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The Logbook of Stafford Morris Men

After 57 years on paper, mostly thanks to our founding Squire, Peter Stephens, our logbook has now made it on line.

Date Location Reports
(by John Edwards unless otherwise stated.)
These are personal opinions not club policy or endorsements.
Attending Picture
Click for larger versions.
2015        
         
         
24 May Endon Well Dressing

Supporting Uttoxeter

Good attendance, one show before and one after the excellent Maypole dancing by local children.

AM, SMc, AMc, NMc, MH, GG, JE, plus 8 Uttox.
May 18 Haywoods Evening Dance out.

Good reception from small audience at the red lion, Little Haywood. Danced on main road.  Pub kindly provided sandwiches and chips.

Danced inside at Clifford Arms, not much room as pub quite full. Good reception, (including Dutch visitors.) Pub again kindly provided sandwiches and chips. Dancers rather full at the end of this evening!

   
May 4 Newborough Well Dressing

Similar to last year. Led procession around village wells, dancing Winster processional. Bishop of Stafford attending. short prayers and hymns at each well.

Two shows in the square and an extra at back of school. Well received by the good crowd.

   
May 1 Castle Ring May Day

Joint event at the Park Gate Inn with Green Man, Uttoxeter and Three Spires. Good crowd Quit a lot of dancing as there were enough dancers to dance with other sides. Each of the Cotswold sides would have had difficulty with numbers on their own. Seems the way to go!

   
April 18 Bristol JMO

John and Knotty, representing Stafford and the Illustrious order of Fools and Beasts, helped to cause chaos at many dancing spots.

Very well attended event with about 50 sides taking part. Numerous dance locations around the city and a big display in Millennium Square to close the event.

JE/K  
Mar 6/7 Cannock Ring ARM    
Feb. 12 Weston Ellen Burke's Funeral    
January 10 Church Eaton 58th Annual Feast - fewer than normal, but a great atmosphere and excellent food. Recruited Dave the chef at the last minute to do the starter and main course. Carol Edwards's deserts excellent, as usual, and Jack Brown's cheese selection available even though he had to be in hospital for the event. Steve Archer represented the Ring Officers. Visitors from Uttoxeter, Leicester, Jockey, Letchworth, etc.    
2014        
    Winter tours to Colton, Sutton and The Holmcroft went well. We even managed some scratch rapper this year, but only did the play once.    
    A Morris Christmas Tree with Dobbin, swords, instruments and lots of bells was well received by the 5000+ visitors to St. Mary’s.    
    Mayors 1614 Walk – a small number of Stafford Morris dancers kept appearing at various spots on the route. Much appreciated by the Mayor and entourage.    
    Social at the Shimla Palace - superb food, excellent company and a very welcoming staff.    
    Said goodbye to Irene Brown in a moving, but light-hearted and very appropriate ceremony at Lichfield crematorium. Followed by a pleasant wake at Colton.    
         
October 27 Gt Haywood AGM - managed to combine a business and social event at Haywood. This formula seems to be working well.    
October 22 Gnosall Dreieich Twinning – a short show for our friends from Frankfurt area. Is it really that long since SMM visited them?    
October 18 Sugnall Apple Day revival of more local traditions must be a good thing    
October  17 - 19 St Mabyn Cornwall Fools and Beasts Terrible weather in Cornwall, but nothing stops this irrepressible bunch. Our new "Beast" Ring Squire was there.    
September 28 Ironbridge Blist's Hill another chance to visit the Victorian Town at Ironbridge well looked after, but Pub was out of commission!    
September 6 Stafford Stafford Festival another chance to dance in our own town. People are starting to expect us again as they did in the 1960s    
  Rutland
Rutland Weekend or The Wheels on the Bus - A Report by Alan Dandy
 
