Deddington Farmers’ Market, 26 March 22

Perfect, sunny conditions welcomed us to Deddington Farmers’ Market, for our first dance out in 2022!

After weeks of practising in the Tythe Barn, a twelve strong team of dancers along with musicians, friends and family set up outside of Deddington Church to entertain the crowds attending the farmers’ market. Whilst we were a little way away from the main thoroughfare, it certainly didn’t stop us being heard, as some of the stall owners could hear us singing (I promise they definitely didn’t say droning) from all the way across the square.

Hitting the ground running, our first half started with our signature Sweet Jenny Jones, Haste to the Wedding followed by Constant Billy, Stourton Wake, two sets for Shepherd’s Hey and Bluebells of Scotland, Black Joke, and Lads a Buncham, and finishing with Brighton Camp before taking a break to enjoy the market. Stalls of varying wares were dotted around the church and the main marketplace, and I didn’t want to miss out on some of the food-based goodies which were on offer!

AVMM dance Constant Billy, photo courtesy of Hannah Ekers

As the sun continued to shine down on us, we got back into the swing of things with the Beaux of London City (Shooting), Shepherd’s Hey again (as requested by our audience), and the Roast Beef of Old England (we apologise for the lack of a vegetarian option), before concluding the event with a selection of our previously danced dances. I should also mention that we performed a really good double-jig version of Jockey to the Fair – this bodes well for the season ahead!

Thank you all to everyone who danced, not least to Pete Jordan and his two grandsons (Alfie and Hector) who danced with us, as well as Alfie’s Dad who was coerced into participating in the final Brighton Camp. We’d also like to the thank the visiting Morris dancer (an octogenarian!) who happened to be at the Farmers’ Market for his encouragement, along with all the other family, friends and market-goers who cheered us on. We hope to see you again at future events. Our thanks also to Hannah Ekers for her lovely photos.

A fantastic morning was had by both dancers and audience members alike, with special thanks to our former Squire John Ekers, as it was his musical debut on melodeon, accompanied by Troy (also for the first time) on drums and Dorset Dave on his harmonica. With enough dancers for two sets at times, it was truly a strong start to many events to come this year, and I’m looking forward to the Day of Dance on 23rd April. I hope to see some of you there!

Squire Ryan

AVMM outside the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington, Saturday 26 March, photo by Hannah Ekers