Now here’s a thing…

You might be tempted to think looking at us that Morris Dancing is for (to use the delightful phrase from the Book of Common Prayer) “Such as are of riper years.” I mean, let’s face it, I’ve been asked to run this account as one the younger members – and I became a Grandfather last year!
But let us not forget that many of us started as young men and traditionally it is a young man’s sport. We had a great reminder of this recently. It was an utter joy to find ourselves joined by two men from the Buckland Shag Morris Men at the Skimmington Castle, and when they offered to do a jig…well, we certainly weren’t going to stop that kind of enthusiasm.
With their permission we gladly show the video here, and hope it serves also an invitation, for such as are of less-ripe years. Please feel free to come along, get in touch, try it out…
And thanks to John and Sam. Buckland Shag are best followed through their Facebook Account if you want to see more of them.

Christmas Carolling

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Yes! It’s that time of year again! Join East Surrey Morris Men as they hit the road for another festive fiesta of traditional and customary Christmas songs. Venues this year are:

8 pm The Ramblers Rest, Outwood Lane, Coulsdon, CR5 3NP.

9 pm The Woolpack, 186 High St, Banstead SM7 2NZ

10 pm The Plough, 11 Church Road, Redhill RH1 6QE

This year we will be collecting for the charity the Stroke Association. As ever it is one that is close to our hearts for personal reasons, but our aim is to help you settle into the festive season with a riot of music. It may be more hearty than arty, but we need your help to make it happen. Come and join us for as many venues as you can make.

P.S. Looking at the dictionary definition we seem especially short of those who can warble – all warblers welcome!

 

 

 

Give it a Go & Cotswold Workshop 7-9.30pm Monday 23rd October

Why not come down to our GIAG & Cotswold Workshop on Monday 23rd October at our practise venue;

Christchurch Hall,
14 Christchurch Park,
Sutton SM2 5TN

The format for the evening is as follows:

7 – 8pm – GIAG for inexperienced dancers, (who are welcome to stay on and observe). 

8 – 9.30pm – Cotswold Workshop for experienced dancers, (who are welcome to come earlier).

9.30pm – Finish and retire to the Hope for some well-earned refreshment.

If you are planning on coming, please email bagman@esmm.org.uk so we can get an idea of numbers.

See you there!

College of St Barnabas Annual Fete

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.

Horsham Day of Dance

First full day of dance got off to a cracking start in a day of glorious sunshine with a procession down Horsham High Street followed by dancing at various spots through the town. Brilliantly arranged, with dancing from all over over the country including the thundering drums and yells from the borders, a variety. of Cotswolds team and our friends, Penny Royal Clog dancers.

And the cherry on top was some high praise for our dancing quality from our hosts, Broadwood Morris Men. Thank you. We try.

Some pictures from the day, below…

And so it begins…

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…!