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Remember you can read about our earlier year's activities in our previous year's diaries here: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

2019 News

Well, here's another fine year we've gotten ourselves into... and a mighty fine looking programme of events comin' along.

And as the dancing year starts, taking stock of the side, we're doing OK - if we ever have a full strength side out this year we'll be doing more than OK, but that may have to wait until Whitby in August. Meanwhile...

The first formal dance out of the year rather appropriately took place on Wednesday 1st May in Windsor, hosted by Windsor-Morris-As-Seen-On-TV-Briefly - and a pleasant evening by the Thames at the Boatman was a good way to start our year. Nothing else then until 18th May in Winchester for the Winchester Mayfest, with a number of dance spots around this impressive city. After lunch was a massed stand outside the Cathedral, at which we were due to perform towards the end. As the massed stand wore on, the clouds gathered, until just before our turn it did actually rain, causing our musicians for the spot, Roy and Charles, to test out some fetching new attire. Later we finished the day with some dances inside the hugely impressive Great Hall, a 13th century aisled hall, and all that remains today of Winchester Castle. Within the hall hung high on one wall is a medieval replica of King Arthur's legendary Round Table, resembling a huge dartboard with too many numbers. Good spot for a photo though.

The next few weeks saw a series of evening dance outs. Firstly on Wed 22nd May came an evening at the Fisherman's Cottage, Reading, with Windsor Morris and Rockhopper. Thursday 30th May was a dance out at the Red Lion, Cholsey - a commemoration evening for Bob Wyatt, who had sadly passed away in mid May - we were pleased and honoured to be able to dance in Bob's memory. The following Thursday found us close to home for David, at the Queen Victoria, Shalford. The evening started with a reasonable audience watching us, but as 9 pm drew near, most drifted inside for the pub quiz evening. With no audience left, the obvious thing to do was follow on ourselves and take part in the quiz - and not surprisingly, with a team of 9 compared with most other team sizes of 4 maximum, we won - only just, though. 8 days later, on Fri 14th June, we were back to one of our favourite places to dance - the Cricketers at Hartley Wintney, this time with Alton and Fleet. A good turn out of BBs, and another very pleasant evening.

On Sunday 16th June we made a return visit to Kirtlington Lamb Ale, the first time for 3 years we had been able to attend. Nothing had changed in our absence, we were pleased to note - 2 processions, each either side of the church service, a display from Kirtlington Morris and the Kirtlington Maids, dance spots at the Dashwood Arms, School, Village Hall and Oxford Arms, and finally one show dance each from each team at the school. Always a great day, very well organised, and with a good array of teams taking part.

On Saturday 22nd June we were in Windsor again for an excellent day hosted by Windsor Morris, and with other guest team Tower Ravens, a women's rapper team highly successful in recent years at the annual DERT rapper tournament. And then just 3 days later we were back in Windsor again for a very pleasant evening dance out with Maidenhead based Taeppa's Tump, women's North-West morris team. Then staying local, on Sat 6th July we were in Reading for Kennet Morris's Day of Dance, featuring a plethora of fine local teams, with dance spots in Broad Street and outside the Town Hall.

July also featured our semi annual Dorset Tour, ably organised this year by Jerry, and based as is traditional at the Giant's Head campsite just outside Cerne Abbas. Events started on Saturday 20th Jul with dancing along Dorchester's South Street, before catching the train into Weymouth for a spot alongside Weymouth's Clock Tower in glorious sunshine. An added bonus came in the afternoon where Jerry had wangled us an invitation to take part in Nothe Fort's Victorian Family weekend, where there was a proper performance stage, PA, and a small audience - all we required! The day concluded with evening dancing in a deserted Cerne Abbas, with walks from/to the campsite down/up the hill with its usual array of cowpats - tricky to see in the dark after sampling some of the Royal Oak's finest. Next morning we were in Shaftesbury, at the monthly Cobbles Market - a beautiful location, though with an occasional shower. But a great weekend, and immaculately organised.

On Sunday 4th August, we managed to gather enough BBs together for a 45 minute set on the Sidmouth seafront before everyone went off to have their own various Sidmouth experiences for the rest of the week. But just a short couple of weeks later, a large BB contingent was off to the seaside again but a lot further north - our first appearance at the Whitby Folk Week, despite being asked many times in the past. And what an exceptional week it turned out to be, with great weather throughout! Events started on Saturday 20th August, with spots at Captain Cooks's monument, Pannett Park, and Dock End, followed by the first of the 2 processions from Crescent Gardens to the Bandstand, with fortunately much of it being downhill. Sunday brought our first workshop at the Metropole Hotel, where Cheesy Bob was the flavour of the day, followed by 2 spots up at Whitby Abbey with the excellent North British sword team, (and with an interval at the nearby Whitby Microbrewery), and a final single Goblins in the Dance Extravaganza in the Spa Pavilion.

