Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 Feast:: A New Squire and a New Era!

This year's AGM took place in a dark room, decorated with a parachute, fairy lights and red ribbons. To find it, we had to fight our way through the crowds of Portobello Road market.

With the Westway's motorway traffic humming gently past, three feet above our heads, we welcomed our guest, Graham Cox of the Cambridge Morris Men, who is our Ring area representative. We took care of AGM business, danced (of course), and then had tea (of course).

After a little more dancing, we moved out into the body of the Inn on the Green, handing the function room over for what sounded an interesting musical evening, and gently finding space amongst the tango class which was packing up. We then cooked our feast in the kitchen, alongside two barbecue chefs.

The pub is an eccentric and welcoming place, with (on this visit) Fuller's Jack Frost on the pump. There were books and table football available, but I'm not sure if we made use of those. And the nearby pound shop was able to make good the deficiencies of the kitchen: the club now owns twelve yellow glass soup bowls.

The main business of the day was to welcome and install Michael Runge as Squire. The blurry photo is here for proof. Congratulations Michael, and I hereby promise to serve faithfully under your leadership!

We also decided to move our practices to Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. We will be there on Tuesday evenings at 8pm, starting on 20 January. We believe we will be the only Morris team practising in the House, and we hope the change of venue will encourage more people to come and join us.

Other things to say about the feast: the main course stew from Michael was splendid, as was his trifle. I think these alone would be a good enough reason to join LP. Also, to my shame, I'm sorry to say we forgot the toast to the Immortal Memory.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Who'll get custody of Bradford and Bingley's bowler hat?

asks the BBC - which raises a thought.

Ezra's one is falling apart. Maybe they could give it to him.

(disclaimer: London Pride Morris are not in any way related to Bradford and Bingley Building Society)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Notting Hill Pre-practice tour 15 Sept

We have this one to get us back in to the swing of Monday evenings. 
We did a brief show at the Ladbroke Arms, our usual after-practice haunt, and then off to the Uxbridge Arms, where Landlady Linda had just come back from holiday and was wonderfully welcoming. Ezra did another solo jig, and we had enough men to dance Lichfield Ring-of-bells (an 8 man dance)

Gillespie Park Ecology Centre 14 Sept

No photos of this I'm afraid as we were all dancing, and my camera was in use elsewhere too. We've enjoyed coming to the Ecology Centre for the last few years. 
One thing that I'll have to provide a photo of soon is Myrtle (the Westie) in her Baldrick and bells, which she showed off for the first time. She doesn't dance but sat at the side checking our stepping. 

Some more photos from the Canal Festival

Dancing well despite having just had his hips done, and evidently having done it before, this chap is John Shacklock, an old friend of Allan's. John took over from Allan as Bagman of Standon Morris Men, some years ago. John now has a narrow boat, which won the prize for best-decorated boat at the Canal Festival - his wife was accepting the prize round about the time these photos were taken.

Queen Caroline from the Kew Woodland Wonders surprised us by appearing incognito as a bargee

these and more are in a Flikr set here

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Angel Canal Festival 2008

Once again, we had a good time at the Angel Canal Festival, even though the weather wasn't as good as it has usually been.

We danced three shows - not a lot of photos here, as I was dancing most of the time.

The last show was between two shows by Orleta, a wonderful Polish group that practise in Balham.

It's always a pleasure to see a dance group with a well-practiced set, bright, costumes and big smiles. They were enviably young and attractive too!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Corporate Morris Dancing again

Peter J, Allen and I were hired again by Rampage Events to teach morris dancing to teams from a different organisation. This time it was CBS, who weren't natural bonders like the Loctite people. We mistook the initials - maybe it was GBH..? (cue stick clashing...) they still enjoyed it though.
We only managed to see 5 of the 7 teams that were coming down the river. Maybe they got lost and took a wrong turn - up the Fleet or the Effra or maybe the Wandle?
Here's Allen keeping supple by dancing a Princess Royal while waiting for the trainees:
Eventually the chickens needed feeding and we had to go home. But spending an afternoon chatting in the sun outside a pub isn't too hard a chore...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chelsea (and Kensington)

At the Anglesea Arms, and then the Scarsdale Tavern in Edwardes Square
the weather had been threatening downpours all day, but the magic of the morris kept it away, and we had a nice evening's dancing. And pleasant audiences too.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bloomsbury Tour

at the Norfolk Arms and Rugby Tavern (sorry I only had my camera out at the Norfolk Arms)
we were joined by Dan Kenning, who is now working in these part, but work is too busy to bring whites too :(
The Norfolk Arms is quite a gastro-pub these days, but the patrons still enjoyed the show, as did a coach-load of american tourists, before going off to investigate the darker recesses of London

Myrtle came along as official morris-beast-in-training
and enjoyed dancing Bonny Green Garters

after that over at the Rugby tavern. It was the barman's first day, poor thing, and I've been very lapse lately in warning pubs we were coming. He was getting worried that he'd lose his job by the pub losing it's licence on the first day he'd worked. 
We reassured him that Morris wasn't included in the music licensing laws "because it isn't entertaining" (?) 
and even more:
that the chances of us still noisily dancing after 10pm were fairly slim....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Loctite Adhesives

Peter J, Allan and I were booked for the day by Rampage Events doing a corporate team building exercise for Loctite Adhesives. The contestants were going down the river and doing different tasks at points on the way - a bit like the Generation Game.

