Back from the Oakworth Morris weekend
This was a great do! I’m still not quite up to dancing, but I can now breathe well enough to play the whistle. As my ladies’ side, Ely and Littleport Riot, had decided to come even though they did not have any of their musicians, that wasn’t a problem – I just turned up as a musician for both Coton and the Riot. Two full days from 9 am-5pm of dancing in various picturesque Yorkshire villages along with almost 150 other morris dancers of the full spread of traditions. Longsword, North West Clog, rapper, border and Cotswold, plus the 400 Roses who are a unique combination of morris with tribal belly dance.
I Christened the new top hat which I got for my birthday, and by the time the weekend was closing, and I was standing on a cobbled street at the brow of a hill, looking down on a stone town straight out of a Hovis advert, playing as the lone musician left for Coton, I felt I had earned it. The past few years I have felt a little bit like an impostor among the musicians, but this time around I had a moment of feeling sure I belonged. In celebration I’ve gone out today and bought some white feathers to put in my hat brim, so in future photos the hat will look even more splendid.
I was one of only three musicians who stayed to the very end, for the traditional massed dance-off that closes the do. If you listen very hard you can just about hear me, but tbh I am rather drowned out by the melodeon and accordion next to me. I know I was there, though!
The ladies in coloured waistcoats with red hankies are my side, Ely and Littleport Riot, the gents in black and white are my other side, Coton, and the ladies in the extravagant skirts are the belly-dancing morris side 400 Roses: