Inn to The Railway in Upper Killay where we were delighted to find that the car park has been re-surfaced since our last visit and we weren’t dancing around pot-holes for a change. The rain had eased so the musicians were able to play out in the open. We danced dances from Bampton, Adderbury and Fieldtown and Constant Billy (Headington). The beer was up to the usual Railway standard and we had difficulty persuading Geoff to leave the bar, especially after he tweaked his old knee injury. Once we finished dancing Kev and Di treated us to tune session in the marquee.
Write up kindly provided by Nigel Haworth.
A strong team danced out at this very pleasant pub yesterday evening in fairly excellent conditions as it wasn’t too warm to dance and they serve Timothy Taylor Landlord Ale to assist in rehydration and cooling off if hyperthermia threatened to be a problem due to too much dancing!
Two of our musicians were absent but Kevin provided plenty of solid tunes with his melodeon to keep us dancing.
Dance highlights of the evening were Nantgarw Caseg Eira, Vandals of Hammerwich, Fieldtown Skirmish, Upton Sticks and Badby Banks of the Lea.
Anyway, here are a few photos taken by Andrea, Alison and Paul on Paul’s camera.
We performed on Saturday for the Friends of Singleton Park, dancing by the Swiss Cottage for an hour and a half. We had 7 dancers for this gig so had to choose dances that would not exhaust us in the hot sunshine that came out to greet us. Dance highlights included Sweet Jenny Jones, Skirmish, and Upton on Severn Stick dance as well as the usual Adderbury, Bampton and Fieldtown dances we performed. We got a lot of audience participation for an Adderbury dance with two ladies appearing to be total naturals! A good day out!
A smaller than usual team congregated for our regular Thursday evening tour which was in Oystermouth this week. Unfortunately our dancing was curtailed by a short, heavy shower which sent us packing to the White Rose to seek warmth and ale.
Prior to this, we had managed to do some dances, including Brighton Camp, Speed the Plough, and Balance the Straw. There were a few others done but I can’t recall what they were. Can’t wait to dance when it’s sunny and warm.
We were invited to dance at the Gower Heritage Centre Cheese and Cider Festival on Sunday 8th May, and we managed to get a strong side out for the event, doing two dance sets inside and out. There was a reasonable crowd there to watch us perform dances from the Cotswolds.
Note Paul Tarrant’s deliberate error where he clearly has Badby Morris in mind (note how he holds stick differently to everyone else!) when he really meant to dance Vandals of Hammerwich! He threw the side into chaos but they seemed to recover admirably and we larfed about it afterwards!
It was good to see Alex Heney’s broken wrist has mended successfully and that he was able to do several dances. Ride that bike a bit slower next time matey!
Our second set was performed outside in magnificent sunshine and it was warm.
Dances done were mainly from Adderbury, Bampton, Fieldtown, and Litchfield.
A few videos from Tredegar House Folk Festival - thanks to Andrew Macfetters for these.
May Day ….and it’s raining!
Our intention to dance the sun up at Arthur’s Stone on Cefn Bryn was thwarted by heavy rain, but we turned up for a hearty carno/vegan breakfast at the King Arthur Hotel at Reynoldston, and miraculously, the rain eased for us to do some dancing. In total we did Lads a Bunchum Adderbury, British Grenadiers/Skirmish Field Town, Step & Fetch Her Bampton, Y Caseg Eira Nantgarw, and Bonnie Green Garters Bampton.
A good start to a week of fairly intensive activity as we are at Murton Fete Monday at 3pm, Tredegar House Folk Festival Saturday and Gower Heritage Centre Parkmill Beer Festival next Sunday!
Photos by Paul Tarrant, Alison Haworth and Morwen Williams.
Most of our blog posts are written by Paul Tarrant (our archivist), with occasional contributions from other members of the side. Each post goes up first on our Facebook page, alongside a lot more photos than we put on the blog. Check out our Facebook page right here if you want to see more!