Kirtlington Lamb Ale

One of the ancient Whitsun Ales, the Kirtlington Lamb Ale can be traced back to the early 1600’s, and took the form of a village festival and feast. Since Kirtlington Morris was revived in 1979, the Lamb Ale has been an annual event held on the weekend of Trinity Sunday.
The Sunday sees morris happening all over the village, starting with a procession to church and a Lamb Ale service for those so inclined. This year we were lucky enough
to be invited to join the festivities.

We were, to be honest, a bit short handed, and so pictures are of everyone except us.

We joined the procession to the church, and, following the service, the procession through the village to the school.

Kirtlington get underway at the school.

The Kirtlington Maids do their dance.

After a dance from all the attending sides, we split up and moved to different locations around the village. We started at the Dashwood Arms.

Adderbury outside the Dashwood.

We then moved on to the Oxford Arms, where our hosts joined us.

Outside the Oxford Arms.

Kirtlington concentrate on their sticking.

As anyone who has been following the cricket World Cup will know, the weather has been a bit, well, soggy of late. Our next stop was to be outside the Village Hall,
but a downpour moved us into the hall. After that, it was back to the school for one last dance each.

Kirtlington lift off!

The Lamb Ale is quite a do. For the last dance at the school, we were the 19th side to dance! A good day; we’ll be hoping to be invite back.

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Evening in Marston

To round off May, we paid our annual visit to Marston. First stop, Marston Court Care Home, and our musicians Steve and Audrey had bought along a little help.

Young Edward joins Steve and Audrey.

We have to be on form for this danceout; our audience again includes a lady who probably qualifies as Morris royalty, as William Kimber was her granddad.
See this report from our previous visit if that’s not a name you recognise.

William Kimber’s grand-daughter.

So, sticks out for Bluebells.

Bluebells of Scotland.

We finished with our participation dance.

Shepherd’s Hey

Once again, we were rewarded with scones, jam and cream!

After that, up the road to Old Marston and the terrace of the Victoria Arms. It wasn’t quite a perfect summer evening, so only a few hardy souls were outside.

On the terrace at the Victoria Arms.

There’s not a huge amount of free space on the terrace, so we squeezed into a corner.

A bit tight for space on the terrace.

A view of the terrace.

Once done dancing, we retreated inside for some tunes and socialising.

Aaand, relax…

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Chippenham Folk Festival

It’s the last Saturday in May, and that means once more we’re off to the Chippenham Folk Festival for the day, dancing at various locations around the town with assorted other sides.

Let’s get started.

Getting underway in Borough Parade.

A different view of Borough Parade.

Cardiff City Morris might be Welsh, perhaps?

Then off to what was a new venue this year – a car park on the edge of Monkton Park. The timetable said we would be dancing with Oxford’s very own Summertown Morris.

A new venue this year. Ed sports an especially low-slung bumbag.

Hang on. They look kind of like Summertown, but different. In fact they’re Willington Morris, a sister side to Summertown from Derbyshire.

This is not Summertown.

After that, it was time for the parade. Our annual chance to dance down Chippenham High Street while not being able to hear a note our musicians play. This year our Buzzard made an appearance for the parade.

The Buzzard is out and about.

It was rather warm waiting for the parade to begin. The Buzzard was unmasked…

One Hot Buzzard.

Elsewhere, your correspondent particularly enjoyed watching the colourful Gog Magog Molly.

Gog Magog Molly are colourful.

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Off to the Seven Stars at Marsh Baldon, with Old Speckled Hen

It’s Thursday, so we’re out and about again. This week, we were at the lovely Seven Stars at Marsh Baldon, a delightful community owned pub, with guests our old chums Old Speckled Hen.

Old Speckled Hen lead off.

Once more us Havocs had Jenny from Bellswagger joining us. It turns out Jenny likes to dance Step n’ Fetch Her. Will we get off the ground?

Getting off the ground.

OSH generate some volume.

The OSM musicians in action.

The evening merged into a spectacular sunset.

Old Speckled Hen dance as the sun sets.

And afterwards a little music inside.

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The Fox in Denchworth, guests of Icknield

Off to the lovely old Fox at Denchworth, where once more we are guests of the men of Icknield Way.

Once more, it’s not the warmest of evenings.

Havoc musicians (and Jenny) looking like they could be warmer.

Luckily this week the patio is a bit bigger than last week, so there’s no problem with room.

Havoc hankies are a-flying.

Icknield get things waving.

Our hosts were in fine form.

Icknield getting into Banks of the Dee.

Icknield show us how to dress.

And once again, once dancing was brought to a halt by the appearance of substantial platters for sandwiches and chips (Thank You, the Fox!), it was inside for songs and tunes. All in all, a great way to spend a May evening.

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With Towersey at the Plough, Long Wittenham

Out annual meetup with our old friends from Towersey Morris. The corresponding fixture last years was held on a lovely summer’s evening, where we dance happily on the lawn. THis year, however, was a bit on the overcast and soggy side, so we decided that the patio might be a better bet.

Towersey got underway in fine style.

Towersey demonstrate their synchronised hankie prowess.

In return we tried an eight-handed dance and, well, it was a bit of a tight fit.

Havoc finding it bit of a squash.

Sticks featured too.

Towersey get the long sticks out.

Havoc show that we can do things with long sticks too.

Luckily the rain held off; no interrupted dancing. Afterwards we headed indoors for some tunes and songs.

The swing frames a deflated bouncy castle and Emma’s Austin Allegro.

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A barbie, English-style

To properly celebrate Jenny & Barney’s visit (see previous posts), our Squire hosted an English barbie. The experience is much like the more famous Australian version, but colder.

Warming up around the fire.

As well as the usual sausages and burgers, veggie kebabs and asparagus were on offer. And PUDDING!

Conversation flows as we thaw.

There was a little singing, too, to accompany the never-ending search for firewood.

What’s Barney seen?

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May Morning

Oxford takes its May Morning tradition seriously. And Havoc is no exception. For the last few years, the Friends of the Botanic Garden have kindly invited us to their early May Morning gathering. A lovely location, even if it means we start dancing at 05:15.

Starting Constant Billy

At that time in the morning, some brisk exercise is necessary to keep out the cold.

Warming up

It’s all very well if you’re dancing. Our poor musicians have to wrap up warm.

Musicians feeling the temperature

Now let’s get the long handles out.

And some precision long stick work

When it’s fully light, we can appreciate the Botanic Gardens. Just over the road from Magdalen Tower, it’s a prime position to watch the choir sing at 6am.

It’s light!

After listening to the Magdalen choir, we wandered down to the Said Business School and provided a little diversion for the early commuters. From there, it was on to our home pub, the Seacourt Bridge, to round off the morning.

At the Seacourt Bridge

And thanks to Tracy and the team – breakfast at last.

Breakfast!

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Season opener for St George’s Day

In recent years, the first Havoc dance out of the summer season has been at Oxford Folk Weekend. The organisers of that were having a break this year, so our first appearance of the summer was a low-key celebration of St George’s Day at the Eight Bells at Eaton.

They’re under starters orders…

This year we are once again very pleased to welcome our old friends Jenny and Barney from Brisbane’s own Bellswagger morris.

… and they’re off!

We have to admit being a little late; we were dancing on Thursday 25th April, 2 days after St George’s Day.

Constant Billy

But the 2019 dance out season is properly launched.

All up!

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