As I couldn’t make it to Sidmouth, Mrs Wilkins the Quilter has stepped up to fill us in on the day’s activities:
As a side we have been dancing at Sidmouth Folk Festival, off and on, for more years than we like to remember. Every time the instructions are the same, “meet at the Marlborough or whatever it is called these days”. (It changed its name to Dukes about 15 years ago!)
Anyway the 10 of us who were going to dance were reduced to 8 by the evening before; a broken toe earlier in the week dropped one dancer, and a bug infection dropped another. Then I fell down the stairs, hurrying to get ready that morning and so 8 became 7; a tiny bit of a problem when most of our dances are for 8.
But we all met up at Dukes, as planned, for a coffee before dancing started. A bit of a conflab later and it was decided to perform those dances that lend themselves to being performed in reduced sets of 4 dancers: Blackadder, Shawforth, Bollin and, of course, our favourite Richmond. A quick talk through, because we hadn’t danced it for a while, and we felt confident to add Plymouth Reel for 6 to the list.
Our unofficial Morris Correspondent had met up with Green Willow Clog the day before and so it was agreed that we should share a dance spot with them by the Lifeboat Station. The prom was packed with spectators and morris dancers all vying for space but we managed to find a little bit of tarmac to call our own as we danced turn and turnabout with Green Willow. It is always good to watch other sides, to share experiences and dances and today was no exception. Green Willow invited us to join in with one of their dances and then later in the afternoon they joined us for Plymouth Reel.
After a lunch break and the chance for some to picnic on the beach, we headed down the other end of the Prom. We had the chance to share spots with Ragged and Old from near Stroud; our neighbours Somerset Morris, from Marksbury; and Green Willow Clog again. The dancing in the afternoon was threatened with spots of rain, enough to leave off our hats (they don’t like getting wet) but not enough to dampen our spirits.
Dancing over there was time for a quick wander around the music and craft stalls before a cream tea at the Grosvenor Tea Rooms, with some of the best scones ever, before heading home.