A Dramatic non-start to the Rutland Morris Weekend was precipitated as the Bus-driver failed to execute an impossible multi point turn on the narrow lane, backing the bus onto & into the village green at Exton, Rutland, resulting in an immediate & total engine cut-out.  Quick to realise an opportunity and to silence a mischievous group who wanted to sing “Wheels on the Bus”, an impromptu mass performance was announced whilst sustenance was transported the whole 50 yards travelled by bus and it’s 50+ occupants.  Few had had any breakfast and a landlord lacking in any commercial acumen had closed the pub for the day due to an afternoon wedding party !  Well. one hour late, having dug out the bus, we missed the dance spot at Oakham and had to go direct to the Beer Festival in Melton Mowbray.   Things got even better as the day progressed and an interesting albeit less eventful day was had by all.  Some fantastic scenery with the villages in early autumn colours.  Run by Rutland, & attended by Leicester, Devil’s Dyke, White Rose (Huddersfield), Brackley, and a few “odds’n’sods” including two from Stafford Morris Men. 
Cheers, Alan
   
August 9 Canwell Agricultural Show a big event where they still think we can compete with an amplified steel band. Valuable Music, Morris and Clog support from the Jockey contingent. Regular special show in the WI tent and a good collection from a moving crowd.    
August
4
High Offley The Anchor 8.p.m. another favourite quirky pub. Hard to find but always a good response from the canal boat people.    
July
26
Great
Haywood
Having reached the venerable age of three score, Andy Cooper invited lots of friends to a Barn dance in a Barn. Sadly, too few SMM members were able to attend this excellent do. With a hog roast, an ice cream van on free vend, well played music from Bonriff and a range of dances called by Martin Thompson the evening was very enjoyable. Having involved Andy in a simplified Constant Billy Adderbury, played by a lady from the band, it transpired that lots of others wanted to try the Morris. John E and Andy danced Shepherd's Hey as a demonstration then quite a few of the guests gave it a try and a good time was had by all. After blowing out the candles on his impressive birthday cake, provided by Shona, Andy thanked the assembled company for attending and invited the dancing to continue, which it did until quite late. Despite a drop of rain nothing dampened the enjoyment of this birthday party, JB, AC, JE, FW

July
23rd
Acton Trussel The Golden Wedding celebration of Heather and John Wessencraft was a splendid occasion at the Moat House. Beautiful weather, an excellent meal and a chance for long standing members of Stafford Morris and their families to get together to reminisce, dance, sing and generally enjoy themselves.

It is rare to have a gathering of people who have been involved with the club for over 40 years, especially as they are spread all over the country. The company included Mike and Carole Ide, Fred and Stella Waygood, Gordon and Ruth Taylor, Peter and Mary Austen, Colin and Pam Rogers, John and Carol Edwards, Adrian and Marilyn Wedgewood, Alan and Cathy Clarke, Catherine Stephens and Trisch, Mildred Howitt, Jeanie Jewels, Kaye Entwistle, Janet Greenwood, plus, of course, the next generation of the family - Richard, Rachel and Charlie. We were treated to virtuoso performances by Gordon, Colin, Rachel, and Fred, and John E even managed to dance a jig.

Appropriate speeches from Richard and John summed up very well the past and present activities of what we know as the "Stafford Morris Family", which is as important in 2014 as it was in 1964. Everyone was grateful to John and Heather for the invitation to this significant and enjoyable occasion.

 

July
21
Ashley and Loggerheads Unusually this was a Monday evening booking. Fortuitously, the Ashley and Loggerheads Local History Group meet the same time as our practice evening, so they agreed to organise two pubs in return for an illustrated talk about the Morris. Starting at the Peel Arms, John E gave an introduction to Morris Dancing in general and the dances were used to illustrate aspects of the traditions that are normally missed by the audience. The atmosphere was excellent and we elected to dance on the grass at the back rather than on the car park. Yes, it is harder work but the area was very pleasant.

The landlady had provided a selection of savoury items and cakes for us, which it would have been impolite to ignore, so we were a little late leaving for the second venue. We danced well despite low numbers and a Squire who had injured himself keeping fit. But an interested and appreciative audience always make keener to put on a good display. The pub definitely wants us back again next year. It's a pity it is such a trek for those who have to traverse the entire county.

