Monthly reports from the
Read them all or go straight to : JAN - MAR PRE
SEASON PREAMBLE APR - MAY JUN
- SEP 25TH WEEKEND REPORT OCT
NOV - DEC
New year, new challenges,
new ambitions, new mountains to climb, new rivers to be swum, etc - for many
teams. BB however are carrying on as normal in 2002.
One event to report on so
far, which was an appearance at the Haddenham ceilidh on 2nd Feb, with 2
spots during the ceilidh with band Malarkey. Despite some difficulties getting
the breeches on again for some of the team, the spots went well, and the music
flowed forth just as it always did (Sue benefiting from those long nights out in
the open on the African plains during the English winter, with only her melodeon
and some lions, bears and snakes for company. Amazing how those Morris tunes
scared off all the dangerous predators).
Meanwhile the practice season is continuing with some signs of a new dance
emerging for later in the year, and the potential return of an old member, at a
stroke doubling the number of Malcolms in the team. Welcome back, bonny lad.
Everyone is looking forward to our own 25th birthday weekend, July 12 - 14, and
plans are proceeding apace, albeit a slow pace. But the team is on the case, and
the booking of the bus for the Luton tour for one of our guest sides is
imminent. Roll on summer .....
new 2002 dance season dawns - what are the team members hopes for it?
Jane - "I'm really hoping the website will fulfil my request to
have a 'rear of the month' feature, though I appreciate that for some of
the teams we dance with a widescreen monitor would be necessary for
Rob - "I want us to dance with greater precision. I'm determined to
set an example and having been undergoing special arm-levelling
Jerry - (actually Jerry didn't answer directly - this is what we could
glean from his butler) - "Jerry's hopes for the season are that all
the hard work from the practice season pays off and leads to some
sparkling performances. The only things he is really concerned about are
the stepping, the lines, the team work, the co-ordination, the arm
movements, the ability to remember how the dances go, the ability to
remember all items of kit, and the ability"
Simon - "I'm just hoping we have an opportunity to use up all the
12,763 coconut halves I have been preparing during the winter. Glass of
coconut milk, anyone?"
Paul - "I'm hoping all my hard work doing circuits will enable me
to fulfil my potential this season, and I may even be ready to tackle
dances which last longer than 2 minutes"
Lee - "I get a shiver down my spine every time we sing 'Going Away'
at the end of each performance. This is usually accompanied by an acute
feeling of nausea. Still I understand the side may be trying out my new
words, if they ever get round to learning them"
John - "I don't care what we do so long as I get to go in my cloak
again. Wheeee.... Whoooo........ Wheeee....... I'm flying......
Sue - "I still haven't worked out yet if this lot are entirely
serious. Probably not. Still, soon be the winter again and time for
another 4 months danger and excitement - and we're not talking the BB
practice season here...."
Jameson - "I'm really looking forward to giving my all to just one
team this year. Not for me the days of tarting between loads of teams at
the drop of a hat or the flash of a Sidmouth season ticket - no sirree,
those days are past". "What's that, you're one short for
Saturday? Oh all right then...."
Jen - "One
three four, one two
three four, shake
my eggs, one two
three four". "What was the question again? - oh, I just hope
they give me a proper drum solo to do this season ..."
Mike - "My wishes for the season are to completely master at least
6 dances in the repertoire, though I fully realise if I do this I will
be some way ahead of everyone else in the side ..."
Malcolm - "Following my recent lay off due to my operation I'm
looking forward to Getting Down and Getting With It, to C'mon and Feel
the Noize. Why? Coz I Luv You, and anyway, Mama, We're All Crazee Now.
But musn't overdo it, or you'll be saying Look Wot You Dun, and you'll
have to Take Me Bak Ome - and I'd have to say Goodbye to Jane, and
before you know where you are its Merry Xmas Everybody"
Teas Tim - "Me? I'm looking forward to continuing to get the Teas
in. Did I tell you about my new diet? Oh sorry, am I speaking out
APR / MAY
The season opened in its usual way on Thurs 25th April with the usual
visit to the Queens Oak where we entertained the usual huge audience to
the usual repertoire which went much as it usually does. Well, its
traditional isn't it? The only real difference this year was that
instead of not visiting Bob's Fish n chip shop first, this year we
didn't visit Bob's Fish n chip n Tandoori shop. Yet we didn't let this
alter the spirit of the occasion.
