June 10th: Swallowfield Church Fete & Twyford Beer Festival.

A day of two halves – two events that could have not been more contrasting. Firstly we had the beautifully quintessential old English church fete followed up with a rather boisterous beer festival!

The Morris Men were delighted to be asked to open the fete which we did by dancing into the gardens to good old Winster. We then performed a few dances amongst the trees including of course The Old Myrtle Tree. It was tough work on the grass so we soon settled down to a cup of tea or a cold beer graciously provided ex-gratis. Chris B was spotted drinking tea and eating 2 cakes – yes TWO CAKES!!! He thought he could get away with it although by the time the squire had got his camera out the evidence had been eaten. Nevertheless the grin on his face proves his guilt and he shall be henceforth be known as ‘Two Cakes Chris!’ After refreshments the ‘arena slot’ called whereupon we performed a few more dances to a very watchful audience. Our finale was a joining in dance – Adderbury Shepherds Hey – but getting the audience to actually join in was hard work. We were just about to dance on our own when a close friend and neighbour of the squire consented to join in and this was the catalyst for several more volunteers. All in all a delightful fete and one of our favourites.

Then we departed to Twyford to join the beer festival. On arrival we were a little worried when we found the beer festival was in a gated off area of a field with a high stage at one end where a very loud rock band was playing. Surely they don’t want us to dance on stage? And if we are in the field there appeared to be little space amongst the deck chairs and lounging sprawling bodies all busy imbibing on the multitude of ales. Anyway we were soon presented with a handful of ‘free beer’ tokens and after a couple of pints all our worries disappeared. We slotted in between stage acts and performed on the grass just in front of the stage to a very enthusiastic audience. Max offered to take the mike and did a splendid job as compeer and promoted the morris with great enthusiasm to the smiling masses. After a few energetic dances the next band came on stage – the wonderful Secret Ukulele Band. http://secretukuleleband.co.uk/index.html A very friendly bunch of guys who had come all the way from Liverpool to perform at no cost to help promote the charitable theme of the event which was male cancer. Hence the photo of the big d**k in case you were wondering. No – the big d**k is the pink one in the middle! Anyway as we watched their performance they played the song ‘Am I Human or Am I Dancer’? Cue a procession of morrismen across the bottom of the stage to much amusement and big smiles all round. Well – it had to be done! More beer tokens appeared, more beer was drunk and more dances danced. By the time we left around 6.30pm the kegs of beer were all but gone – just a few dregs left. We felt happy that we had played our part in what turned out to be a really excellent beer festival. Let’s hope this becomes a regular event.


Rod Crane, Steve Betts, Chris Chapple, Chris Bartlett, Greg Bramwell, Tom Brady, Ian Young, Andy Young, Max Haynes, Andy Pobjoy, Paul Lethbridge, Ian Sutherland, Baz Crossman,


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