Havoc on the cards

An enterprising Morris dancer called Owain (there’s a limerick in there somewhere) has produced a Morris card game, Top Trunkles.

We were sufficiently on the ball when the call for sides came out. And here we are!

Top Trunkles

An evening in Eynsham

Aided and abetted by Wolvercote Morris, we snuck out of Oxford on Thursday and into Eynsham. The Swan Hotel, to be precise.

Wolvercote getting warmed up.

We came equipped with a special guest star. Veronica, Squire of Sydney’s very own Black Joak Morris.

Our guest star with Emma and Kate.

We passed a relaxing evening of turn and turn about.

Hankies a-fly.

A Wolvercote turn.

The Swan has a nice stone wall in the back yard. Emma’s not one to let a good clogging surface pass her by, even if it presents challenges.

Emma shows off her clogging.

Emma on the wall.

We’re past midsummer, so the evenings don’t last quite as long as they did.

Musicians in the gloaming.

And not to be out done, Veronica thought she’d try the wall as well.

Veronica conquers the wall.

After that, inside for some music.

The evening session.

Pete sings!

Sandford Fete

Today we’ve been dancing at the village fete in Sandford. Another traditional fete – if this was Midsummer Murders, we’d be lucky to get out alive – and another fee to swell our charity fundraising for this year. The fete bought the crowds out.

Fete crowds.

We did two half hour displays on a grass area.

Hankies flying.

Constant Billy.

The thing about dancing on grass is that it’s rather hard work.

Sidesteps. It’s hard work on grass.

So we all needed the break at half time.

Musicians and Morris Dancers gravitate to the Beer Tent.

And Squire had to consult with the other Important Personages there present.

Cheers, Ma’am!

Back for the second half. Delighted that Oliver was in town, and back with us for the afternoon. These days he’s more likely to be dancing with Blackheath Morris, the side that appeared in the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony, no less. We are not worthy.

Oliver takes time out from Blackheath.

Just us, a country pub and a summer evening

Whether it’s the regular Tuesday evening session, or a dance out, we’re regular visitors to Tommy and the Eight Bells at Eaton. It’s a warm and dry summer evening, so we’re doing our usual thing.

Vandals of Hammerwich.

Back to Back!

Not having any other sides around means that Squire can put us through our paces on some dances to check that we’ve not forgotten them.

Dogs or War – Kill!

And we have a fete coming up on Saturday, so let’s practice some crowd-pleasers too.

Shaving the Donkey.

Jenny Lind.

Of course, when there’s only us dancing, it’s not only the dancers who have to work hard. Spare a thought for the hard-working engine room of the side too.

Our musicians.

At the Six Bells at Warborough with Old Speckled Hen

It’s a near-perfect summer evening, and we’re off to meet Old Speckled Hen for the second time this season. This time we are once again their guests at the Six Bells in Warborough. A pub familiar to Midsommer Murders fans. Let’s hope we get out alive.

A perfect summer evening.

Our hosts.

A nice evening for a dance…

Bluebells of Scotland.

Susie briefly deserts her melodeon for the bootstick.

… or just to relax and take it all in.

OSH and the Six Bells.

Havoc onlookers.

And two bonuses. Two talented youngsters with OSH connections gave us a jig each. One near the start of the evening…

An early jig.

… and another as the sun faded and my phone camera started to really struggle with the light.

A late jig.

A very Morrisy evening in North Leigh

We’ve been busy.

On Saturday we contributed to the entertainment at the Culham Fete, doing 2 half hour displays on a hot afternoon. And somehow the only picture we have of the entire evening is this one.

Junior traction engine at Culham Fete.

And then, out on a Monday evening, unusually, we find ourselves as guests of Masons Apron at the appropriately named Masons Arms in North Leigh. Also present, fellow guests Eynsham Morris.

Masons Apron at the Masons Arms.

We did our usual thing, with a fast moving Shave the Donkey.

Shave the Donkey in motion!

And some more sedate dances.

Hankies aloft.

Eynsham treated us to their usual energetic dancing.

Eynsham have selected their victim…

…and pounce!

The evening turned steadily into the spectacular, and to cap that Masons produced supplies of their famed cake!

Sunset.

After that, we moved inside for a jolly session with all parties. And Emma treated us to some clog.

Inside clogging.

Lovely.

A country evening in Charney Basset

Another of our regular summer destinations, the Chequers at Charney Basset sits opposite a classic village green. Which is difficult to photograph in the evening sun.

The village green at Charney Basset.

We’d hoped to have some guests this evening, but it was not to be.

Country Gardens… tum tum ti tum ti tumty tumpty tum…

Still, some nice weather turned up.

Not quite an all-woman Highland Mary.

Rounds!

Some of the locals were even misguided enough to watch, and our charity bucket saw some action.

Every evening as true as the clock…

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.

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…

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.