2 days later we were off to Adderbury to join the Adderbury Day of
Dance. And as soon as someone who was there tells me how it went I will
bring the eagerly awaited news to website readers.
Sat 4th May saw us at Rochester, where our shortage of numbers on the
day meant that for once we were quite glad to see the familiar sight of
John's cloak heading up Rochester High Street towards us. We had a good
day overall, with the highlights being shared spots with Hook Eagle (who
also borrowed Tim and Jameson for a couple of dances, though they
insisted unnecessarily on giving them back afterwards) , and shared
spots and banter with Witchmen, to whom we dedicated, perhaps unwisely
given the size of some of them, our Dance of the Little Fairies. A
particular highlight was the comment from one of the Maenads ladies that
'Berkshire Bedlam have the best bums I've seen so far this year'. Nice
lady, but she really ought to get out more.
Thurs 9th May saw us at The Bell at Aldworth for an evening with Old
Speckled Hen. Nice evening, good dance spot, very pleasant hosts, and a
pile of sandwiches afterwards. Now that's what we call entertainment.
The final event of May was an appearance on Sat 25th at Sergeant
Musgraves 21st birthday weekend at Hose, in the Vale of Belvoir. The day
consisted of coach tours of a variety of pubs followed by a massed stand
at Newark Castle, where BB just managed to complete their spot before
the heavens opened on the next side up, which was Redbornstoke. Terrible
shame, lads (excuse me while I try to stop laughing). Sgt Musgraves had
set the sides a task for the day while on tour - to collect something
relating to every letter of the alphabet. Tim solved the problem for us
by collecting a red onion and finding something relating to every letter
of the alphabet from it e.g. - 'M' - the middle of the onion, 'N' - not
the middle of the onion, and so on. And no, 'O' wasn't what you might
think it was. In the evening Tim received his prize during the ceilidh -
a withering look from the organisers.
- SEP 2002
a stunner of a summer.....
weather? Naah, not when BB are around. While the rest of the country and
other morris sides suffered with a large amount of unseasonal
inclemency, BB led a charmed existence throughout summer 2002. Even when
there was the odd spot of drizzle in the air we found that a quick look
the other way accompanied by the words 'it never rains on BB' did the
trick. That, and running to the nearest shelter.
Our first event in June was the Old Palace Clog weekend of dance (or for
us, day) with a walking tour of London's South Bank. Its always
interesting to wander through London looking at some of the old relics
which have seen better days. Still, enough about the other teams. It was
a splendidly hot day with an unusual atmosphere as there was a lunchtime
World Cup match on featuring England, which helped provide a carnival
atmosphere, especially as England beat Denmark 3-0. Some of the
people started singing '3 lions on our shirts...' while Paul just had 3
rosettes on his due to a nasty mishap with his velcro. Nice day though.
The following Friday saw us out for the second year running on midsummer
solstice evening with Holt Morris, renowned for their fine dancing, fine
singing, and dodgy headgear. Once again this was at the Red Lion at
Avebury - well, to start with anyway, until the landlord decided that
what everyone really needed was an early night. After some scratching of
heads a revised plan was hastily evolved of proceeding to another nearby
pub where the dancing and particularly the singing continued till late.
Sadly for the second year in a row Holt whopped us at the singing
despite (or because of) Tim's inspired version of 'Little bunny fou-fou'.
Thanks Tim, we'll let you know (but the answer's going to be no).
