Wroxton Village Fete, 7 August 21

Adderbury Village Morris Men were the star guests once again at this popular event held on Saturday 7 August. After last year’s Fete was cancelled because of the pandemic, the organiser, Chris May, was particularly keen to draw in a large crowd to raise money for local good causes. For the first time at Wroxton we were able to field two sets of six for the majority of our traditional dances. We danced continuously for two hours with just short breaks to take on water and to form a guard of honour for a young bridal couple walking through the village following their wedding. It turned out that the bride was a teacher at Christopher Rawlings School in Adderbury, which was particularly fortuitous.

Just Married! AVMM form an archway for the happy couple. Photo courtesy of Hannah Ekers

Following our traditional starting dances of Sweet Jenny Jones and Haste to the Wedding, we demonstrated Shepherd’s Hey dance to the crowd and then invited audience participation for a modified version of the same dance. Judging by the number of young volunteers who put themselves forward, this could be a very useful recruiting tool when we resume visiting local schools to demonstrate our tradition.

Haste to the Wedding. Photo courtesy of Hannah Ekers

We were lucky that the forecast showers hardly touched Wroxton and so we were able to dance without interruption, entertaining the crowd with most of the dances in our repertoire. Lads A Bunchum, Brighton Camp, Black Joke, Postman’s Knock, Happy Man and the very impressive double jigs, Shepherds’ and Jockey to the Fair were all performed to a very high standard. It is clear that the extra al fresco practices arranged  since the end of lockdown have paid off. A very experienced former dancer of the Longborough tradition who was watching, was keen to compliment all the side and was surprised both by the youth of some of our dancers and the fact that some of our members have only danced in public on a handful of occasions. I’m delighted with the way the current side is dancing and look forward to another successful and enjoyable afternoon next Saturday 14 August when we will be dancing in Warwickshire at 2.30pm, postcode CV37 8PD – come and join us!

Our thanks to Chris May and the Wroxton Village Fete organising committee and to Hannah Ekers for capturing AVMM in action!

Squire John Ekers