Cathy

About Cathy

Cathy has been dancing with Shrewsbury Morris since 2011 and looks after the website

Dancing for Folks Sake

Last year, Shrewsbury Morris Dancers put out a small but perfectly formed team to represent them at The Shrewsbury Folk Festival. Thanks to some brilliant support from our amazing musicians the larger team was able to split (unusual for us) into two and while some of us danced at the Shrewsbury Festival the others fulfilled their regular teaching and workshop commitments some way away at the Towersey Festival.

Well, gluttons for dance punishment that we are, we’re coming back for more cos we LIKED it at the Folk Festival. This time however, Shrewsbury town centre gets to see us all day before we return to the Festival site in the late afternoon to complete our day’s dancing. How lucky is Shrewsbury town centre?! :)))

Both the Shrewsbury Lasses and the Bull and Pump Morrismen will proudly represent Shrewsbury at one of the most prestigious festivals around and we can renew our friendships with many of the other teams dancing there.

Our dance schedule will be:

St Alkmonds Church/Butcher Row: 1045-1130 dancing with Chinewrde Morris

Shrewsbury Square: 1130-1215 dancing with Kickin’ Alice

Procession through the town from The Castle to The Square from 1300-1330

Shrewsbury Square: 1400-1445 dancing with other teams after the procession.

St Mary’s Church: 1500-1545 dancing with Shropshire Bedlams and Appakella

Festival site: 1600-1645 dancing with The Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris

We hope you’ll come and watch/support us – we’re so looking forward to it.

It’ll be great!

Drum, Dance, Fantas-tix!

It didn’t look good on Saturday morning (19th July 2014). The forecast for torrential rain was accurate and it was doing just that as a band of gazebo putter-uppers, table fetchers and general helpers from Shrewsbury Morris assembled in Shrewsbury Square to prepare for the long-awaited Drum, Dance, Dyna-mix day of free entertainment. The idea, spawned from the highly successful 2013 Morris Day of Dance, was the brainchild of our leaders Ray and Bev Langton and a dedicated Working Group had spent six months planning it all. The aim was to create a day of free, varied entertainment for Shrewsbury to enjoy to go with all the other brilliant events that take place in our town.

….anyway, back to the rain. With cagoules and even bin liners as clothing much in evidence the stage at least began to take shape. We had magnificent help from our good friends at Shropshire Council who gave us power and a stage, from The Busk with Karen Higgins supplying two super gazebos for storage and St Chad’s Church kindly letting us have tables to hold food, water and kit (Morris teams and bands definitely do NOT travel light).

John, our sound engineer and member of our superb band, busied himself setting up the musical and sound side for the visiting musicians and before long the “arena” had been built and we just had to wait for our visitors…….still raining……now 9.30am….kick off due at 10am.

Then, at 9.55am il stopped pleuring and the sky actually got brighter. We always say that the sun shines, not necessarily on the righteous but most definitely on the Morris!

As our guests sorted themselves out, we kicked the day off with The Shrewsbury Bull and Pump Morrismen and The Shrewsbury Lasses performing their standard opening dances.
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While we were doing that some rather large drums appeared and it wasn’t long before the Square (and people’s chests) were pounding with the awesome noise created by Kayobi Taiko, Wem’s finest. I’d never seen Taiko drumming before but here’s a recommendation…you so should….it is wonderful!

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We’re thinking about doing Taiko Morris but that’s a work in progress (ahem)….back to the show…

Our delightful guests from Cockermouth in Cumbria, Belfagan Women’s Morris Dancers then charmed a growing crowd (still not raining) with their gorgeously hypnotic dancing and their wonderfully colourful and intricate outfits. Each of their dances told a story and the audience was entranced as they wove their Morris Magic on the wet flagstones of Shrewsbury Square.
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With the elements still behaving themselves, the flying feet and the wagon-wheeling hips of Kickin’ Alice took to the slightly wet wooden boards on which they dance. These had dried sufficiently for them to perform but it was a close one. However, the show had to go on and they were amazing as always as they entertained with a mixture of slow and fast Appalachian Step Dances accompanied by their super band.
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We then alternated between the various groups through the rest of the morning until our last guests, the superb Buffalo Gals Stampede had set up and were ready to rock Shrewsbury Square with their fantastic blend of old-time music, percussive dance and all round fun.

They ran through a terrific repertoire under a hastily assembled fourth gazebo…oh I forgot…it was raining again……while their incredible dancers Jacob Jones and Dan Eccles…otherwise known, somewhat unsurprisingly as Jake and Dan and the equally fantastic girls of The Buffalo Gals Stampede absolutely delighted the big crowds that had gathered to watch them. I’m sure their enthusiasm, humour and vitality forced the bad weather to push off and the sun actually came out and stayed out for most of the rest of the afternoon.
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In a bid to entertain the town all day there was no lunch break for the hard-working performers….somewhat difficult as the gorgeous and varied platters of sandwiches from the fabulous Philpotts Shrewsbury Sandwich Shop started to arrive for everyone! Thanks Tony :)))

The afternoon ran perfectly as all the wonderful artistes went through their various paces again and royally entertained a very big (by now) crowd. Kayobi Taiko got an extra crowd-pleasing, thundering set in and The Buffalo Gals Stampede gave the Square a great show, every one of their songs/dances being greeted by thunderous applause and loud cheers and whoops. Kickin’ Alice maintained a cracking pace and Belfagan Morris did Cumbria truly proud with their grace, precision and humour.