On Thursday 27 Jun we were at the Wellington Arms in Sandhurst with
Mayflower. Sue made a splendid entrance as she arrived in her truck,
Yorkie bars liberally festooned all over the dashboard, resplendent in
her truckers gear. So much more practical than this white stuff we
Next up was Mortimer's weekend, based at Ambergate Social Club in the
Peak District, along with Hammersmith for the whole weekend and
Wakefield and Persephone for the day on Saturday. Smashing weekend, starting with dancing in Cromford
on Saturday morning, followed by a trip on the cable car up to the
Heights of Abraham in the afternoon. Jameson, not normally good at
heights, overcame his usual 'wuss'-ness and even managed to open his
eyes on the cable car ride. Back down in Matlock Bath we performed one
dance each before returning to Ambergate to get ready for the evening's
entertainment, 'A Night at the Oscars'.
Basically Mortimer's had planned an Oscar supper followed by a series of
spots for the evening, based loosely around musicals, and several
foolhardy souls dressed up for the evening in Oscar night type gear, though in
some cases this was just the top or bottom bits. Mortimer's own main offering
was an inspired version of 'Grease', featuring men and women pouting and
posing in a variety of girls dresses. Lovely, especially the boys.
Hammersmith then did something featuring their lower bodies encased in a variety of
grass skirts made out of newspaper and knocked up in the bar a few
minutes earlier, the something being a game consisting of passing spoons on the
end of long pieces of string up and down the clothing of people in teams
standing in a line, though basically it was an excuse to feel people up
while helping the spoons along their way up, down and around people's
nether regions. After that it was time for our spot for which we had
been given a choice of themes 'Mary Poppins' or 'The Rocky Horror
Picture Show'. Despite the cross dressing and leather opportunities
posed by Rocky Horror, due to a lack of practice time beforehand we had
opted for yet another version of The Cockney Dance, this time done to
the tune of 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', as rendered by the
fine band of Jane on fiddle, Sue on melodeon, Bob on claves and Malcolm
murdering the vocal. Still, not as much as the dancers murdered the
The evening culminated with Mortimer's presentation of Oscars for
various things associated with the weekend, with the recipients
receiving Oscar-like trophies made out of severely mutilated Action Man
and Barbie dolls which had been covered in not quite dry gold acrylic
paint. We were awarded 2 of these slightly doubtful honours, one to the
whole team for jumping high, and one for the best VPL of the day, which
Lee had the cheek to win (think about it...). Great fun though.
On Sunday morning most people went for a really nice walk up and down a
dale or two before assembling at a tricky to find (for some of us anyway) pub at
Alderwasley for a relaxed lunchtime dance session for the 3 teams - very
pleasant way to end the weekend.
Next - BB's very own 25th birthday weekend. This momentous event, which
caused even our own laid back Paul to show some teensy signs of stress
(we have the e-mail evidence, Paul), but which turned out better than
any of us dared hope due to a mix of hard work and the way all the other
teams also entered into the spirit of things, deserves a special report all of its own
JULY 2002 - BB's 25th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND
planning for the weekend started late in 2001, when a small team of
Paul, Jane, Rob and Lee, conceived the master plans which would
eventually lead to the most successful weekend BB have hosted since its
21st some 4 years earlier. Actually the only weekend but that's by the
With hindsight their most inspired decision (amongst many other inspired
decisions) was to use the base found by Miriam and Rob of St. Mary's
School, Mortimer, with an overall theme for the weekend of 'Back to
School'. In fact the school turned out to be an excellent base, with
ample room in the grounds at the back of the school for camping, a
reasonable size hall for eating and the ceilidh, and unrestricted access
to the school sports facilities including their small but perfectly
formed and heated swimming pool. We had been worried for several days
beforehand that the recent wet weather (several weeks of it) would
severely restrict what we could do and prevent access by cars to the
campsite which would have provided severe logistical difficulties for
car parking, but in fact the weather was almost perfect throughout the
whole weekend which certainly helped though we would have had a good
Proceeding started on the Friday evening when we were joined at the
school by camping guests from Betty Luptons, Bullnose, Pigsty,
Redbornstoke and Stroud. They would be joined on Saturday by teams from
Jackstraws, Insword and Chiltern Hundreds, and on Sunday by Windsor. All
fine teams in their own right, and who combined over the weekend to
bring out the best in each other. But back to the Friday night when the
fine weather, Jerry's Soup of the Day and Rob's gazebo bar got
proceedings off to a relaxed start - well, very relaxed in some cases.
