On Saturday 11 June, AVMM performed at the 2016 Candleford Beer Festival in Fringford. Bagman John Ekers writes: Many thanks to the seven dancers who gave such a fine performance at Fringford yesterday and to our muscians Donald and Malcolm for keeping us in step as we performed 14 dances in our two sets. The whole event was a great success and I am very grateful to those who turned out as well as to members of the side who couldn’t come along, but sent messages of support.
AVMM’s next outing is on Wednesday 22 June when we will dance outside the Unicorn in Deddington starting at 7.30pm.
On Bank Holiday Monday 30 May, AVMM danced at the picture postcard village of Wroxton on the occasion of their annual fete which featured the usual stalls: cakes, books, bric-a-brac, Tombola and skittles. Squire David Reed writes: As English as you can get and enhanced by Morris dancing by the duckpond, we put on two splendid performances (13 dances in all) to a good crowd and very complimentary organiser. Thanks to those who turned out to give us a full set, enabling a professional display accompanied by two musicians. [Pictured below, AVMM dance ‘Roast Beef’]
Squire David Reed writes: On Saturday 21 May, seven brave souls met up at 12:15 in dubious weather at Moulton. We arrived just before the morning session ended, so Simon Care invited us to finish off the performance at the Telegraph Inn. We gave them Sweet Jenny Jones before heading for lunch at the Primary School. Other sides in attendance were Saddleworth, King Johns, Thaxted and Monkseaton.
The afternoon started with a carnival procession around the village, during which we improvised a progressing Princess Royal. The ladies following us in Queen face masks were unnerving (see the photo below!). The Bishop of Brixworth recognised our baldricks and made himself known to us at the end of the procession. He is none other than John Holbrook, vicar of Adderbury 1993-2001, and he came to watch us dance at the Telegraph Inn. Subsequent spots at Church Hill and Cardigan Arms did not attract much attention, so we retired to The Artichoke for a pint. We then joined the massed display in the Public Gardens, our contribution being a surprisingly energetic Constant Billy. The day finished with tea and cakes, appropriate for Richard who for the second year was celebrating his birthday with Morris dancing. Thanks to David Snell for the photo.
Squire David Reed writes: Thanks to the men who turned out on Saturday 14 May to appreciative audiences at three venues. We started the day at Kineton Farmer’s Market and our last dance, Brighton Camp was enlivened by the participation of the local copper. We think that this is the first time we’ve danced with the Police. Next we danced at the Butcher’s Arms – our grateful thanks go to landlady Fenella for providing sandwiches to keep us going. As we were down to four dancers at this point, we adapted our dances for the rest of the day but we were able to put on a long show at the Shutford Queen’s Birthday celebrations. Police participation again for Brighton Camp via the involvement of their PCSO. We danced 28 times in the day (18 different dances) and with two different police officers – a great day out!
Squire David Reed writes: ‘A great day with Mr Hemmings Morris and four other guest sides in Abingdon. We fielded three musicians and seven dancers and performed 14 dances including one massed Nutting Girl. We also taught members of Mr Hemmings and Borderline how to do the AVMM version of Beaux of London City’.
AVMM featured in the Banbury Guardian story: Morris sides come together for Adderbury Day of Dance (Saturday 23 April 2016)
AVMM dancing for the residents of Lake House, Adderbury. Pictured Squire Dave Reed (right) Bagman John Ekers (centre)
Day of Dance, Adderbury, 23 April 2016
Squire Dave Reed writes:
A big thank you for a superb turnout – we fielded seventeen dancers and three musicians and in keeping with our tradition, the day started with a short ceremony in the churchyard to pay tribute at the grave of Charlie Coleman (1896-1978) the last survivor of the 1912 Morris side. It was a pleasure to have the ‘beyond Oxfordshire’ men with us – thanks for making the journey chaps. During the course of a seven-and-a-half-hour day, we covered the entire repertoire of 23 dances and performed 53 times. A really splendid effort on a slightly chilly but sunny Spring day.
AVMM are busy keeping the ancient tradition of Morris dancing alive! Here we are on Wednesday 02 March in our practice barn that English Heritage says dates back to 1422. Squire Dave Reed and Bagman John Ekers have put together a comprehensive practice and performance programme for 2016 including festivals, farmer’s markets and the annual Day of Dance. Last night’s rehearsal included Lads a’ Bunchum, Postman’s Knock and Roast Beef of Old England. Great fun!
Photograph and report of AVMM’s taster day on 20 February published in the Banbury Guardian, February 25, 2016
Morris men dancing a good tune
The historic tradition of morris dancing was brought to life in Adderbury on Saturday as members of one of the village teams got together to hold a public open session to attract new members. Adderbury Village Morris Men take part in events across the country, and are known for their distinct top hat and green braces combination. They managed to attract at least one new member ahead of the Day of Dance on April 23, where they, Adderbury Morris Men and the women’s team Sharp and Blunt dance all day at various locations across the village. John Ekers of Adderbury Village Morris Men said: “We’d love to get more people involved, particularly younger ones. We had one person turn up on Saturday who absolutely loved it so we managed to show him five dances in a couple of hours. There is no commitment or costs involved and it is available for all ages.” For more information call John Ekers on 01869 811741
AVMM are hosting a free and open taster session for anyone wanting to learn about Morris dances from the village of Adderbury – and to have a go! The taster session will be on:
Saturday 20 February 2016 at the Adderbury Village Institute from 10am until 12noon.
Some facts about Morris dancing in Adderbury:
- Many villages in Oxfordshire during the 19th century had their own Morris side;
- Morris dances from Adderbury are performed around the world, including in Australia and the USA;
- Streets in Adderbury Fields (off Milton Road) are named after three Morris dancers who died in the First World War;
- AVMM were the subject of an acclaimed filmÂ documentary entitled ‘Way of the Morris’
- AVMM only perform dances collected in the village by Janet Blunt who used to live in Le Hall Place, Manor Road
- The annual day of dance attracts visitors from all over the country.
AVMM recruits from Adderbury and surrounding villages and is looking for new members to carry on the tradition – do please join us if you can at the Taster session on 20 February! For further information, please contact John Ekers (01869 811741)