The Living Journal of the YMM: Camden Away Day Saturday 30th July
Dancers – Andy A, Andy P, Baz, Bryan, Gareth, Graham, Ian S, Ian Y, Paul, Peter, Ryan, Ross, Tim, Tom, Horse
Music – Rod, Steve, Chris
Bright and warm! On Farnborough platform we met two ladies who had seen us dance at the wedding in Tongham. They were part of the huge cycling event , which closed Waterloo Bridge and delayed the buses. Bryan joined at Waterloo, with his shirt tails flying as we headed for the top of a bus to admire the slowest ever unguided tour of London.
If it had not been for bus lanes we might still be trying to get to Camden.
Meanwhile the cognoscenti, who had traveled by other means, claimed to be on their third pint. Gits. Also wound up the barmaid to tell latecomers that it was £8 a pint…. All eventually met up and consumed pints of Camden Eye at the Camden Eye, whose hosts and customers were predominantly Italian. Peter impressed them with his Italian and Chris played the Italian National anthem before our first dance spot outside, starting with Skirmish – for road workers and Italian students. Great to see Graham with us!
On to the Good Mixer to dance Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl – he didn’t. There were fewer people, but lots of passing enthusiasts who appreciated the horse, if not the smell of rancid fat and certainly not the three dubious tattoo guys watching. Happy horse posing as only he can in these crowds.
Nicely warmed up now, next stop the huge crowds at Hampstead Road Locks ( not Camden Locks, despite the signs! ) to watch narrowboat Jenny Wren locking through with a hen party and a waiter wearing a bow tie and an apron – only. After Jubilee, the Quaker and Sweet Jenny Jones the action was paused to send a small group to dance Highland Mary for the lady in the ice cream van ( and free ice cream ).
Into Wetherspoon and a pint of Firefly (4.5% ) and an opportunity to dance Maid of the Mill inside with the lovely Kerry Morris to roaring applause; then lunch for the less ambitious while others opted for the international cuisine of Camden market, while members of our accompanying ladeez indulged in some retail therapy. A few intrepid souls ventured into the grim ‘Cyberdog’, gradually descending to the lowest pit there to find a sex aids shop with the normal unsubtle novelties – a couple of the lads getting snapped in the bondage region.
After Stables Market, a fine spot on the north side of the canal allowed us to sing happy birthday and dance The Lollipop Man, Postman’s knock, The Myrtle Tree and Young Collins to another international and appreciative crowd. After Glorishers, Black Joke and the Upton Stick Dance ( admired by an ex-Chapel Morris man ) we adjourned to Wetherspoon again before nipping outside for Sweet JJ once more, the Weavers’ March, a vigorous and ebullient Jolly Jack tar and Bumpus. An amazing onlooker had been playing what looked like a longbow with a gourd attached – stunning.
A short walk to the Spread Eagle brought us to the Earl of Camden with a smaller, but enthusiastic ( and captive ! ) audience. After Skirmish, the horse made off with a lady as usual and still avoided prosecution for sexual harassment.
Feathers was followed by Constant Billy and Banbury Bill, after which Tom, Graham and Baz praised Bold Nelson. The day ended with the Eynsham Stick dance and a final Shepherd’s Hey and the side cavorted off to applause before we staggered, fully knackered now, to a far quicker, but hugely sweaty and overcrowded, bus trip to Waterloo. Only three people asked us “ Which one is Morris?” during the day. Sadly one of them was the ticket collector, but at least he enjoyed the horse sitting in his own seat and didn’t charge him.
What a great day. Massive international crowds, zealous collecting and great fun. Roll on our next day out! Huge thanks to Andy and Bryan for masterminding it.