Saturday 14th was a day of terrific dancing and joyful celebration for AVMM. At lunchtime we were joined by the men of Adlington Morris at The Bell, who were on their annual tour in the Cotswolds. Squire Duncan had seen us in action at the Day of Dance previously and had wanted to give his friendly and vibrant side a chance to dance alongside a traditional side from a village about which they had heard much. The home side fielded a strong side with a wide age range and were joined by fool Bryan Sheppard, looking resplendent in his bright green outfit (as seen in the photo below). Both sides gave excellent displays from their respective repertoires before Adlington adjourned for lunch in the pub.
The home side reconvened in the evening at The Institute in Adderbury for an Ale to celebrate Bryan’s magnificent contribution to the Morris revival in the 1970s. Guests included Barry Care MBE, former Squire of the Morris Ring and a brace of Moulton’s fine young team, Sunrising Morris and various friends, relations and original members of AVMM. Fellow founder of the side Jim Plester read out tributes from Chris Leslie and Tim Radford who were unable to attend, Barry Care spoke about Bryan’s contribution and Jim invited Phil Taylor to present Bryan with an engraved tankard to honour all he has done for AVMM. As well as country dancing with callers and musicians provided by both hosts and guest sides, Moulton, Sunrising and AVMM gave excellent demonstrations from their respective range of dances, showing the broad range of styles that are included in the term Cotswold Morris. A fine feast and plenty of Hooky were provided by staff from The Reindeer public house and dancing and merriment continued late into the evening. Special thanks must be given to the organising committee of Jim Plester, Phil Taylor and Chris Garrett who had worked so hard to make this event such a success and of course to our guests who made this such an enjoyable and memorable evening. Above all we must thank Bryan Sheppard, who has done so much to bring back the Morris to Adderbury and to ensure the continuing success of AVMM.
Report by John Ekers (Squire)