They stuck with it and were very tenacious. 

We decided to score for style, effort, energy and beards. 

Not many points on the beard front
Good fun, and loads of points to all of them for everything else

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fitzrovia: Duke of York and The Fitzroy Tavern

We were joined by a mystery man in the audience who seemed to know all the dances: Andy Roberts in civvies, Andy's now the foreman of Allington Morris, having moved away from London.

There was a stag night in a local pub, so we blessed the groom-to-be by dancing a Rose around him guaranteeing plenty of fertility

Flagons of beer around...

Unfortunately no photos; from me, anyhow - I forgot my camera.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Allan wasn't too upset...

A few of us had thought we might be able to come for a garden party his local Quakers were organising.
In the event only Antony made it, and I'd phoned up to say I wouldn't after Allan had left home. I had visions of Allan arriving with no-one else around. 
In the end however they found someone who knew the tunes, borrowed a recorder, and did some jigs.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kensington Tour

No photos of the Elephant and Castle yet, though some may follow from a generous member of the audience.
We were a fairly bare side - someone else's diary crashed this time...
But we still managed to do a good show, to an appreciative audience.

After that up to the Uxbridge Arms, where we were watched by 5 year old Matthew, who'd stayed up specially - " and this is a special dance for Matthew..." and the locals, who are a good bunch. One went to the same schools as Noah and Ezra, and they all agreed they were the best schools ever.

One group had thought they might have a quiet evening to discuss the forthcoming redesign of their webpage - It's going to be what Burberry etc. wanted to be but didn't. Apparently. We were assured that Lord Buckman himself would have been an avid morris dancer if there was a lady to impress.

And Ezra danced a jig all by himself!!

Next time he'll have to do it with bells on!
...but very well done...

Thaxted Ring meeting

Off for the Thaxted Morris Ring meeting, here's Ezra and myself dancing a jig in Finchingfield
Noah and Ezra heading for the coach.
those are eggs, and they didn't break them.
this should hopefully (if I've done it right) be a bit of the background sound from the weekend - everywhere there's bells ringing.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Highbury Tour - a lesson in calendar management

... for me
I'd done a first draft of the programme, then Allan pointed out that Thursday 22nd May was the same as the LP country dance evening. I seem to have just changed the "Thursday" to "Tuesday" and forgot the date. When Antony pointed out that there wasn't a Tuesday 22nd I looked in my calendar, where I had it down as Thursday, and though I must have meant the Thursday.

So it's probably my fault that not many men came along...

The photo is of Ezra warming up by bouncing a ball against the Compton Arms.
However he did treat the audience to a double jig with Allan, and Allan did a Princess Royal Jig too

Peter Judge joined us down at the Marquess Tavern, and we found a surprising number of dances that we could dance with 3 dancers, and either Peter on concertina or myself on recorder.
No photos of that I'm afraid as hands were busy.

A pleasant audience, and we enjoyed the evening, so all was not in vain.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cecil Sharp House May Fair, Part II

Liz Hall, the Chair of the Friends of Cecil Sharp House, took these photos. Thanks Liz!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cecil Sharp House May Fair, 17 May

We met a London Pride Jig Doll

Enjoyed the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library

And took part in the May festitivities.

Kitty danced her first jig in public - but don't call her a jig doll!
No photos of the morris or other dancing yet...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Warm up act for Danny and the Champions

A very pleasant evening, dancing at the Betsy Trotwood pub in Clerkenwell, as guests of Danny and the Champions of the World (Myspace preview here), and then listening to the bands.

Comparing accordion playing styles:

and crashing out in the cellars listening to music:

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Some more photos from Kew Gardens

Woodland Wonders in Kew

Last year's Woodland Wonders at Kew were a bit of a wash-out, weather-wise, but we enjoyed them. This year, there was sunshine and big audiences with lots of children.

No photos of the whole side dancing, as my camera hand was busy

We had plenty of dancers, and Kitty and Hannah both performed.

Kitty joined in the maypole dancing.

Circulus were there again. Well worth checking out their Myspace page for medieval hippy music.

And there was a zipwire!

One small thing we could improve for next year: a volunteer to bring beer!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

London Pride in Bronze...

I've passed this statue a million times, and never noticed the title.

We're pleased sculptor Frank Dobson decided to commemorate us

but he appears to have forgotten our hats and other regalia (and presciently sculpted women)