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)
AVMM were pleased to support Sharp and Blunt’s Inaugural Ale on Saturday, 6 February at Kings Sutton Memorial Hall.
Bagman John Ekers writes: We gave a good account of ourselves, dancing: Lads a ‘ Bunchum, beaux of London City, Constant Billy and Flasher before the break and giving a rousing backing to Donald’s McCombie’s wonderful rendition of “They’ll never dance again” after supper. It was a good occasion with sides from Ducklington, Lepton and Armaleggin as well as all three sides fromÂ Adderbury.
AVMM’s annual post-Christmas lunch time work out took place on Monday 28 December and we were blessed with fine dancing weather. After an hour-long set, AVMM’s fledgling mini side took to the stage (well the street!) under the watchful eye of Bagman John Ekers. Most of the minis are John’s grandchildren and they’ll be fine dancers before long! We wish all AVMM members and supporters a very happy New Year.
AVMM contributed to the annual Christmas tree festival in St Mary’s church, Adderbury, with a tree decorated in AVMM colours by Chris Holmes and John Ekers. As the church receives many visitors during the festival, Squire Dave Reed and Bagman John Ekers were asked to perform three two-man dances on Saturday 5 December. They were accompanied by AVMM musician Donald McCombie and a group of guest musicians and singers.
The AVMM Christmas dance out at the Bell, Adderbury starts at 12.30pm on Monday 28 December 2015
At the AVMM Annual General Meeting held at the Bell, Adderbury on 11 December, Dave Reed was elected as our new Squire. Thanks were expressed to Edd Frost, who stood down, for his outstanding service to the side as Squire and previously as Bagman. Chris Garrett and John Ekers continue as Treasurer and Bagman respectively.
AVMM will appear at St Mary’s Church Christmas Tree Festival on Saturday 5th December at 11am. The side will also dance outside favourite pubs in Adderbury after Christmas. Details to follow.
Taster sessions for potential new recruits will start in January. Formal practices in preparation for the 2016 Day of Dance take place on Wednesdays at 8pm starting on February 24th.
Our last dance out of the season was at theÂ Blenheim Palace Literary Festival on Saturday 26 September – a joyful dayÂ from the outset. As soon as we assembled outside the Palace, we were mobbed by coach loads of tourists wanting photos with us and Â especially with Charlie our hobby horse. Next, we encountered a wedding celebration and yet another photo call! We offered to provide aÂ guard of honour for the happy couple next to a vintage car and that too seemed to make everyone smile. Finally we embarked on two lengthy sets of dances to very enthusiastic crowds enjoying the glorious warm sunshine. Particular thanks must go to Dave for calling allÂ the dances – even while dressed as Charlie (now a talking horse!) and collecting for AVMM at the same time. Afterwards we mingled with the crowd for more photos and our bagman John is hopefulÂ that he’s found a new recruit. A good day out!
AVMM danced at the inaugural Ardley with Fewcott Beer and Cider Festival, Ardley and Fewcott Village Hall on Friday evening, 11 September 2015. Featuring more than 25 beers and ciders and a wide range of entertainment, we hope that the event will become a regular AVMM fixture. A large crowd of youngsters enjoyed the dancing and Dave Lovattâ€™s performance with â€˜Charlieâ€™ AVMMâ€™s hobby horse was especially popular. Bagman John Ekers comments:
Well done for Friday’s dance out at Fewcott. Charlie the horse was particularly appreciated by the younger members of the crowd. Thanks to all dancers, musicians, equines and WAGS for coming. Went back to sample the beers with family yesterday. Some very nice ales in the sunshine!
Dancing the Adderbury tradition as recorded by Janet Blunt