We ended the afternoon with our traditional wind-up dance of Steeple Claydon and a fabulous day came to a close just as……guess what……it started to rain again!

By now we didn’t actually care!

Job done! :)))))

Thanks have been issued to all involved via a variety of outlets and some nice photos can be found on the links here to our facebook, twitter and, particularly our flickr pages.

If you were inspired to have a go at Morris Dancing with us, Shrewsbury Morris are holding Open Evenings at Sundorne School, Shrewsbury on Thursdays Oct 16th and 23rd from 8pm each night. Come and meet us, have a drink, meet the team (we’re really nice), see what we’re about and have a go. No experience is necessary and we welcome men and women from 16-75. It can’t hurt? :))

If you want to know more about our fabulous guests contact them at:

www.buffalogals.co.uk

http://www.belfagan.blogspot.co.uk/

[email protected]

[email protected]

or search for them on twitter or Facebook

Garlands and Bells in Llandrindod Wells

“Never ask for directions in Wales Baldrick” Blackadder famously once advised………

Well, we had to at one stage on our way to Llandrindod Wells Carnival on Sat 5th July and the worse thing that happened to us was getting stuck behind a lovely old red Massey Ferguson tractor as we trundled sedately into “Dod” as it’s known locally. Of course we might have called it something else if we’d been late!

Shrewsbury Morris slowly, piece by delicate piece massed in the lovely old mid-Wales spa town around mid-morning and made our way to Temple Park to join in with, as it turned out a really stonking carnival! Well organised, superbly well attended and with masses of events going on it was one of the best I’ve seen (and I come from Somerset so I’ve seen more than a few!!).

Both our dance spots were in front of the very picturesque bandstand where a nice space had been cleared. Bull and Pump were first up with their usual Upton and the Shrewsbury Lasses flourished their “Flourish” with a real….flourish for their opener. As we ran through our repertoire the sun got hotter, the crowds got bigger and our superb musicians just got better and better.

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By lunchtime we’d finished our first stand and decided to use the long break between spots to explore the gorgeous Rock Park and Pump House Hotel, a delightful old place where visitors would once “take the waters”. We followed their example but also added a pretty big full cream tea to our refreshment!! Morris Dancers eh?…..you can’t take ‘em anywhere! We also had a lovely relaxed 30mins of unplanned dancing in a super area.

Our second spot, later in the afternoon was after we had joined in with the carnival procession which wound its way slowly round the town. This was spectacular with lots of elaborately adorned floats, wonderful costumes, happy, smiling people and looking like it was raising lots of money.
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We played and walked as a band, playing our stock marching tunes and our Pipekit (one of our sponsors) drum got a good airing at last, keeping good time, thankfully as I was playing it!

The second dance spot was a cracker, the bandstand now surrounded by a huge crowd who stayed to watch us in the late afternoon sunshine.

All in all a really excellent day….and nothing to wash out of our hair at all….:))))

Bank Holiday at Attingham Park

The sun always shines on the…………well, we’d like to think so anyway! The forecast today was rain but it only arrived as we drove from the car park at the end of the day as is so often the case when we dance out.

Rewind five hours and we were arriving at Attingham Park for our four-spot dance performance on Bank Holiday Monday. The omens were good as we were met and welcomed by the lovely staff who kindly allocated us their restroom for the day and offered us tea, biscuits and…….cake!
Now, as anyone who knows us will tell you we NEVER pass up the offer of cake so this was an excellent start to the day 🙂

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The team was a little minimal due to various reasons but we had enough ladies and men to perform and everyone, from musicians to dancers gave their all and did a great job, entertaining good and appreciative crowds at all four spots throughout the day. We met lots of friends and supporters who kindly came over to say hello (we love meeting people).

One of our newest members brought her family to watch her Shrewsbury Morris debut and, if she felt nervous she didn’t show it as she piled in and did really well. We couldn’t clog as the surface didn’t lend itself so the Lasses and Men danced alternate slots and we were able to throw in several mixed dances too, finishing each time with our old favourite Steeple Claydon.

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A lovely day, in a great place, with super people and gracious and pleasant holiday crowds.

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Next stop Wellington Summer Fayre!!

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Hello world!

Shrewsbury Morris – website under construction!

Our new website should be fully completed by October 18th – in the meantime we ask you to bear with us during the change over. You can find out more about us on Twitter or on Facebook or simply admire this lovely photograph of the Shrewsbury Lasses dancing at the top of Pride Hill in Shrewsbury earlier this year.

 

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