Dancing Dayz at the Day of Dance

Last year we (and Shrewsbury of course) had the serious privilege of hosting The Morris Federation Day Of Dance (it’s actually their AGM but it’s a damn fine excuse to hold a huge Morris houlie too).

It was a great success and one of our guests that day, the delightful Belfagan Women’s Morris Dancers from Cockermouth in Cumbria were chosen to host this year’s event in the beautiful Lakes town of Keswick…walking boots on Shrewsbury Morris!!

We had been looking forward to this all year so it was with great relish that we made our collective ways (or not) through the varying degrees of backed up motorway traffic to Keswick on Friday 26th September. We had all decided to stay in different accommodation so the hardier souls camped or motorhomed, those with rugged tastes stayed in the town youth hostel and the lightweights and comfort seekers stayed in B&B (hello blogger!! *note, and webmistress!).

Those who were lucky enough to be retired or on a career break (as my wife calls it) had legged it up the M6 early enough to avoid the traffic, checked in chez comfort and were checking out the Keswick ale houses by 4pm……it should be said at this point that we are NOT a boozy side but there are certain things that need to be reconnoitred early in order to inform the later arrivals of their location and suitability (that’s my excuse anyway). Actually I fell asleep (lightweight again) so missed the later arrivals!!

By 10pm we were all in location and in various states of tiredness etc and looking forward to the weekend’s dancing.

After breakfast on the Saturday (during which I had to pose in Morris kit for some overseas visitors to take photographs!!) all the visiting teams (some 30 of them) met up at the central location for the day, bought our super duper laser guided badges and filled up with coffee, tea and biscuits before splitting up and heading off for our first dance spots.

We were starting our day by the town underpass with the delightful Carlisle Sword and Clog team, many of whom were already known by some of our members, so it was a good beginning to the event for us, along with Ripley Green Garters too. We then had a hysterical dance set in Museum Square with Pately Long Sword before a less than hysterical forced march down to the riverside of the spectacular Derwent Water for a spot on the Landing Stages with the lovely Westmorland Step & Garland Dancers. It did get easier after that with us wending our way gently back to the town, stopping to dance with the super Strictly Clog (who boast the Morris Federation President in their ranks) in Hope Park on the way.

An elongated lunch break allowed us to rest a little and get some fuel on board after a very energetic morning and was for me a chance to get round town to put human faces to Twitter names, having been talking online to Keswick tweeps all the week before.

In the afternoon all the visiting teams got a chance to showcase a particular dance in front of everyone else in a massed spot which is always an enjoyable (if a little nerve-racking) experience.

It had been a lovely day’s dancing, our musicians were, as always superb, all the dancers put everything into the performances and danced well and I think we entertained a lot of people judging by the crowds and the smiles on lots of faces.

The evening saw us enjoy a wonderful team meal in Sienna’s in Keswick, which had a brilliant restaurant upstairs with superb staff and fabulous food (you know, the sort you take mobile phone pictures of and post on Facebook/Twitter/insert your choice of social media platform?)

SM
Sunday morning of the Day of Dance always sees some teams stay and dance in the morning before leaving for home and this was no exception. Our hosts (who did a brilliant job the whole weekend) had organised a really nice dance spot at a well known local tourist rest place called Rheged and a good few teams had stayed overnight and rocked up there to put a good finish to a fine weekend. The teams rotated around the real estate until finally all converging on the large downstairs hall area where representatives of all the teams were involved in a final “massed dance” called Greenhams (I think) – anyway it was great fun.


A great weekend, we had super fun, it was lovely to meet lots of other teams dancing different styles of Morris and the weather was pretty good to us all.

Congratulations and thanks to the fabulous Belfagan Morris for organising such a brilliant event which went like clockwork and for looking after us all so well. No doubt they had a houlie of their own afterwards to celebrate the end of a long year of preparation….and we know what THAT’s like!! :)))

A Perfect Day (with apologies to Lou Reed)

An Open Morris letter to Shrewsbury and all visiting Morris sides

Sat 28th Sep 2013

Just a perfect day / met The Mayor in the Square / and then later, when we’re all there / we just danced
Just a perfect day / Morris sides quite a few / schools there for us and you / they all danced

Kids 22-1

Oh it was a perfect day
We’re glad we spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You won’t hear me banging on
You won’t hear me banging on…..any more

Just a perfect day / the weather left us alone / no-one had a chance to moan / it was fun!
Just a perfect day / wouldn’t have been anywhere else / we hope you enjoyed yourselves / you were great!

Oh it was a perfect day
We’re glad we spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You won’t hear me banging on
You won’t hear me banging on…..any more

BP1-1

We’re hoping to reap just what we sowed

……by enough people being inspired by the last fabulous weekend of Morris Dancing in Shrewsbury to come along to our Try Outs/Open Evenings at Sundorne School, from 8pm on both Thursday 10th and 17th October. It’s a very informal, fun evening where you get a chance to meet us, chat to us, have a drink and some nibbles with us (there’s cake!!), see what we do, look at our rich history and tradition, see us in action and generally have a good time.
Who knows, you might even feel so good about it that you want to join us! We are always looking for new members. So, men and women of hereabouts, if you want to have a peek into the wonderful world of Morris and find out what’s so great about it and why we love doing it, now you know what to do.

Pssst…….I think there are people coming already so you’ll have company……

Hope to see lots of you there.

Check out our website www.shrewsburymorris.co.uk for more information and find links there to our huge Twitter account @shrewsmorris, our FB page and our Flickr page, bursting with photos of last weekend and of….well, us really….

It’s always fun dancing with Shrewsbury Morris!

Morris On
Graydon

Morris Federation AGM – 28th September 2013

Shrewsbury Morris are proud and delighted to be hosting this year’s Morris Federation AGM and Day of Dance.

The Morris Federation is a United Kingdom association of self-governing Morris clubs, which aims to encourage and maintain interest in the practice of Morris dancing by women and men of all ages – over 400 sides are a part of the Federation.

On September 28th 2013, Shrewsbury will be hosting the annual AGM and Day of Dance – welcoming many of those Morris sides to our beautiful town of Shrewsbury. A spectacle not to be missed, if you follow us on Twitter at @shrewsmorris or @28Sept2013 we will keep you up to date with all the sides that are coming along and where you can see them dancing.

We are also delighted to announce that Shrewsbury firm Red Recruitment have agreed to sponsor the day. Many thanks to them! There is still room for more sponsors too; if you are interested in being a part of a fun, cultural and beautiful day for Shrewsbury, please do get in touch with us via Twitter or at bev.langton@talk21.com