Old Tom Takes A Tumble – Video
Ah! It is that time of year again. We find ourselves privileged to be invited once again to dance at the fete of the College of St Barnabas, a home for retired gentle-vicars in the heart of the Sussex countryside. In we walked. A blazers-and-straw-hats jazz trio, comprising banjo, trombone and sousaphone, were playing in the marquee; the retired clergy were entertaining visitors with witty anecdotes that ended in uproarious laughter; the ladies in the tea tent were armed with a resolute cheerfulness and an apparently endless supply of cream scones, victoria sponge and chocolate cake served on china plates with carefully folded napkins, and tea served in cups with handles too small for fingers swollen by years of being thwacked with sticks; the hobby horse was unharmed and had recovered his composure if not his dignity after falling off the miniature steam locomotive that ran, temporarily, over the croquet lawn; and the dancers had just finished a handkerchief dance that was first recorded over a century ago in the Cotswold village of Fieldtown. It was, in short, as though in this election week Britannia had stepped off her wild chariot of political upheaval and for this brief moment was clutching us tightly into her strong and stable bosom.
Man of the match must surely go to Ray today for not only the imagination to see what the train would look like with Old Tom on the back of it and the courage to try it out, but also the perseverance to get back on again once he had fallen off once! For safety reasons I should add – Do not try this at home, it must only be done by trained professionals: I did ask the train operator and no one has actually done a risk assessment for a horse on the train. The expression on the girl’s faces is priceless, as though when they had woken up that morning they had absolutely no inkling this was a position in which they might find themselves during the day….!
Thank you, College of St Barnabas for another memorable day.
Yes the 2017 programme kicks off in customary style with a fine display of traditional Cotswold Morris at the Plough in Redhill to celebrate St George’s Day. The Plough excelled themselves this year with a live band and a fine feast for hungry dancers. Thank you.
And let us not also forget it is also Shakespeare’s birthday. The bard wrote: “…let us [fight] with no show of fear;
No, with no more than if we heard that England
Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance…”
May England always be busied with a Morris Dance, whatever time of year…!
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The calendar will be updated shortly so you need never miss an opportunity to see us!
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Take a look at the latest updates from the gallery
- Mummers Play at Dorking Folk Club
- Boxing Day
- ESMM Ring Meeting
More to follow…
Monday 19th evening
We will be dancing at the Hope in Carshalton with our friends Black Swan at 8pm.
Come along and enjoy a seasonal night of contrasting, complementary Morris.
Tuesday 20th evening
ESMM’s annual carol singing evening. This year in aid of London Air Ambulance. See below or Upcoming Events for further details.
- 8pm Sportsman – Mogador KT20 7ES
- 9pm Black Horse – West Street, Reigate RH2 9JZ
- 10pm The Plough – Redhill Common RH1 6QE
Come along, have a great time and help support a worthy cause.
Our Ring Meeting is almost upon us.
Full details of where to find us to spectate are detailed in our See Us pages.
We have as our guests the following sides;
Put it in your diaries and come along
Rain stopped play…🙁 Nice weather for ducks, at least….
But undaunted, East Surrey press on to provide some entertainment and light relief amidst the diluvian conditions in Carshalton, at one of our favourite watering holes, The Hope. (Although, looking at the picture, clearly some people were still disappointed there would be no dancing…!)
“And why,” I was asked in the pub that evening, “Is it that everyone makes so much about St Patrick but does nothing for St George?”
“Well…” I offered tentatively, “It may be not so much a sign of the veneration proffered the respective beatified personages as to slick marketing by Guinness…” Although I had hoped a more low-brow refutation was available in the form of the plastic, St George’s bowler hat I was wearing.
Either way, East Surrey Morris Men are proud to play their part in honouring the Saint who is coming more and more to represent not England’s war interests but her identity in a multi-cultural world.
And what better way than a bit of traditional, Cotsold Morris dancing…?