Future Event Listing
for full details of future programme
you can read about our earlier year's activities in our previous year's diaries
Year 41 for BB and all is well
with a busy programme to come! The first time we stepped beyond the confines of
the Scout Hut though was for a Sunday practice in March at Vibez Dance Studios
in Woodley, used in 2017 by the fragrant Debbie McGee when rehearsing for her
Strictly Come Dancing appearances. Not sure we were as light footed in the
Studios as she was, but bet she couldn't wield a coconut like BB can.
Our first proper outing of the year was on Sat 21st April at the Oxford Folk
Festival, these days a traditional season opener. Once again the weather was
mostly sunny, and we enjoyed a good day, starting in the Botanical Gardens and
finishing in Bonn Square, with some Cornmarket appearances thrown in. Then on
10th May we had an evening at the Fisherman's Cottage, Reading, with Rockhopper
and Windsor Morris, and with dancing on the canal towpath just outside the pub.
Next, a day in Brighton on Sat 19th May, as guests of Brighton Morris at their
50th Anniversary Day of Dance - a great chance to escape the Royal Wedding and
FA Cup Final on the same day. 15 different sides took part altogether, and
during the day we enjoyed the company of 7 Champions, Great Western, Hunters
Moon, Cuckoo's Nest and Rockhopper, plus all the other sides at the opening
stand in Pavilion Gardens, and at the end of the day alongside the i360 on the
Promenade. Another very sunny day and red faces all round at the end of it
except Tom, who had spent the day shrouded in a ghostly mask of white sun tan
lotion. But he wouldn't be hurting at work on Monday...
24th May saw us on the wasteland of the Queens Oak car park with Fleet Morris -
a good evening if you avoided the potholes. Than in June we had another visit to
the Abingdon Tradition Morris Dancers Mayor Making Day - a Day of Dance with the
election of the Mock Mayor of Ock Street in the afternoon followed by carrying
him ceremonially along Ock Street. As always Abingdon were excellent hosts
throughout, and the day finished with an evening of food, drink, relaxing and
entertainment in the Long Gallery of Abingdon Abbey.
Then from Fri 27th - Sun 29th July we were once more at the Warwick Folk
Festival, based as usual at Warwick School. This year there were a number of
changes to the layout of the Festival site due to construction work at the
school. As a result, Morris teams had their own camping field, still adjacent to
and accessible from the main site but actually in the grounds of Myton School.
Our Festival started on the Friday evening with a successful ceilidh spot in the
Ceilidh Hall, and then on the Saturday we had spots on the excellent Arena stage
on the main site, then in the grounds of Warwick Castle, and then at the Rose
and Crown before lining up for the afternoon procession. The whole of July had
been glorious weather, and the glorious weather continued right up to the point
when the procession started, which was the signal for some quite heavy rain to
start. Nevertheless the procession carried on through the Market Place, down
Church Street, and then down Castle Street and rather soggily into the Castle
grounds again. Back at the school, another dance spot was due but apart from a
short spot under the awning outside the Theatre, the rest of the day's dancing
was cancelled. An outdoor BB pizza evening had been planned for later which
looked in doubt until Ben secured the large covered outdoor dining space of
Myton School. This made an excellent base for us, and Will, having been taught
so well by dad Gary, coordinated and ordered pizzas for the large BB contingent
and their guests (and Lee!) - no easy task!
rain threatened on Sunday but none materialised, and we were able to enjoy
good dance spots at the Rose and Crown, the Zetland, and finally at the Arena
Stage. A great weekend, shared with some excellent teams, and one where BB
acquitted themselves very well. Bring on the next event...!
... which turned out to be a pre Sidmouth dance out at the Queens Head with
Customs and Exiles on Thurs 2nd Aug. There was lots of BB involvement at
Sidmouth with no less than 10 of the team there throughout the week doing
various things, but for the first time for many years at no point did any of the
10 get together under the BB umbrella. No need - the weather was fantastic
almost throughout the whole week!
the next team event was on Saturday 1st September at Wallingford Bunkfest -
another beautiful day, and we had good dancing spots at the Dolphin, on the
Kinecroft Main Stage, at the Market Place, and for the first time at the
Boathouse pub by the Thames, where too many backsteps could lead to a
submergence. The day ended, like all good Bunkfests, with another great
Chunkfest courtesy of Sue. Always a highlight...
