We were very fortunate with the weather, sunny but not too cold. Gales the previous day and heavy snow the next.
Good chirpy crowd at the Queen’s Oak to support our return to this beautiful pub in its idyllic location. A little thin on numbers of dancers meant plenty of dancing for all. Good turnout from the chilled music, supplemented by Ian in Rod’s absence. First dance, Skirmish featuring two of our new lads, Greg and Phil (we need you!) – it was a year to the day that Phil said he fancied having a go. It could be YOU next year! Horse happily trundled around making new friends. Appreciative and generous crowd cheered us on, warming to the Mummers Play, a new thing to many.
On to the D&P to find a large crowd patiently waiting in the bright winter sunshine. At least 7 YOBs (Yateley Old Boys), two vicars, innumerable family members plus Kennet and Ripley contingents (bring yer kit next time!) made us feel even more at home. Dancing underway and a roaring response from the lively crowd. Dancing was crisp and well presented (Squire had had a ‘word’!) with ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ Fieldtown and ‘Beansetting’ Ilmington (first time out, ever) being the Fool’s Picks of the Day. Happy crowd gradually increased with lots of little un’s filling the front rows contentedly watching wide eyed – even wider when the Horse arrived…. They are now the third generation to enjoy morris dancing in Yateley. One person told Steve that he had been to every Boxing Day performance, wow.
No jigging in the interlude this year, but Ian’s sword impaled Christmas cake and enthusiastic badge selling filled the gap before the Mummers appeared. Mumming on Boxing Day at the D&P is Special with our noisy home crowd fully engaged. A group of young kids entranced everyone by their enthusiastic and protracted booing of the rascally King George putting him off his lines wonderfully. The crowd thought it hilarious when the Noble Captain’s 20” inch cast iron Le Creuset shield was dropped on his goolies. He didn’t. No harm done tho’ and with everyone raised to new life it was ‘a shilling in our pocket and God Save the Queen’! Another very generous crowd, but not so from the pubs this year. An Afghan hat in the crowd was gently mocked by one lad, until he was reminded that he was currently wearing a knitted Christmas Pudding over his top hat…. J
Thank you to everyone who came, we hope you enjoyed the performances. We thrive on your support and are proud to be such an integral part of such a supportive local community.
Steve Betts, Chris Bartlett, Chis Chapple, Peter Stapleton (FC), Tim Lloyd (Medico), Ian Sutherland (RMK), Greg Bramwell, Ian Young, Phil Goddard, Andrew Armitage (LSS), Andy Pobjoy (KG), Paul Lethbridge (TS), Ross Healey (NC).
Queens Oak D&P
Good King Wenceslas Little Town Bethlehem
Holly & Ivy Highland Mary
Happy Man Landlord