On Saturday we were asked to help Melksham Lions celebrate their anniversary by entertaining the crowds. Well, this was Melksham on a Saturday afternoon over lunch, so the crowds weren’t much in evidence, but the audience we did have were enthusiastic. We danced in front of the Town Hall, so lots of space and a (fairly) flat surface. No major road hazards, such as manhole covers, but a couple of worn bits of tarmac and an old motor car that drove through our dance spot as if it wanted to join in. The weather even co-operated after warnings of drizzle and overcast etc. (i.e. normal English summer type weather).
We enjoy this sort of dance out as new people get a chance to watch Morris that isn’t necessarily about men in white trousers and bells with hankies jumping around (sorry Cotswold morris). There are different types of Morris, and North West is less jumpy and more noisy (due to the clogs). It’s also, usually, a female morris style, Cotswold being traditionally seen as for males until recently. And those who stop and watch do seem to enjoy the spectacle. Of course, they don’t always realise when things go wrong in the middle of a dance when we’re desperately trying to untangle ourselves from the fine mess we’ve ended up in.
I hung around a bit afterwards (OK, I was eating lunch) and was listening to the Town Crier competition. Interesting. There had been a suggestion that I should participate on behalf of Mr Wilkins, but I’m not sure I could sustain my voice sufficiently. They did have nice outfits though – tricorn hats and caped greatcoats, just like in a Georgette Heyer novel. A very nice gentleman from South Gloucestershire gave us a booming welcome at the start of the day when he did an official announcement for us in his best Town Crier’s voice. Now if only we could borrow him for all our events.