200719 Victory Day of Dance, Portsmouth

We’ve been keen to do this event for years and glad to be able to come this year. A leisurely big breakfast at the Slug & Lettuce was stretched out so that we arrived EXACTLY on time, a gentle teasing of Ian S, our squire for the day.   Gathering point was the historic Ship Anson on The Hard which was awash with motley morris types. A big event with loads of sides, full marks to VMM who took it all in their stride.

First spot was just across the road by the mudlarkers memorial near the main entrance to the historic dockyard. With 4 other sides so plenty of time to mingle, especially with our friends Basing Clog. Also for the Horse to terrify hordes of young Japanese tourists waiting in the dockyard queue – 1000s of pictures taken. Skirmish our first with a bit of regret that breakfast had been SO big! A cloud rolled in, some drizzle and the sides tried to congregate under a tree before the heavens opened and most legged it into a surprised Ship Anson. We left Mary Rose gamely dancing on…

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Ship Anson was heaving with morris types, but we manged to carve out a space with a very appropriate Bold Nelson’s Praise jig by the generous, but ignored free tea & coffee. First of a number of excellent beers from the local Irving Brewery was taken! Sun had come out, so we did as well performing an Ilmington dance outside. Off to the Gosport ferry. Watched Rod’s eccentric trolley wheel queasily (dropped & broken!) for a while. Lovely ferry trip, Ross did ‘Ladies Pleasure’ on the topdeck.

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Into Gosport and off to Fallen Acorn Brewery, we do like free beer, but owner had forgotten keys so back to a nearby pub, the Fox, for quick dance and onto a rough and ready ‘Spoons for lunch & ultracheap beers, especially with the ever ready CAMRA vouchers (Irving again!) ….. Fool happily announcing we came from near the ‘home of the British Army’ regularly, to occasional boos, – dangerous talk in this proud RN area. Some good dancing – accurate and sprightly despite the heat. The Horse in particularly good form chasing shoppers and nibbling morris folk.

Back on the ferry and into Portsmouth, heading for Spice Island. A long but glorious walk to the best Pompey vantage point of all manner of boats & ships – happy crowds and good Fullers beers. Perfect dance venue with big, inquisitive & appreciative crowds We stayed …and stayed…enjoyed a stand with the saucy Mayflower Morris and Sarah received a badge on her garter as a result.

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A wander down to the walls proper found us seeking a loo, so we stumbled into the historic Dolphin Pub (historic gem) and spent a calm spell reminiscing with the knowledgeable Taeppa Tump musicians. Horizon beer excellent.

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A magnificent finale beneath the hsitoric walls where ALL performers were encouraged to have a go at Vandals and Valentine – a wildly ambitious enterprise – with Clog, Border & Molly. A brilliantt result! The Brute loved it, literally taking centre stage!

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Really well done Victory Morris, a great day out. Many thanks!P1110181

Artistes

Andrew Armitage, Paul Lethbridge, Ryan Cooper, Tom, Steve Betts, Chris Chapple, Baz Crossman, Ross Healey, Andy Young, Rod Crane, WFYH.

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