Monday started with our second workshop, with the participants being introduced to the Dance of Chance followed by the Dance of Stance, after which came a session at the Yoof Club at the Whitby Mission, teaching a group of 10-18 year old youths the Mazurka (a dance which they then successfully reproduced later in the week in a youth showcase). Next, a more unusual event - Dance Adversity Challenge in the small theatre in the Coliseum, a 2 team fun quiz featuring ourselves and Camden Clog. This was set up like University Challenge, with teams of 4 answering a variety of questions on a wide range of subjects, put to the teams by quizmaster Stanley Accrington. The BB team was Jameson, Jerry, Malcolm, and Roy with his rug covered hump - the hump actually containing Alun and Mark, who occasionally popped out to answer a question. We thought having 6 was fair enough though as Camden Clog's 4 included a flatulent guide dog. The questions, set by Sally Atkinson, were all great fun, with a mix of morris questions, questions about the other team and ourselves, and very non-morris questions, where a good knowledge of chemical symbols proved invaluable. We also had an 'ask the audience' and a 'phone a friend' card. We tried asking the audience a Whitby related question we didn't know but neither did they - our phone a friend was more successful though, the friend being Emma sitting just a few rows away. In the end we appeared to have won handsomely, but realised our mistake too late - we had of course bribed the scorers beforehand with wine, as had our opponents,  but unlike them we had failed to bribe the quizmaster, who declared the scores level, necessitating a final clog related question from a planted Camden Clog in the audience. Robbery, even if we did have 6 people on our team - but a fun event nonetheless.

Tuesday was a day off, with everyone undertaking a variety of different activities, before some of the team reconvened later in the day for a spot of cardboard pirate boat building (of which more later), accompanied by gin and nibbles. Then on Wednesday morning, with dance spots not starting until 12.00 noon, there was time for some of the team to have a round of Pirate Golf in one of the arcades along the seafront (joint winners Rhys and Paul), followed by a short boat ride out to sea. The dancing consisted of dance spots at Captain Cook's, the Bandstand, and Dock End, after which many of the team repaired to the Rusty Shears, a cake and gin shop in town, where the gin samplers assortments went down particularly well. Thursday daytime brought more spots at Dock End and the Bandstand, before the evening themed ceilidh 'Under the Sea' and our spot at 10.00 pm. Given the theme, we had chosen to dress as Skeletal Pirates, and most of the team certainly went to town with white face paint, and black around the eyes, with the lower face being covered by a skeletal snood, all combined with various individual choices of pirate-y attire. At the start of the spots, all the team emerged and prowled, accompanied by the theme music for Pirates of the Caribbean (which Charles had got hold of), and featuring the aforementioned cardboard ship, worn by Alun, and named for the evening the Black Pudding. A fine start, and then into Wheel of Fortune. The dance went well, though Jameson in the middle lost the hanky attached to his hook quite early on - this was nothing compared to Paul though, who slowly lost various items of clothing he started with, culminating in his own hook flying off and into the middle of the dance. Next dance was (stage) Coconuts, before a highly energetic Sword Dance to finish. Overall the spot was very well received, with many favourable comments afterwards.

And then on to the last day - more spots at the Bandstand and Dock End, including an ambitious 1-6 with Capering Crew at Dock End and a chaotic Knees Up with them at the Bandstand. Finally, another procession from Crescent Gardens to the Bandstand, and a last Fairies to finish the day and our week. Overall a big success for the team, and we'll look forward to a possible return one year. Could someone flatten out the hills first though?

Our next event was somewhat closer to home - the annual Wallingford Bunkfest on Saturday Aug 31st. Another good day, with a variety of dance spots with a number of local teams, and at the end of it another excellent Chunkest provided by Sue at her home in Crowmarsh Gifford. This year's Festival was dedicated to the memory of Bob Wyatt, co-founder of the Festival in 2002 and Sue's partner, and in a nice touch the main stage was renamed the Bob Wyatt stage.. The following day, 1st September, a smaller number of the team were back at Bunkfest to take part in the 1 hour tribute show to him, organised by Jody Wyatt, Bob's nephew and musician, and featuring a number of Bob's favourite bands, musicians, singers plus ourselves. We just did one dance, Princess Royal, before all the participants came back on stage for one final song, written by Bob - a fitting tribute.

That just left our usual end of year programme, starting with the Bunfight on 23rd November, with the theme of 'Bunfight on Broadway'. Another great evening, at the California Ratepayers Hall, with the brilliant Diatonics, and caller 'Mr. Marvellous' Nick Walden. Once again it was a great evening, with some brilliant imaginative costumes, not least Fools Gambit's full on barricade from Les Mis. And again The Diatonics had prepared some dance tunes appropriate to the occasion. Young Robert-son-of-John made his BB debut in Sucking the Monkey, and later BB went full Broadway with their version of a Chorus Line, which many of the team had learned in advance..... Next day was the Wokingham Winter Carnival - a pleasantly mild day, and the usual good dancing around Wokingham including the opportunity to perform in Peach Place, part of the refurbishment of the town centre. The year then concluded with nearly all the team present for our traditional St. Thomas's Day in Wokingham, with more dancing in the Market Place and Peach Place again, coupled with refreshment and carol stops at The Crispin, The Roebuck, and the Queens Head. As usual, a fine end to the year.

Reports from earlier years are also available -  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
You can also see pictures of all events in the various Picture Galleries

 

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