On Sunday 2 July, Adderbury’s three Morris sides gathered outside the Coach and Horses to welcome Minnesota Traditional Morris (MTM) a contingent of 19 dancers touring the UK. Founded in the autumn of 1974, MTM is based in the twin US cities of Minneapolis and St Paul and draws heavily on the Cotswold tradition. They told us that they share a large state-of-the-art meeting and training facility with other dance groups and that their building complex even has administrative staff. We told them that we practice in an ancient tithe barn with no heating or staff! They were impressive to watch and fun to chat with as they happily quaffed locally brewed refreshments with hip flask Laphroaig chasers.
For the record we danced Sweet Jenny Jones, Black Joke, The Buffoon and Brighton Camp (with novice Jake Sheppard) at The Green – our grateful thanks to Keith Norton for dancing with us – then Princess Royal and Shepherd’s Hey jig in Mill Lane. After lunch at The Bell, Dave Reed, our resident expert on all things Morris, joined MTM in Mr Softee (Bledington style), a dance invented by Kingsessing Morris of Philadelphia about 30 years ago. A happy afternoon for UK-US Morris collaboration (as can be seen in the group photograph below) and the sun shone too.