On a fine Wednesday evening, Spring Grove Morris Men hosted their traditional Midsummer Morris at the White Swan, on the bank of the Thames in Twickenham, with its variety of river odours. A large and appreciative audience filled their garden and many passersby seemed pleased to find us, although there were fewer passing strangers at the Barmy Arms, for the second spot, all went well there too. London prices for beer, but good beers from (very) local breweries at both pubs.
A massed William and Nancy had all the Cotswold sides involved. Sides- BLACK SWAN Morris (Border), Ewell St Mary’s, Kingston Morris, Thames Valley Morris Men (TVMM), Greensleeves Morris Men and Yateley. Black Swan discreet and tasteful in their blacking up, gave us loud shrieks and huge feathers. Yateley opened with Bumpus and Ewell followed their own improvised tradition to a tune nobody knew. Greensleeves danced to Country Gardens and Spring Grove gave us Jenny Lind, after, which a mass Rakes of Mallow challenged the musicians somewhat. Yateley’s Skirmish was beautifully sung and danced to an appreciative audience. ‘Proper Morris’ to quote an onlooker. Before leaving the White Swan, a mass Vandals involved us all again.
Off to the Barmy Arms, a pleasant stroll. Ewell’s Darby Kelly used a tune from Status Quo and had the Magic Roundabout tune in it too. Building a tradition? Two sword dances from Greensleeves and Kingston impressed us – one to the beautiful tune Idbury Hill – and proudly carried their woven swords aloft to huge applause. Interest is building to re-introduce the Sword, we used to do Poppleton and Helmsley.
The World Famous Yateley Horse did his very best and was a fine rival to a passing unicorn and an incorrigible goat.
Thames Valley introduced Blue streak to the Australian tune Clip go the Shears Boys and any passing Aussies would have been pleased to hear Waltzing Matilda played twice during the evening. Yateley’s Myrtle tree was well danced and new to many of those watching. Captain Llaronos, well – “could do better” went on my report – not for the first time, but at least they smiled.
While most of Yateley went to hoover up the buffet, Black Swan instructed and led the rest of us in their joining in dance – Dilwyn – and the evening ended with Bonny Green, sung to the traditional words!
Tremendous thanks to Spring Grove for the invitation to a great evening.
Dancers ; Andy A Andy P Andy Y Greg Gunter Ian S Ian Y Peter Ross Ryan Tim and Rob our most loyal follower. Beast.
Music : Steve Mike Chris