BB 2018 Summary


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Click Future Event Listing for full details of future programme  

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

2018 News

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!

More 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!

Instead 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.

After 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 hints, mind.

The 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 -  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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