On to Saturday morning when all the teams just managed to squeeze onto
the various charabancs provided by Stewarts Coaches of Mortimer, a
couple of which were driven by BB. First stop was Reading, with the
teams divided up between 2 spots in Broad Street plus the Town Hall.
These proved surprisingly good places to perform since the full
pedestrianisation of Broad Street, and the sunny weather helped draw
good and appreciative audiences. The first hitch of the day though
occurred when Cliff from Redbornstoke felt unwell and had to be taken to
the Royal Berks Hospital - he turned out to be fine in the end but it
added a bit of drama for everyone else! After this the sides split for
lunch between The Bull at Barkham and our very own Queens Oak at
Finchampstead, and then on into our home town of Wokingham to perform
outside Waitrose and a massed stand in the Market Place to the
bemusement of the good people of Wokingham, unused to seeing 150 fine
quality morris dancers crammed into their home town. Not a hotbed of
traditional English activity, the centre of Wokingham, or indeed any
activity in particular since the big supermarkets started building their
new stores on the edge of town, thereby killing the town centre, well
that and the inability of the local council to come up with a sensible
plan for the centre for the last 20 years which amongst other things
would resolve the major traffic problems through having through traffic
pass directly through the shopping area on roads which used to struggle
to accommodate wagons and carts a hundred years ago. Anyway, where was
I? - oh yes, the massed stand went very well, and BB finished off with
'Little Fairies' with particularly inspiring musicianship from Jane, Sue
After the massed stand everyone retreated back to Mortimer's school for
Simon and Yvonne's tea and biscuits, and 'School Sports Day', led by Tim
with help from Bob. Suitably dressed in headmasters gown and wielding a
big stick, Tim successfully organised a series of events for the smaller
boys and girls, and then the bigger boys and girls, with Bob's stickers
for prizes and everything, which was going really well until some of the
bigger boys decided they had had enough of being bossed around and
chucked him in the swimming pool. We were all naturally very concerned
for his wellbeing, but it has to be said he did make a very satisfactory
sort of splashing noise as he went in. After this he did carry on
organising more games but somehow the edge just seemed to have been
taken off his authority ......
Various impromptu games and some imbibing continued until the first of 2
sittings for supper, organised very effectively by Jerry, with just a
teensy bit of help from other loyal BB kitchen staff - oh, and the local
pub, who actually cooked and delivered most of the food. Somehow while
this was going on, a fairly vigorous game of almost real hockey was
going on outside on the playground, later hailed by some of our guests
as the highlight of their weekend, which I suppose doesn't say a lot for
By this time, many of the attendees had changed into school
clothing ready for the evening. This included some particularly
outrageous outfits, though special mention must be given to
Redbornstoke's team effort - its amazing just how good some of them look
with their hair done nicely and a bit of lippy. The evening featured a ceilidh with the
incomparable Bismarcks as the band, all of whom had also entered into
the school theme spirit, with Ed looking particularly menacing in his
mortar board, Nina looking particularly naughty in short skirt and
pigtails, and Gareth looking like a big bloke dressed up as he plinked
and plonked away all night. As caller we had Jethro, who also got into
the bossy headmasterly role with worrying ease, but called some
It wouldn't have been a BB occasion though without some spot
entertainment. During the first break, Jameson and Lee reprised their
Sand Dance, first and last seen at the 2001 Bunfight, but performed
again with great panache, though Jameson's stick on eyebrows developed
a life of their own during it. This was followed by an excellent spot from
Betty Luptons, dressed as schoolgirls at Hockey practice (with jolly
hockey sticks too), and performing one of their dances suitably adapted
with frequent interruptions while someone (deliberately) went wrong -
great fun, even with the none too subtle dig at BB's Fairies dance
"plenty of eye-contact girls! Its very important!". Also
during the first break, Tim awarded a prize for the quiz he had been
running during the day, where every team had been asked to answer
questions of local information, the answers of which could have been
spotted during the day if everyone had their eyes open, though this
became harder for some teams as the alcohol levels grew during the day.
