We were invited to perform at The Gower Heritage Centre Christmas Fare on Thursday 30th November 2023. Several of our usual dancers were unavailable but we still had enough to put on a decent show. Sian, Kev, Rog and Di provided the music, in very cold conditions. The dancers were Alex D, Alex H, Alison B, Di, Erin, Keith, Ken and Nige. New dancers Claire and Hannah also turned up to watch. We met at 7:30, by which time the market had thinned out. If we perform at this event in future we should be aim for 6pm at the latest.
We took the opportunity to give The Gower Christmas Sport mumming play its first outing of the season. We used our revised script as a very rough guide to our lines, we hope to have this perfected by the time we finish mumming on 21st December ready to forget again by next year.
It was freezing cold in the courtyard. Alex Heaney, as The Valiant Knight, suffered for his art - laying on a cold floor while Keith (The Doctor) and Ken (Narrator) kept to the script ! Alex D was resplendent with his green robe and skull-adorned staff, Di appeared as Beelzebub and Nige vanquished all as King George, with a choice of shields freshly painted by Alison H.
Once we’d treated the audience to our mumming skills we did several dances to warm ourselves up, this didn’t work – we were still bitterly cold. We were without our squire and foreman so Sweyn’s Ey anarchy kicked in - we performed British Grenadiers, Balance the Straw, Speed The Plough and Bonny Green Garters (no doubt Keith, Alex H or the musicians will remember any others that we danced). We have taken Stewart’s comments to heart and walked onto the dance area in a set and ready to start, we just need to remember to do this when he’s watching. By the end of the set the musicians’ hot-water bottles had lost their effectiveness and both Di and Nige were bleeding onto their hankies, Di from a stray stick and Nige from mumming, so we called it a day.
Thanks to the Heritage Centre for the warm mulled-cider and special thanks to Erin for providing many hot-water bottles.
Write up by Nige, Pics by Gower Heritage Centre.
We had a great dance out as part of the Victorian Christmas Day held in Morriston (where else!)
We entertained a constantly changing crowd in glorious sunshine, drawing interest from several young folk who wanted to know what we were about. After entertaining with our dancing for about 30 minutes, we visited the recently refurbished Fountain which was the first pub Paul visited in the area when he moved to Morriston in 1975! Morriston was also the first place that Geoff danced with the side!
After a swift half, some of us moved on to the Red Lion where we had a good bit of a social chit chat before ending a successful day, with it being quite remarkable that we were still dancing this late in the year, and that the weather allowed us to do so!
Pics by Andrea Jessup & Paul Tarrant.
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!