Again at Loggerheads we had an interested, though smaller audience, but several new people came to watch. The atmosphere was not so pleasant at the second spot, but overall this was an enjoyable and hopefully instructive session for the history group, who even paid us for our services and they would like us to return. 

JE, SJ, JB, SM, AM, NM, PC, GG, MH, DP,
July
15
Stafford Following last year's successful event at Stoke campus, Prof Eardley volunteered our services at Stafford University for another Staff development session. Sporting two professors, Greenley and the aforementioned Eardley, plus Peter Copley Dave Pritchards and John Edwards, the SMM contingent were rather taken aback by the numbers as last time it was about eight and this time about 50. John had already prepared for a Morris lecture at Ashley, so he managed to get most of the students involved as well as imparting bits of information while they got their breath back. A couple of demo sets, and lots of audience participation, (using the black serviette hankies scrounged from the canteen), made for another successful staff development. Sadly, this looks like the last one in Stafford as the campus is due to close next year. A particularly poignant occasion for John, who was one of the first students to occupy this Beaconside building. PC, AE, JE, GG, DP.

July 13 Moseley Another visit to our local National Trust Property and another enjoyable event. There is always a problem here with starting times as they usually advertise us before most people arrive. We had to wait for the "egg collection" to dance on the lawn near the entrance. When we did start there was a good and appreciative audience including a couple of very enthusiastic young ladies who seemed to follow the steps and hands very quickly. We availed ourselves of the juice and biscuits provided before relocating to the hall.

The second spot was at our preferred location by the Knot Garden and again there was a good crowd and lots of interest. The dancing was not too bad and again our supporters club turned up (see picture). They were delighted to join in Bean Setting, Monks March and Bonny Green Garters. Dave Pritchards elected to go round a large tree in 'Jockey to the fair' and almost knocked himself out when he discovered the branch sticking out on the far side. None of us will do that again without checking the tree over first!

The final show was back by the entrance, but by then most of the visitors had left o it was rather a token show mostly for our own amusement, though a few people came out of the bookshop to watch. Unfortunately it is very difficult to synchronise our performance time with the house tours, but we need to consider it as we like the location and we don't think NT get the best from us, but they seem happy.

As always, it is hard to imaging why they built the Hall so close to the M54, as it rather spoils the tranquillity of the place!

DP, PC, AE, MH, GG, SM, AM,
July 12 Newport

Newport Show is a very big show for a one day event and our contribution is just a small part of it. However, on the Village Green we seem to be a significant attraction. Along with the usual acts of Dippy the Clown, the Quack pack, Airborne Gymnastics and the Dog Training group, we retained a good crowd. This time Max rightly ignored the ropes that keep our audience too far away and invited them in to a point where we can relate to them.
it was a good turn out with Alan Dandy from darkest Leicestershire and Alan Clarke joining us after his recent medical problems, (even if he was not supposed to dance!) With music from Jack, (able to come with Irene now in Care), Max and Gordon G it was possible to ring the changes in the sets and even allowed Knotty his favourite spell in the limelight. pity he was rejected from the Show-jumping, as there was not a class for horses under 8 hands!

The dancing varied from excellent to appalling. The crowd did not seem to mind as we did keep smiling, but we need to match the dances to the men, especially when we have people who cannot attend practices regularly. Simon's simplified Marlborough was a surprise to most of the members in the side, but nobody from the audience has yet complained.

We were late in the programme this year, which diminishes the audience for the last show at 4.30, but it was a lovely day and we had fun, so what else is there.

MH, JB JE, PC, DP, AE, GG, AD, AC, SM, AM, SJ.  
July 5 Colton This Colton Fete was blessed with good weather, lots of people attending and a wide variety of stalls and entertainment. SMM did two spots to appreciative audiences of all ages. The first spot was a good half hour, by which time at least some of the men were flagging, however if you have a good crowd there is an incentive to put on a good show and we did quite well.

