Happy Platty Joobs everyone! This Saturday we had a brilliant time dancing out in Adderbury to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, and I’m here once again to tell you all about it. Arriving at the Bell, the cloud and wet weather didn’t dampen our spirits as we got started with our usual fare of Sweet Jenny Jones, Haste to the Wedding and Beaux of London City (Shooting). Noticing the younger members of the crowd that were beginning to gather, we danced Shepherds’ Hey followed by a jig involving a number of audience members. Having got everybody warmed up on the chilly day, we danced Constant Billy, before being approached by Louis – the owner of the Tythe Barn in Adderbury.
The Tythe Barn is celebrating its 600th Birthday and considering we dance in it for practices at the beginning of the year, we were more than happy to fulfil Louis’ request of devoting a dance to it. After singing Happy Birthday in the key of Adderbury, we danced Brighton Camp for ten people. We are always grateful to Louis for providing us with somewhere to practice, as it plays a part in keeping this tradition going. It turns out as well, that not only has the Barn hosted Morris Men, but also GIs from America during WWII! Although considering some of the ‘artefacts’ they left behind (beer bottles, mess tins and cigarette papers) I’d like to think we leave it in a much better condition after our practices. The Tythe Barn truly has a rich history, and it’s great to know we’re a part of it.
Praying for the weather to hold out, John gave my voice a much-needed rest, and called the Bluebells of Scotland followed by a rather appropriate royalty-themed Princess Royal (which to settle an argument we had at the time, is currently Princess Anne). We decided to give ourselves more of a workout (as if we weren’t dancing hard enough), and chose to do Black Joke on an incline, with the sloped road adding even more of a challenge that the team overcame as expected. Due to a bell pad issue, I handed over calling duties to Troy, who led a dance of Washing Day, whilst David and I made emergency repairs – truly our bagman’s talents know no limits!
Making our way over to the Coach and Horses for some post lunch dancing, we kicked things off with Lads a’Buncham, followed by a Shepherds’ Hey jig with eight pairs. Seeing the crowd were keen to join in, we got a deluge of audience members, including a few of the team from Sharp and Blunt, joining in for yet another Shepherds’ Hey jig. Doing two audience jigs, and managing to get such great participation is one of the best parts of dancing out. Sharing in our tradition with people of all ages and backgrounds is truly wonderful.
Continuing to dance turn and turnabout with Sharp and Blunt, we performed Postman’s Knock, Stourton Wake, Old Woman Tossed up in a Blanket; a song which I think the Queen would perhaps not approve of. After dancing Shooting once again, we used a minor break in the rain for Dylan, Troy, David and I to dance Jockey to the Fair and this helped us to stay warm. Sharp and Blunt then led their version of Sheperds’ Hey – which actually has more differences than you would think – making a great end to the day!
Thank you to everyone who danced, as well as our Musicians Donald, Jim and Malcolm who played and kept us going no matter the weather! A special pat on the back goes to Dylan who was up and dancing or horsing for all of our songs today – I truly do envy your boundless energy! Thank you, Hannah, for capturing some special moments in the official photos of the day and thank you Sharp and Blunt for sharing the spotlight and letting us dance together outside the Coach and Horses, as well as for dancing with us throughout the day. Finally thank you to the entire organising team behind the Adderbury Jubilee Festivities, it was an excellent opportunity to dance throughout the village, and we hope everyone enjoyed it!