In the second
break, Sue Graham won the prize for identifying the most Bedlams from
their baby photographs which had been on display, though most people had
been convinced that Mike and Jameson were girls, though of course this
is only true part of the time. And then it was time for BB's main spot,
which had been decided to be a reprise of our 1995 Bunfight smash hit
'YMCA', better known as 'In The Bedlams', but incorporating references
to some of our other favourite spots over the years. Malcolm had put
together a tape with suitable snatches of spot music, so first on were
Simon and Jane as the Schwarzkopf Formation display team doing some of
the Bavarian Woodchopper Boys dance including obligatory bottom
slapping, followed by John at his most Rolf-like with a very authentic
3-legged Jake the Peg, then a sinister looking Tim in his element
Flashdancing, next Sue and Bob as cheerful cheeky Cockney chappies,
doffing and twanging like there was no tomorrow, and then the biggest
drake of them all, Jameson, preening himself and flocking around like
the big flocker he is. At last the opening strains of YMCA started and
on came the 'real' Village People lookalikes with Paul as cute cowboy,
Rob as cute red indian, Jerry as naval officer, Mike as construction
worker, and Lee shoehorned into a 2 sizes too small traffic cop outfit. While
Malcolm then strangled the vocal, everyone attempted to do the dance
which had been choreographed at practice 2 days earlier, though about 30
seconds into it most people forgot what that was and just stuck to the
vigorous pointing. It didn't matter though, it went down very well, with
most of the audience singing and clapping along, and as soon as we had
exited we were called back to do it again - just as well really as
that's what we had planned - and some of the side swapped hats for the
second version, with Paul producing for some reason best known to
himself a Viking helmet. However someone started the karaoke tape a bit
early so our re-entrance was a bit high speed, and the second time
through was even less structured than the first - but did we care? -
naah, not by that stage! After the second performance, we were called
back again, this time by the guest sides to say thanks for the weekend
and for Adrian from Redbornstoke to present us with some wine as a
birthday present - aaah, thanks chaps!
All great fun, and after the spots were done we still had time to enjoy
more of the Bismarcks before it was time to wind down the evening.
That took us to Sunday, and planned spots in Windsor. Once again the
weather was excellent for us, and we enjoyed good spots in Peascod
Street and the Two Brewers until a final massed stand after lunch at
the Donkey House, after which it was time to say goodbye to all our guests, all of whom
in turn said how much they had enjoyed the weekend. It was also time to
say thanks to Paul for putting so much in to organising the weekend, and
to say how much we were looking forward to him organising the next one.
(Joke, Paul, joke...).
The weekend hadn't quite finished though - all the Bedlams and partners,
including Mike and Lyn who had been working on the Sunday, returned to
St. Mary's School for a final clear up and then final swim in the pool
and late afternoon chill session with some of the remaining wine and
beer followed by some mutual self congratulation in typical BB style -
but perhaps for once deserved!
fact the weekend was a success because of a number of factors but
not least because of the way everyone in the side, and their partners,
all made really valuable contributions in their own way. However a
special mention should go to Jane and especially Paul for doing the
majority of the organising, arranging the programme, and liasing with
Finally, Yvonne was our very own 'David Bailey' for the weekend,
literally snapping at everyone's heels throughout, and she and Simon
produced a fantastic album of the weekend crammed with photos and other
memorabilia which is a great souvenir of the whole event. No doubt it
will be dug out by future generations to look at in wonder, awe, and
amazement in years to come "look at that lot, no wonder morris
dancing died out early in the 21st century ..... "
END JUL -
Two weeks later it was off to Warwick for our biannual appearance at the
Warwick Festival, which lived up to its usual standards, and once again had some
excellent weather. Saturday saw us dancing at the campsite, around town,
and in the procession which so many of us always enjoy, especially our lady on the fiddle. But one of the best bits of the day was BB's own
evening pizza party on the campsite, courtesy of Rob's multi-purpose
gazebo, Domino's pizza (after some difficulties with the telephone order - 'you are a
pizza shop, aren't you?' enquired Lee less than helpfully halfway
through the ordering process), and the back of Malcolm's car. This was just a nice,
laid back affair with several guests who joined us for a variety of
reasons including Jack and his family, and Annie and Ed. And we didn't
have to dance or do spots or anything.