For the second spot specified as after the choir and before the steel band left us with about ten minutes to pack in about six dances, including Bonny Green Garters when a few enterprising members of the public joined in and were duly rewarded with SMM badges. Altogether a pleasant day on the Brown / Haynes home territory which we hope will remain unspoilt for a long time if the HS2 line is not to cause devastation to this community.

It was good to see our official Tallager Les Kendrick there to keep an eye on us if not to exercise his collecting skills.

JB, MH, JE, PC, DP, AE, GG, SJ,
June 30 Sutton The Red Lion at Sutton, between Woodseaves and Newport, is one of our favourite pubs. We can always be sure of a welcome, usually a significant and appreciative audience and, with luck, some excellent refreshments. This visit was no exception and had the great benefit of a balmy summer's evening weather. Yes, we had fun and made a 'pigs-ear' of a couple of dances that we seldom perform, but the audience quite enjoyed that. They even tolerated lengthy explanations from Jack and Simon about the significance of the dances - Jack's sounded the more authentic, but who knows? With the "One Pub" policy it was a relaxing session with no need to drink-up and rush off.    
June 29 Lichfield Carol and John Edwards were joined by Stella and Fred Waygood to represent Stafford Morris at mark Berry's 85th birthday party at Lichfield. Having tracked down the Darwin Care Home, it was evident that there were no parking places left and we wondered if they had all come for Mark's party. On entering the packed room it seemed we were right. There was a large gathering of people representing the numerous groups that Mark has been involved with over his career and social life. After encountering many people who had been associated with mark over many years, including Gwen and David Burke, (who seemed to know most of those present), all of Mark's four children, former work colleagues, church members and clergy, singing groups and people from the care home.

An excellent spread of tea and cakes as well as a birthday cake had been provided by his friends and the event was very convivial. The cake candles were lit and after 'Happy Birthday', Mark made a very coherent review of his 85 years and paid tribute to his late wife Margaret and his family as well as all those who had helped him to this point in his life. Entertainment was provided by Lichfield Lighthouse, a shanty group which Mark has until recently been a member.

After the sing-along had been concluded by Mark leading "The Eddystone Light" to tumultuous applause, John E, arrived with Dobbin the earlier Stafford Hobbyhorse originally ridden by Ken Tattersall. John explained that Dobbin did not come out very often as he was getting a little elderly and had to leave the energetic stuff to younger horses. Indeed we had heard something similar from Mark in recent years. John did thank Mark for getting involved in the founding of both the English Electric Morris and shortly afterwards The Stafford Morris Men, then supporting us after his return to the area. John brought greetings from the current dancers and those founder members who were unable to be present for various reasons. He then presented Mark with a card signed by club members and a picture of an early Stafford side at the Holmcroft Fete in 1961, including a young dancer called Mark Berry. Mark and his family were appreciative of the remarks and the picture.

After further social interaction, more tea and cakes and lots of reminiscences, the Stafford Morris contingent returned having had an enjoyable experience and feeling happy that Mark was being well cared for in a very pleasant environment.

JE, FW

June 23 Colton Two venues here, the Greyhound and the Dun Cow. Both happily with a small, but appreciative audience. We welcomed John and Christine Burke, who were in the area trying to sort out the affairs of Ellen Burke, now 92 and not in the best of health. She was at Abbeyfields, being well cared for but determined to return home, whatever the difficulties.

At the second spot a couple of American ladies who were visiting their cousins in Colton, came to experience some English tradition. Hopefully they enjoyed watching the show and we think they enjoyed participating in BGG. Prior to that the produced the ultimate anticlimax. Andy, having selected a young lady to assist us in  "The Rose" kept her in the set until the last sequence, when he and she left the set, making it rather difficult  for us  to hoist her into the air. Two false starts at repeating the last figure and we finally gave he her moment of glory on "Take 3". The pub kindly brought out rolls and chips. After the usual arguments about salt and vinegar everyone had an enjoyable evening. As it was not possible to get a full side for Mark berry's Birthday the squire provided a card for us all to sign to wish him well.

