We love dancing in Guildford: huge audiences, historic spots, ancient pubs plus our old friends Pilgrim Morris aka The ‘Grims. Beautiful sunny day as well.
A few YMM peegs arrived early for a ‘Spoons breakfast & beer (Double helix 5.2 was outstanding) with one porker going large plus black pudding (he then moaned that he felt too full!). Meet up was inside the ancient St Marys, a great base of operations – absolutely stunning inside, cool, white and tranquil even with noisy morris banter and bellowing. Pilgrim always seem to find stunning venues for the Summerpole celebrations. Great to be with Pilgrims (The ‘Grims), Mayflower, Jackstraws and Mad Hatters. YMM had numbers, 11 dancers and 3 musicians with our Kevin arriving a tad later. The summerpole resided irreverently in the gutter, well known to YMM, outside The Star in Quarry St and was lifted up by the ‘Grims before the sides processed and winstered up the steep High St over the cobbles following the Royal party. Music could occasionally be heard over the chunter. In past years a barrel (of beer of course) was also lugged around. Crowds loved it. WFYH off and prancing as was the Bush. The Bush was brill – active, noisy and apparently full of wee birds contentedly chirruping away!
Turned right at Tunsgate to Castle Green and then upto the Caftle (as the map says). Nice venue with stunning views of and through Guildford. Mac McLaren (who taught YMM Eynsham and some Fieldtown a while back) was MC for the day and looked suitably magnificent in his manly smock. Passing public were delighted to stumble on this event and many stayed to watch a fine performance of morris dancing. YMM performed Skirmish, Myrtle tree, Bumpus and a sweaty Fool led everyone in a happy Shepherd’s Hey. Sooths were said by Pilgrim’s pet soothsayer. The Fool’s ASBO with Jean had lapsed so all was reconciliation and hugs. Processed down from the keep to Castle Green for the erection (thank you). Up went the Summerpole, off to the pub went YMM, and round the pole danced the sides. YMM performed a below average Ring o’ Bells and a better Banbury Bill from Bampton in the Bush. Richard Davies, who has danced with us, said hi – good to see you Richard!!
A pleasant stroll down to Quarry St to the cool and calm of St Marys with a long queue to get at the delicious beer from Pilgrim Brewery! Food, curry, was really good, with just about everyone heading back for seconds. And beer, universal joy when a second barrel was setup! The Royal Court was in full session with assorted songs (Ian S doing splendidly for YMM, one joke song and a rousing Hal an Tow), knightings, dancing (we loved Jackstraws in retro kit!) and the traditional attaching of a YMM badge (with bell this year!) to the garter of the ‘sauciest strumpet’ of Mayflower (not an easy choice… J ). A quick Bold Nelson jig (Chris C, Tom, Baz and Ross) and off to the historic bridge over the Wey on the sight of the old ‘Golden Ford’ that gave Guildford its name. Fantastic spot to dance. YMM and Horse (now in overdrive) performed Jubilee, Eynsham stickie and a rousing Upton on Severn with Jackstraws (too risque to intermingle sets !! J Perhaps in another few decades when we know each other better….). Wonderful to see three beasts out and about – and a bonus Bush.
A short amble back to Castle Green for a few more dances and then a return to St Marys for tea, biccies and a chance to loll in the sun.
A grand day out in a great city – thank you the ‘Grims and all the performers.
Andy A, Chris B, Steve, Tom, Greg, Kevin, Chris C, Ryan, Baz, Ross, Tim, Ian S, Ian Y, Andy Y, Rob in civvies, WFYH,