Sunday saw us back in town again, and then doing some of our best stuff
of the weekend in front of a fairly appreciative audience at the Zetland.
As we lined up to start one dance though, we had an interruption from an
over-zealous member of Insword who took the opportunity of a slight
downward slope to scooter herself right through the middle of the set
just as the music was about to start, much to the crowd's amusement
(well timed, to be fair, but not to be repeated Bob). Finally, Shooting
to finish back at the campsite without a single dropped stick - no, I
couldn't believe it either.
Next up was a team appearance on the seafront at the Sidmouth festival
on Sunday morning / lunchtime, which would not have been possible if Tim
had not slogged all the way down down for the day, as although we had 6 other dancers
staying for the weekend or full week, one of them spent a long time on
Sunday dressed as an animal of the nanny species, though he denied it
afterwards in a sort of bleaty and horny way. At one point Bill the nice JKL
video man asked if he could film our next dance, so we changed our
planned dance to something more interesting for the video, only to find
halfway through that he had stopped filming us in order to film the air/sea
rescue helicopter flying overhead. This ought to have provided fruitful
material for some big chopper jokes if any of us had been quick enough,
but this is BB we are talking about, not a bunch of comedians. What do
you mean they are the same thing?
After the lunchtime seafront performance, Jameson and Simon put in an
appearance at the jig competition at the Manor Pavilion in order to
reprise their prize winning double jig from last year, once again
accompanied by Gareth, this time wearing some nice C&A slacks as he
flitted between soundchecks and gigs. Was it my imagination or did the
boys ham it up even more than last year....?
After Sidmouth a break for the team until a 'whoops where has the summer
gone' Tuesday evening on Sept 3 at the Plough at Little London with
Basingclog and Hook. Nice relaxed evening, good teams, good tunes and
good sandwiches, just like last year. And then it was the start of
autumn and the practice season again .......
2002 - COURSES AND WEDDINGS
main dance out season it was back to the 4 week BB course during October. While
not overwhelmed by the huge numbers wishing to join us, we had attendance
throughout the course from Ken, Linda, and young Bob. By the end, the course had
covered several dances in the repertoire to an excellent standard, and had more
than one of the current team looking nervously on as they realised how it should
be done. For the last evening of the course we welcomed back Gareth, helping us
out again while Sue takes a sabbatical on the other side of the world. It was
great to see him back in his accustomed place, alongside Simon asking him how
the tunes went.
Just after the end of the course on 26th October came a momentous event in the
Bedlam diary, the wedding of Mike and Lyn. This took place at a church just
outside Newbury, with many at the ceremony in Morris kit, followed by a
reception immediately afterwards at the church hall, and then an evening ceilidh
at the school opposite with Random and Chris Pitt.
All went well at the ceremony, Lyn and Mike looked resplendent in cream and
green, and best man Jameson, also in green frock coat, spent the day telling
everyone how wonderful he looked, and also managed to work it into his best
man's speech at the reception, along with a reference to the fact that Mike had
obviously carefully chosen the date as the clocks were due to go back that
night, their wedding night, and at his age he could use the extra hour.
After the speeches the sides present performed a dance each in the church hall,
with Mike and Lyn joining in with various teams including Berkshire Bedlam (once
again featuring Gareth, who had earlier caused a small sensation by baring torso
outside the church while getting changed), Old Speckled Hen, Kintbury, Pigsty,
Red-or-deadbornstoke (winter tradition), a Stroud jig, and Mike Boston's Great
Western style massed Princess Royal for everyone not in kit. Then the
families adjourned for a belated lunch while the Morris teams adjourned for a
belated pint to the Swan at Thatcham where the dancing continued until it got
too cold and late. BB's efforts included a performance of Laughing Cavalier, and
as all 3 of the stalwarts of the October course happened to be there, in a
variety of outfits and heels, they were duly roped in, and responded
magnificently. Later on a friendly and attractive young member of the barstaff,
demonstrably feeling the effects of a chilly day, was persuaded to join Tim and
others performing an improvised Shepherd's Hey (not sure the teapot chorus is
traditional, Tim) - actually she was very good and the side was immediately
prepared to relax its 'male dancers only' rule which had stood for the previous
25 years although sadly she declined the invitation.