JB, MH, JE, PC, DP, AE, GG, SJ,  
June 16 Stafford Back, (coincidentally), to the same location as Saturday. but with a very different audience, in fact hardly any audience! That meant that we could treat this as a practice in public. We were accompanied by Gordon T, Terry C, Gordon G, Jack B, and Max H, making John E's accordion, (brought in case there was nobody else), unnecessary. It was good to see Ruth Taylor able to join us without a wheelchair, even if the setting was not what we hoped. However the Swan came up trumps with the food and the social aspect of the event was probably more memorable than the dancing. Mike Allen, (late of Colne Royal), came and took some nice pictures, (see next column). Overall a pleasant evening but hardly a successful display of dancing in out home town.    
June 14 Stafford Another chance to perform in the centre of Stafford. This time to coincide with a Farmer's market. Dancing outside the Guildhall for the first spot then outside the Swan for the second we had a moving but appreciative audience at both locations and even collected a few bob for the funds.     
May 17 Central Stafford

 

Dancing at the invitation of the Town centre manager to coincide with the first Stafford "Cheese and Ale Festival". We danced outside the Guildhall Centre once the Mayor and other dignitaries had officially opened the event. We performed to a moving, but appreciative crowd. Sadly, once again being low on numbers meant breaks in our performance, which rapidly loses spectators. At the end of our first show thee was time to try a few ales in the marquee, but none of the men saw fit to watch the cooking demonstrations.

After a drink in the Swan, we moved outside ready to do a show but several of our number were sidetracked into helping the cooper start a new barrel. When we danced there was a good crowd including the Mayor. Fred managed to pass amongst them with a collecting horse, so gained some useful additions to our funds.

We were again low on numbers including who could play what music, which led to consideration of changing the long standing practice, but not policy, of having only male musicians. Overall, it was a pleasant chance to perform in our home town; on this occasion in superb weather!                       JHE

JE, SM, AM, NM, PC, GG, MH, FW, DP.  
May 10   JMO Cambridge.

As Stafford Morris men are not attending a Ring Meeting this year, it was decided that we would go to the Joint Morris Organisations meeting arranged for the Morris Ring by the Cambridge Morris Men. It was a one day walking tour around the city, which we hoped would be more dancing and less travelling.  This proved to be the case and it was a very enjoyable experience where we encountered a wide variety of sides and traditions.

Our first spot was on Regent Terrace with Kemp's Men and Buttercross Belles, both of whom we have met in Stafford. The former came to visit Staffordshire because a newspaper article said that it was ‘the worst place for a holiday’.  They were pleasantly unsurprised.  Buttercross came to the Misdemeanours commemoration and had very pleasant memories of the event.  We adopted some of Kemp's Men and musicians for the first couple of dances until our squire Max and Jack arrived with sticks and music.  After almost an hour we had completed about six dances each and were ready to go to the second spot on Mawson Street by the "Live and let live" pub.

At this spot we encountered Letchworth complete with Roger, a few Whitchurch refugees and Henning, now an independent fool, who had come over from The Netherlands for the event. We had already asked him to join us, as we were low on numbers, and he kindly consented to do so for the rest of the day. After quite a few dances each all the men and many of the spectators joined in Bonny Green Garters to complete the second session.

Stafford, plus Henning, then made their way via the cemetery to the Blue Moon, our lunch break stop. This pub was not serving food and was happy for us to bring in food from outside, so the excellent Northfield Road Deli provided sustenance and the pub supplied the alcohol. A good arrangement all round.  After lunch we put on a show with the "Bunnies from Hell" a very versatile and very pink side, including several members we know well with former officers from the Open Morris. The other side was a ladies Garland and North West team called Black Horse and Standard, who we had not encountered before.  This mixture gave a good varied programme to entertain the small but appreciative crowd.

Another walk into town led us to The Elms pub, where we encountered the only spell of bad weather. We were partnered here with two of the more flamboyant sides, the very colourful Gog Magog Molly and the very sexy Belles of London City.  One of the latter decided to dance a jig in the rain and, to much applause, managed to bring out the sunshine again. 

