I’m finally recovered from the Oakworth weekend – an extravaganza of morris dancing Up North, where a number of fortunate sides got taken on a coach tour through spectacular Yorkshire countryside to dance at a number of villages on the Saturday. Then we got taken on a steam train to dance at different villages on the Sunday.
Saturday alternated between pouring down and too sunny. Sunday settled down to a steady diet of rainy and cold. But nevertheless this was a wonderful weekend and I’d like to thank our hosts, Oakworth Village Morris Men, for laying it all on.
We started out in Skipton, dancing outside the town hall, and the programme went very much like this:
The sides on the first day were Persephone Women’s Morris, a North West clog morris side:
Who had apparently recently redesigned their kit to attract younger members. It’s very appropriate to their name, with the black for Hades and the green and yellow for Persephone’s returning in the spring. They have a yellow underskirt which shows through as they twirl and makes for a nice touch. They were very impressive – both precise and energetic. Normally a side will be one or the other, it’s rare to get both. Also they made a wonderful noise in their clogs
Kinnerton Morris Men, a Cotswold side:
Rainbow Morris, a mixed North West clog morris side:
Oakworth Village Morris Men, our hosts, who are a Cotswold side:
And of course, us – the Coton Morris Men (with their fabulous –and controversial- lady musicians.)
I am rocking the pirate look here entirely because it was raining at the time. I went prepared for various atmospheric conditions, in black trousers, white shirt, black waistcoat, white jumper, black coat, black and white scarf. With judicious putting on and taking off of each of these elements, I more or less stayed equipped for the weather throughout.
As Gerard says in his introduction, Coton Morris’s kit is black and white ‘because colour hasn’t reached the Fens yet.’
This is Gerard, in case you wondered how far to take him seriously:
On the Sunday, we lost Persephone and Rainbow Morris, but we gained Leeds Morris Men:
whose owl waistcoats I rather envy. They are another Cotswold side and were accompanied by (I think) a Fool borrowed from Oakworth.
And Briggate Morris, another North West clog morris side
with a little girl who was an absolute star. She was a really good dancer and looked like she was having a great time.
Curious not to have any Border sides at all, but then often, down here, we’ll have events with Border and Cotswold only and no Clog, so it was nice to see the native dance of the area was so well represented.
I may be enjoying being a musician more than I enjoy being a dancer, which makes my future with the Riot a bit problematical. At the moment I’m trying to do both, but if I can’t fit both in, I would probably choose to carry on playing rather than dancing.
A bonus photo, taken about a fortnight ago when Coton danced at the garden party of St.Edward’s College, Cambridge. What’s notable about this one is that the entire side was in attendance, every single one of us:
that doesn’t happen often!