Finally it was back to Newbury for the excellent evening ceilidh, with Random
playing, Chris Pitt calling, Mike and Lyn looking relaxed, and some of BB by now
looking the worse for wear. But overall a great day, and a thoroughly enjoyable
celebration of Lyn and Mike's happy event.
- DEC 02 - WINTER WARMERS
as always was dominated by preparation for the Bunfight, our annual
ceilidh dance featuring a 'spot' which we spend much of the year talking
about and November practising for. This year we got the main idea quite
quickly, though we had to ditch the original plan involving scooters
when it became clear that 'suitable for children up to 6 stone' was for
a good, weight related reason. Shame though, as John was demonstrating
very effectively the comic potential of 3rd degree carpet burns during
some advance concern about reduced attendances, when the Bunfight
eventually happened (Sat 30 Nov) it proved to be just as successful as ever. The
theme for the night was 'The Underground', and as usual this was open to
a number of misinterpretations. We had a variety of London Underground
stations, including several Angels, some underground workers, and a
couple of WW2 Underground Resistance members, straight out of an
audition for Allo Allo (its a popular light entertainment programme,
Jerry). Our traditional band for the evening, Phungus, also sported
'Mind The Gap' T-shirts though why they were so concerned about an
overpriced clothes retailer we never did find out.
first spot of the evening featured BB in 'normal' fancy dress gear
performing 'Jolly Jockey Sticks' particularly badly, even by our own
pretty low standards. But eventually it was time for the second spot,
and after enduring Tim spinning out the Irish bingo as long as he
possibly could (Tim, if you are ever called on in the future, remember
to try to wrap it up just before people have lost the will to live
rather than after), it was time for our 633 Squadron spot. Now, its not
easy to describe this except to say imagine a number of over excited
schoolboys running around a room in vague formation with their arms
stuck out pretending to be aeroplanes and making plane-y noises, done to
the accompaniment of a stirring brass band version of '633 Squadron'.
the main music had finished, with us on one knee, arms outstretched, the
opening strains of 'The Dambusters' started up. Now of you've ever listened to
this, after a stirring opening with cymbally bits, it goes into a particularly
camp bit of tune, which seemed just right for a mincing, prancing sort of step
by which to exit. As we came off, it seemed inconceivable that such a pile of
old tosh would merit calls for an encore, but (helped in no small way by Hugh
Crabtree) we were duly summonsed back to do it again. We had taken the
precaution of handing out lots of party poppers for the second time through so
as we came to the bomb-y bits, we were duly poppered. Ah well, another
easy-to-prepare spot to add to the repertoire. Now, what about next year?
This year, the Bunfight fell the day before the Wokingham Winter Carnival, so
the very next day (Sun 1st Dec) we were out again on the streets, ably supported
by Jane and Gareth, subjecting the denizens of Wokingham to some of the very
finest entertainment to be found anywhere in the vicinity of Woolworths on that
particular day. We also took part in a much shorter procession than in previous
years, though we did have the usual bit of trouble with a goat. Still, better
than that bloke with the cloak, eh?
And December finished off in its usual style, with the Xmas meal at the Hideout
followed by the St. Thomas's Day performance on Sat 21st Dec in Wokingham Market
Place, joined again this year by Gareth who for once did not have his post
company dinner Xmas hangover, which in previous years has made him forget some
of the tunes. This year he forgot the tunes for completely different reasons.
Yvonne had also done a great job in getting some advance publicity for this in
the local press, though it has to be said that despite this we were not
overwhelmed with spectators. Still, their loss was the pigeons gain.
And so on to 2003, where will no doubt be soon be more tales of fun, laughter,
joy, comradeship, and great performances to be told. And some of them could even
be about us......
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