We had quite a long session here, once again minus our Squire, who had to return home for an appointment with someone called Britannia. About half way through, he also abducted our only musician, but with the help of Henning and musicians from the other teams, we kept up our part of the show. Some dances had interesting variations, but nobody was collecting them as far as we know!

Gog Magog have a unique repertoire of specially choreographed Molly figures and always gets a good reaction from the audience.  What the Belles lack in numbers, they make up in style. They showed what can be done with only three dancers, a fool and a fiddler. Even when one of them lost a shoe and had to deal with Henning re-enacting a scene from Cinderella, they kept going to much acclaim. Just as the three teams were getting tired and running short of dances, Leicester Morris Men arrived, intending to remain as spectators and pub customers. However they were soon prevailed upon to dance, then with a final BGG, again involving the public, the final session for the day came to a close.

The teams from all around the City made their way to Parkers Piece for the massed gathering. One of the most spectacular scenes of the day was seeing some 700 Morris dancers and musicians of every style converging from the four corners of the large grass square. The final show was a mixture of massed Cotswold dances and displays by selected sides, particularly concentrating on the younger participants. “Young Miscellany”, dancing Border with primary age children and “Harlequin”, a teenage Cotswold group, put on excellent performances. Another young man from Peterborough danced a creditable jig and the older element were well represented by displays from East Suffolk, Brackley and a long sword group from St Albans. The seamless transition from Robin Springett to Adam Garland as presenters mirrored the impending transfer of Squireship of the Ring.

After a supportive speech from the Lord Mayor, the donation of a substantial cheque for Children in Need, and many thanks to the organisers for a superb event, a final massed Bonny Green Garters brought the 2014 JMO gathering to a close. Everyone involved was inspired by the fact that Morris Dancing can still command such support from participants and spectators, as well as seeing so many youngsters, which suggests that this English tradition has a great future as well as an illustrious past.                 JHE

JE, JB, MH, PC, AE, SJ, AC plus HK. for pictures click here
May 5 Newborough Well-Dressing The first problem here was to find parking spaces. We knew the magic words were "We have to park in Bob's field", but it was not easy to find. John Edwards went to "Bob's field" where he by chance met "Bob", who said "You can stay here, but my other field is closer to the church. I will take you there." Others took advantage of the 'Ann McMahon pilot service' to get there. Amazingly, everyone was ready to dance at 11 o'clock. Our first role was to dance Winster Processional and lead the crowd to the various dressed wells. Simon took command of the dance and Max played to provide a good atmosphere, which was much appreciated.

After three wells and two unaccompanied hymns, we came to the 'school well', where the Hymn was 'All things bright and beautiful'. We said we knew a dance to those words, so Jack was prevailed upon to play for the singing. Of course he played "Royal Oak", (the tune banned by the Puritans), which lifted the spirits of the crowd, more than the boring tune they had intended.

We began our dancing at the last well by dancing the 29th May. However we had quite a wait for our scheduled shows, so we put on an impromptu session behind the Red Lion after testing the ale and cider they had on offer.

Our formal shows were well received, with Knotty and Deputy Fool Andy adding to the colour of the occasion. As Jack had to leave early, our music was a key factor in the programme of dances. Max and Gordon G held the fort for the first session. After the hoss was returned to his stable, John E managed to survive being pushed into playing for several dances. Young ladies visiting from Paraguay and Nicaragua also had the chance to become involved with our ancient art, (and our ancient men)! Audience participation in Monks March and Bonny Green Garters left a memorable experience for many of the children and adults, who attended this traditional festival.
JHE

DP, AE, JE, SM. AM, NM, JB, MH, GG, PC, AC.

