Winter Warmer, Adderbury, 10 February 2024

John Ekers writes: Many thanks to all our friends from AMM and S&B for inviting us to join them in the Adderbury Institute to share in a most enjoyable evening celebrating our shared love of Morris Dancing, good food, drink and music. This year’s event was kindly hosted by Adderbury Morris and it was clear that a most impressive amount of careful planning and hard work went into making the evening such a delightful celebration of Morris Dancing, folk song, fine music and convivial conversation.

The evening began with an hour’s dancing with each side showcasing several of their best dances. Jim and Malcolm provided the music for our eight dancers, all of whom performed impressively, despite the relative inexperience of some of our members. Thanks to all who turned out and in particular to Ryan who called all our dances. The first part of the social concluded with the traditional joint performance of Shepherds Away, in which some of the AVMM wives, girlfriends and children also participated enthusiastically.

All three sides then shared a most welcome communal meal and suitable liquid refreshment. The raffle was drawn and the youngest dancer of our team last night, Alfie Jordan, was delighted to win the star prize of an acoustic guitar kindly donated by Keith Norton. It was good to see former AVMM dancer Ashley Stevens in his new role of acting Squire for Adderbury Morris. A lovely example of how the local sides benefit from the friendly relations and occasional exchange of members that exist between them. After the tables were cleared away the guests enjoyed some high quality folk music, poetry, song and ceilidh dancing and the evening ended with the two men’s sides singing The Happy Men. After warm thank yous and farewells the guests headed happily homewards.

I would like to think that AVMM could pick up the baton and host a similar event next year, but feel we cannot promise anything at the moment. Our side needs new recruits. It was decided that the first practice before the Day of Dance will be on Wednesday 28th Feb from 7pm in The Tythe Barn. I hope that all members will try to attend as many practices as possible and to encourage friends and family to come along and have a go at learning our relatively straightforward tradition.

Finally a reminder that The Day of Dance takes place on April 27th this year.

John Ekers