We went to Teignmouth FF a while ago, enjoyed it and always said that we would return. We were a bit worried about sharing the weekend with 23+ other sides, especially as most were scary border sides who might pick on us, but they were all friendly and it all turned out well in the end. YMM were one of a very few Cotswold sides.
Most people hit by the dreaded choice of either the rock of the M4/M5 route or the hard place of the A303, we straggled into the excellent school field for camping and parking up of ‘vans and motor homes. Campers loitering around looking for cups of tea. Most things up, inc marquee, and muttering of beer and fish and chips, a select group zipped into town. First group fell into the Old Jolly Sailor and guzzled Otter quickly and in quantity. The failed to move on at all, overeating on good value f&c and continuing with Otter gargling. Swiftly joined by the pampered Bandbers and EVERONE else. Food sold out quickly. Gunther and Gisella singlehandedly started an excellent ‘session’ (as it’s known in the trade) which was brilliant – well done Gisella, Chris C and Baz as ‘rare’ singers as well our usual stalwart Mr S. Well impressed landlord (after checking Otter sales) said please come back. We did… . Beltane apparently in good form on the quay. Up the hill and home to bed – tired, beery and bleary. Really nice drifting off with gentle susurrus of other campers and some melodious singers in the distance with whole weekend ahead. …Baz generally behaved himself.
Easy start to the day with Teignmouth Sea Cadets preparing fat and delicious breakfast baps and blessed tea. FF camping, also known as ‘morris in its pyjamas’. Good showers to wake us all up and we started the happy craft industry of decorating our hats with many lads grovelling away to our artistic ladies…snipping, arranging, foil and tissue…Down to the East Cliff to form up for the procession to the Triangle, pleasant enough, our fool joyously swapping CW’s sticks for ticklers. A bit of extra for the mayor. YMM and Beltane opened proceedings in the Triangle. Our Horse just loved it all – he was the only beast to be seen all weekend (1:23 about the right proportion for him – what an ego!) – as did our Fool bellowing away – he was the only Fool to be seen all ….. (copy above line here!!). Really good atmosphere all round. Onto other spots with very nice sides at the Promenade with Heather and Gorse/Ridgeway Step Clog, town centre (a badge selling frenzy ensued!) with Bradninch Millers and Lodestone Border and the King’s Arms with Isambard Gasket Rats and Grimspound Border.. Rather dry, we slaked our thirst at Ship inn for Avocet Ale, ‘Spoons, Dicey O’Reillys (an Irish bar…quelle surprise) for Hunters, Blue Anchor for lots, King’s Arms for Doom Bar and a few others whose name I seem to have forgotten…. Every beer was good wherever we went and good value, none of yer £4.50 a pint for Greene King swill here. Much troughing and happy grunting at a heavenly pasty shop as our resident trencherman gorged on Teignmouth Beasts. Rain held off, though threatened repeatedly. Back up the hill in style in some, loading all our gear and four weary, sweaty folk (sorry Jess!)– rather good value at £4.40 split 4 ways!
Dinner was alfresco under the event canopy, all of us together which was really brill (inc a few late arrivals…you know who you are…). A few foolhardy lads played Frisbees (produced from one of Tom’s orifices) cheesing off professional looking runners. Out came wine, whisky and a hastily rejected can of Greene King. The red wine was exceedingly popular especially with many of our ladies (..you know who you are..) and everyone was rather relaxed as we were eyes down for steak (from Reeves Butchers, Yateley), onions, chips, baguette and trimmings. Some salad was even eaten. Everything cooked excellently by Jill and our Galloping Paisley Gourmet, Tom. A bit more wine glugging and we all trundled downhill to the pub, literally and metaphorically – sadly forgoing the campsite ceilidh. Back to the Jolly Sailor where a lively YMM/Beltane session was happily underway. Lively debate about ‘what makes a good Folk Festival’ during which we watched the ‘Collapse of Baz’ who was falling asleep in an alcove. Back up the hill to find stalwarts savaging cheese biscuits, Isle of Jura and seeing off the last of the red wine. Baz nearly asleep in the excellent Stilton. Great day…in great company. Light pattering rain and more faint folk songs on the breeze to see us off to sleep…
Leisurely up and more breakfast baps. Tents down in light rain ‘do we, don’t we..’ and hats refreshed we were down to the Promenade with the crisp Sidmouth Steppers and ‘shock’ another Cotswold side ‘Harberton Navy’ with old YMM Jan Culf. Super mass dance ‘Black Joke’ Bledington. Back to the Kings Arms with ‘Sweet Coppin’ – for a really hilarious session. Suggestive skirt twirling prompted a responsive tails twirling for our Fool, then aided by some of the ladies helping…trio snogging at the top of the set…then the Horse arrived! Much jollity and hooting! Thanks ladies. Rainy now, we headed to the Blue Anchor for an abortive session via misc pasty shops. Then off to Teign St for free beer, courtesy the welcoming Jackman’s Toyshop. Maid of the Mill, Ilmington with flags was a fun train wreck. Nice time with the small but beautifully formed Angle Twitch morris and the super Sidmouth Steppers as we had multiple ‘joiny in’ dances with hordes of local sprogs.. Back to the Triangle to take pride of place opening the final Grand Finale – we wuz gazumped and went third – performing ‘Feathers’ Eynsham. All a bit knacked now. Prompt away through murk and gloom via busy roads.
The discussion about what makes a good Folk Festivals wasn’t resolved…..and probably never will be. We do know that Teignmouth FF is a VERY good festival tho’! Well organised and absolutely lovely stewards/volunteers. Thank you. We’ll be back…..if allowed.
PS we’ve pinched a few photos – hope y’all don’t mind.
Lovely wives, Rod Crane, Chris Chapple, John Reeves, Timbo, Baz, Andy P, Ian Y and Andy Y, Horse, Ian S, Paul L, Tom, Gunther C, Rossco