May 4 Moseley
Old Hall
One of our regular favourites, especially when the weather is a good as it was on this visit. We were asked to dance on the lawn by the new entrance and shop, which we did for the first session. Although there was a small appreciative audience, we felt a bit isolated and by the time the second session was due, the tables were occupied by picnicking families who were not really interested in us. Hence, we moved to our traditional spot on the lawn by the Knot Garden. This was much better and was where most visitors expected to find us. The first spot had the unique advantage that Knotty could be put in a real STABLE, while his rider needed to dance.

We were thin on the ground to start with, but managed to put on a reasonable display. At a later spot Gordon Taylor's repertoire came to the rescue and we even included six man versions of Vandals and Abnalls. The six wide heading up and down looked good!

Knotty led quite a few children through the arches of Monk's March, including one three year old, who had collected a couple of sticks for his participation. We hope he has the same enthusiasm in ten years time. The young participants were pleased to receive their SMM Badges as a reward for helping with the dancing.  Overall, another pleasant return to our local NT property.

DP, AE, JE, SM. AM, MH, GG, PC, GT. Awaited
May 1 Uttoxeter Our traditional evening tour with Uttoxeter Hearts of Oak Morris Men to celebrate proper May Day. Meeting at the Smithfield Hotel on a rather chilly evening with very few in our audience we entertained ourselves with dances by each side as well as quite a few combined efforts for about half an hour. At that point the warmth and the refreshment available inside seemed very attractive so the next half hour was spent in convivial company,

Progressing to the war memorial the hardier members again put on a show for the small passing audience, who were, as usual, armed with mobile phones to record our every mistake! Stafford men had to brush up a few dances they vaguely knew, like Maid of the Mill, Brackley, which seems to have vanished from our repertoire. Geoff Morgan was prevailed upon to instantly learn the tune for Trunkles Bampton, which we danced to our own satisfaction, before crossing the road to the Steeplechase, where food and drink awaited the men and their guests.

After a bit more nattering the few who were left managed "pram pushing" on the dance floor which felt rather odd as it was definitely 100% non-slip. Overall, a pleasant chance to catch up with old friends and add another year to this ongoing tradition.

JB, JE, DP, AE, PC, SM, AM, NM, SJ Awaited
April 28 Armitage A return to the Spode Cottage, where we are always welcomed by the landlord, but as normal for a Monday night there were not many in the audience. This meant that we could utilise the time as a practice night and dance for our own amusement, rather than concentrating on dances that we have practiced to perfection! As usual, the food provided by the pub was a welcome addition to a pleasant social occasion.    
April 13 Stafford It was noted that Stafford Morris men do not seem to do many dances in Stafford itself, so Gordon Greenley arranged for us to dance at the Guildhall Centre in the centre of town. We congregated by the entrance and brushing off the cold wind we danced several dances in the Market Square, where a Farmers Market was in full sway. there was quite a good crowd watching us, but any lull in our programme resulted in the audience melting away.

A minor problem was the absence of sticks as nobody had been delegated to bring them. This was of particular interest to the organiser, who currently had only stick dances in his repertoire. However he was quickly introduced to the hand clapping versions of the stick dances. As usual few members of the passing Crowd noticed the absence of sticks and nobody commented of the omission.

For the second spot we moved to the appointed location within the Centre, alongside Poundland. This had the advantage of being warmer, but being in an entrance corridor was hardly ideal as few people stopped to watch. We put on a show and even pressed Ray into collecting, which produced a surprisingly generous response, considering the moving crowd.

The necessity to sign in and out of the complex seemed a little OTT for such a short show, but we have re-established the precedent for dancing in the Guildhall Centre should the weather be inclement for any other town centre dancing. we have at least shown the flag in our home town once again.

JE, SJ, GG, Ray ?, SM, NM, PC, AE, JB  
    57th SMM Feast - Good company, Max continues as Squire. Robin Springett another great review, Space left for the much missed BFB, several former Ring Squires in attendance. Social at the Golden Orient - -good company, excellent meal and friendly staff.    

