Farewell to Tony, Adderbury 15 May 2024

On Wednesday evening 15 May, AVMM paid tribute to Tony, the long-time landlord of the Coach and Horses in Adderbury, as he prepares to retire in the next few weeks by performing inside and outside this village local, which has been a bolt hole for the side on many a Day of Dance and on other happy occasions over the years. It had been hoped to have all three local sides taking turns to entertain the crowd of regulars, but although Sharp & Blunt and Adderbury Morris Men were unable to raise a team, it was good to see the audience swollen with discerning Morris aficionados from both those sides. Fielding an impressive 14 dancers ready to perform to musicians Donald and Malcolm allowed us to dance with two sets of six and a brace of horses for most of our 18 dances. Princess Royal was danced with three sets of four performing in an unusual triangle formation, in order to reduce the risk of spilling onto the main road, whilst Jockey to the Fair featured an impressive four pairs in a star formation around our musicians. As Tony was kept busy pulling pints behind the bar, the side moved into the crowded pub to serenade him with four verses of ‘Come Landlord Fill The Flowing Bowl’, which delighted diners and locals alike and earned a hearty round of applause led by Tony. There was then time for more dancing outside and a photo with Tony before our traditional final dance of Brighton Camp.

Singing at the beginning of Brighton Camp – Our Farewell to Tony evening in Adderbury

After which we retired to the cosy interior of this fine old pub to enjoy a well earned drink. Tony thanked us profusely for helping him celebrate his impending retirement and complimented us on the number of youngsters in our side, without whom the long-term future of the side might be in doubt. Our extended version of Shepherds’ Hey Jig featured no less than seven current members of the Warriner School as well as Alfie from the local primary school. This bodes very well for the future. Dylan pointed out last night that it was exactly seven years since his debut in public for AVMM, which was outside the old Black Boy pub, now The Marlstone Tavern, in Milton. With excellent ambassadors for the side like Dylan and Theo, we should continue to attract more young dancers and musicians to share in our wonderful tradition.

We dance next at the Fringford Beer Festival on Saturday 15 June. Join us if you can!

John Ekers