We have not seen a lot of Ken Simpson recently. Ken was our Squire and fiddle player, joining the side in the 1980s, and being a regular until around 2012. Keith suggested that it would be a good thing to visit him during a Thursday Evening Tour, and so this we did, last night. Ken was totally in the dark about our intended plan to visit, although his family were indeed part of it, and there was an amusing moment in true ‘You’ve Been Framed’ manner when Ken realised there were some Morris dancers outside his house! ‘What the ‘eck are they doing out there!’ or something close to this was reportedly heard!
We were able to dance on his front yard, with his family and neighbours coming out to watch. Ken’s fiddle was duly brought out and he joined in with our band, playing tunes that we dance to on as fine an evening as you could hope to find.
We danced Lads of Bunchum, Constant Billy, Speed the Plough and Vandals of Hammerwich and Ben did a jig. Ken enjoyed the display and after, we reminisced about old days passed whilst Cheryl his daughter brought us beers and sandwiches. Long may your kettle boil Ken!
We next visited the New Inn in northern Clydach, a place we have visited in the past. The pub is idyllically sited in the deep valley where the Lower Clydach river flows through, what was once an area of intense coal mining activity. Add to that a large frontage at the pub, a couple of good ales, and most importantly, a receptive appreciative audience, and it is easy to see why it is a popular choice!
We danced British Grenadiers, Shooting Adderbury, Badby Banks of the Lea, Brighton Camp and we were able to dance Caseg Eira Nantgarw where Alison H & Alison B danced it for the first time in public! The small crowd outside (Ieauan the landlord and his wife drive folks out of the bar to watch us!) were impressed, and some wanted to join in, so we had two sets up of Brighton Camp, and it all went well!
We gave up dancing when the light started to go and bats started flying around, feeding off the midges of which there were a few feeding on us!
We were unable to get to the Millers, Ynystawe, but hopefully will go there another evening.
Lovely evening had by all.
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!