Usually on a Thursday night you will see us safely ensconced in our practice hall, usually catching up on the latest gardening issues or roadwork woes. Not last Thursday. We had accepted an invitation from Malmesbury Morris to do what morris dancers traditionally do – dance outside a pub. In this case the Hare & Hounds in Corsham. It’s a lovely old pub (which also serves good grub) right on the A4 and I’ve often meant to visit it. They also have a rather nice large car park, ideal for a little dancing.
Malmesbury Morris are a ladies (mainly) Cotswold side, so their main accoutrements are sticks, hankies and bells. They have a nice jingly sound, unlike our clumping clogs. They’ve also eschewed the traditional all-white Cotswold outfit and gone for mainly black and white with flashes of red – almost like a restrained Molly kit.
It’s rather nice doing these spots. They’re more formal than a standard practice – we are in kit after all – but far more relaxed than a usual dance out. We had no real idea who was turning up until they got there, and we made up the sets based on who was available to do whichever position needed filling – occasionally filling in the dance sheet ourselves. As the main audience are the other morris dancers, we have sympathy on our side should anything go wrong. But it didn’t – probably because we were so relaxed. It was a lovely summer evening sitting outside with friends and family (you’d be surprised how many husbands are willing to come along to pub dance outs). Perhaps we should do more of these. Well, our next dance out is at another pub, this time the Somerset Wagon in Chilcompton with Priston Jubilee Morris. See you there?