Dance List

Tradition Dance D Code T Code 01-May 04-May 05-May 10-May 17-May
        Uttox Mosley N/borogh C/bridge Stafford
Adderbury Beaux of London City BL AD   y   y y
Adderbury Black Joke BJ AD       y  
Adderbury Bluebells of Scotland BS AD y y y y y
Adderbury Constant Billy CB AD   y y y  
Adderbury Flowing Bowl FB AD          
Adderbury Lads a Bunchum LB AD   y y y y
Adderbury Postman's Knock PK AD y y      
Adderbury Shepherd’s Hey SH AD   y y    
Badby Beaux of London City BL BY   y y   y
Badby Maid and the Palmer MP BU          
Bampton Bacca Pipes BP BA          
Bampton Banbury Bill / Rose Tree BB BA       y y
Bampton Bobbing Around BA BA          
Bampton Bonny Green Garters BG BA y y y y y
Bampton Flowers of Edinburgh FE BA          
Bampton Fool's Jig FJ BA          
Bampton Highland Mary/Quaker HM BA       y  
Bampton Jenny Lind JL BA   y      
Bampton Myrtle Tree MT BA          
Bampton Shepherd's Hey SH BA          
Bampton Step and Fetch Her SF BA          
Bampton The Webley TW BA          
Bampton Trunkles TR BA y y y y  
Bledington Battle of Hopton Heath HH BL          
Bledington Black Joker BJ BL          
Bledington Ladies Pleasure LP BL          
Bledington Lumps of Plum Pudding LP BL          
Bledington Princess Royal Jig PR BL          
Bledington Trunkles TR BD          
Bledington William and Nancy WN BL y        
Bledington Young Collins YC BL       y  
Brackley Jockey to the Fair JF BR y y y   y
Bucknell Bonnets So Blue Jig BB BU          
Bucknell Bonny Green BG BU          
Bucknell Queens Delight QD BU          
Bucknell Room for the Cuckolds RC BU          
Bucknell Saturday Night SN BU          
Bucknell Willow Tree WT BU   y y y y
Eynsham Brighton Camp BC EY          
Fieldtown Balance the Straw BS FT   y y y y
Fieldtown Banks of the Dee BD FT          
Fieldtown Country Gardens CG FT          
Fieldtown Dearest Dicky DD FT          
Fieldtown Lord of the Dance LD FT y y y y y
Fieldtown Molly Oxford MO FT          
Fieldtown None so Pretty NP FT          
Fieldtown Nutting Girl NG FT          
Fieldtown Old Taylor OT FT   y y   y
Fieldtown Princess Royal PR FT          
Fieldtown Step Back SB FT          
Fieldtown The Rose TR FT          
Fieldtown Trunkles TR FT          
Fieldtown Valentine TV FT   y y    
Headington 29th of May 29 HQ   y y    
Headington Bean Setting BS HQ          
Headington Blue Eyed Stranger BS HQ          
Headington Constant Billy CB HQ y y y y  
Headington Getting Upstairs GU HQ          
Headington Greensleeves GS HQ          
Headington Haste to the Wedding HW HQ          
Headington How d'ye do Sir? HS HQ          
Headington Laudanum Bunches LB HQ          
Headington Rigs o' Marlow RM HQ          
Headington Admiral Rodney AR HQ          
Headington Shepherd's Hey SH HQ          
Ilmington Maid of the Mill MM IL          
Lichfield Abnalls TA LF     y    
Lichfield All the Winds AW LF          
Lichfield Bare-footed Quaker BQ LF          
Lichfield Castle Ring CR LF          
Lichfield Milley's Bequest MB LF          
Lichfield Nuts in May NM LF          
Lichfield Ring of Bells RB LF          
Lichfield Shepherd's Hey SH LF          
Lichfield Sheriff's Ride SR LF          
Lichfield Vandals of Hammerwich VH LF     y y y
Longborough Swaggering Boney SB LB          
Sherborne Monk's March MM SB y   y    
Sherborne Orange in Bloom OB SB          
Wheatley The Processional TP WT          
Winster The Processional WP WI     y    
Woodside Captain Larno CL WO     y y y
Woodside Duke of Marlborough DM WO          

 

 

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