We met a Baroness on our Fitzrovia tour, on 17 July. She came up to us at the Duke of York, very pleased to see Morris on the streets.
It turns out she was one of the peers who moved for Morris to be exempt from the Licensing Act 2003. The Act required all premises that have entertainment to have a licence. Morris was exempted, following an amendment in the House of Lords.
But who was she? We didn't catch her name except that it began with a B. Happily, the Morris Discussion List helped out. She is Baroness Buscombe, and she did indeed work on amendments to the Licensing Bill, to make it less hostile to live entertainment.
We thought she said Baroness Buskin (or possibly Busking?), and wondered if she had a professional interest in the Act. At the time of the debate, she was in fact Opposition spokesman for Culture Media and Sport in the House of Lords. Here's TheyWorkForYou's profile of the Noble Lady.
An exemption for Morris dance is a very good thing. Without it, we'd have to argue that Morris was automatically exempt because it isn't very entertaining, and who knows where that might lead?
We were so overwhelmed to have a peer in the audience, we made a bit of a fluff of Dearest Dickie.
Following that, at the Fitzroy Tavern - a pub we've been dancing at for probably 40 years or more - Richard Wyber turned up in his dog collar, added a fine touch to some Bampton, and talked to the audience.
Ezra was there
So was Antony
As well as Peter and Nick and Allan (and me).