Harvesting new AVMM sticks in Barford St John

Every Morris side needs a ‘stick master’ and AVMM has the best! David Snell writes:

Like a scene taken from Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Woodlanders’,  on a breezy, bright mid-June evening, two AVMM men and a visiting New Zealander met with David Best of Barford St John in the bucolic  setting of the meadows by the Barford bridge, where David very kindly offered us a pick of the best growth from the stocks of his pollarded willows. It was surprisingly tricky to find a straight length of 39 inches with just the right diameter, but after having demolished half of David’s row of willows, we came away with over a score of beauties.

Next season’s new sticks!

The sticks will be stripped using a draw knife once owned by another Adderbury man, the late Arthur Spencer of The Parish; by next Spring they will be seasoned and will clash for the first time at the Day of Dance, when the cycle of the year turns again. Heartfelt thanks to David Best for providing us with a new stock!