On Sunday 16th September, one of our more unusual events - an appearance at
the Royal County of Berkshire Show, near Chieveley - a massive agricultural show
billed as a celebration of country life. We were invited to perform in the
Countryside Area, which featured a wide variety of displays during the day,
including Morris Dancing. We had 2 spots on our own during the day, in a large
grassed field - not an ideal surface for us. Nevertheless we drew a reasonable
crowd, though we had a suspicion many of them were waiting for next dog display
to come on...
Then on Saturday 22nd Sept we headed off to London's South Bank for the annual
Morris Federation AGM and Day of Dance, this year hosted by New Esperance. After
such a good summer, which continued into September, it was a shame the weather
turned against us somewhat, with rain increasing as the day wore on. Despite
that, we were able to complete our 4 scheduled spots, largely shared with other
interesting teams, based at various pubs along or near the South Bank.
Saturday 13th Oct saw a relatively small but perfectly formed team off to Lewes
once more for a very enjoyable Day of Dance. This included dance spots at the
Snowdrop, in the Precinct, and 2 spots at the John Harvey Tavern.
that, we spent our November practices developing our routine for the Bunfight.
We had decided to attempt a challenging dance routine with castanets, and
Charles had agreed to lead the development of it through 4 weekly practices. We
were very pleased to be joined at this stage by Rhys Boorman - a very welcome
addition to the side - and we finished up with 14 of us doing the routine.
Thanks to Charles's preparations, practices went well and by the time of the
Bunfight one or two had actually learned the dance. This year's theme was 'On the Piste - an Alpine
Adventure!', and once again it was a great
evening, with some highly imaginative costumes on show, in particular Ben encased in
a bowl of Alpen, complete with milk - wherever he went a little trail of breakfast
cereal followed him. The Diatonics were great, and in the first interval we gave a public debut to
our new dance Cheesy Bob. Later on Los Flamencos de Berkshire
produced a flamenco dance full of hints of passion, temperament and energy. Only
next day was the Wokingham Winter Carnival - another good though chilly day.
Following the Town Centre refurbishment during the year, the end of day
procession was reinstated. Due to some administrative difficulties BB found
themselves right at the end of the procession, behind the mini train with Santa
and local dignitaries on board - the climax of the
procession. However as the procession slowed in the Market Place to let the
local dignitaries out, some of the more - shall we say - enthusiastic elements of BB saw
an opportunity. Initially they just processed around the train, but then,
getting bolder, got in. While
senior members of the team watched from behind their hands, Santa did his best
to summon a smile for the local paper. However we're afraid Santa may not be
calling at the bedrooms of some of our members this year...
The year ended in its traditional way - firstly a Xmas meal on 20th December at
the Bull at Barkham, complete with Secret Santa presents, dispersed as usual by
'Santa'. And then finally on Saturday 22nd December, our now expanded St.
Thomas's Day tour. Jameson had organised for us to start with a carol and a
dance at the Dukes Head, which also marked Rhys's outdoor debut in full
(borrowed) kit. We then moved across the road for a couple of dances outside the
library, marked of course by lots of shushing. Next, we headed up to the
refurbished and more spacious Market Place where we no longer have to dance
behind the burger van. Finally the tour headed off to the Queens Head for more
prolonged carol singing, and an excellent dancing session. This was to be Will's
last dance out with us before heading off to Australia in the spring, and for
some slightly unclear reasons he gradually lost various bits of kit as the
session progressed - though fortunately it was a particularly mild December day.
Eventually his kit was retrieved from the Xmas tree outside the pub, henceforth
to be known as the William Marshall Memorial Tree...
Reports from earlier years are also available -
You can also see pictures of all events in the various Picture