This is a good day for dancing!” exclaimed our Squire as we assembled outside the Tithe Barn by The Bell in Adderbury at noon on a grey but warm Bank Holiday Monday. And indeed it was. We were soon into our stride, with once again two sets of six men presenting many of the regular dances to a large and enthusiastic audience gathered around us. Probably because we were making such a noise dancing outside his house, we were joined for a while by our esteemed Adderbury friend Chris Leslie on the fiddle. We all had such fun that we found it hard to leave the spot just down the road from the Bell Inn. However as planned we then proceeded up to the Coach and Horses for another one hour set where we repeated some but also covered several of the dances we had not already done. Again the audience was very appreciative and seemed interested by the historic and cultural background that we gave them by way of introductions to the dances.
Having lost track of time in all the joy and merriment, we then headed over to Aynho and danced for a while outside the Cartwright Hotel to a smaller but no less enthusiastic audience. During the afternoon, our audience participation version of Shepherds’ Hey dance was particularly well received with good numbers of volunteers keen to experience the delights of the Adderbury Village Morris tradition. During four hours of dancing we ran through pretty much the entirety of the AVMM repertoire with 15 dancers and three musicians, not to mention Charlie and Percy, our horses. We were very pleased that our ex-Squire and honorary Foreman Dorset Dave Reed was able to join us for a few dances later in the afternoon. Then it was back to Chez Ekers for tea on the lawn, where Mrs Squire had prepared a delicious and wonderful spread of cakes and sandwiches which we devoured with great enthusiasm and then we ruined the Squire’s lawn by rounding such a merry gathering off with a few of our favourite dances from the day. Tea, Hooky beers and soft drinks were available to slake the thirsts of the weary dancers and Dave Reed made a lovely speech congratulating the current side on the quality of its dancing. A very jolly day was had by all!
One of our supporters told me at the end as we were talking “When you guys dance, it is the look of joy on all of your faces that is so infectious, and the audience notices this and absolutely loves it.” Praise indeed!
Our thanks to Hannah for her lovely photos and to Jackie Ekers for hosting afternoon tea and more. We look forward to returning to Adderbury on the 18th September to dance around the village once again.
David Snell, Bagman