The OBJ and HuMP (wet) Day of Dance
16th June 2001
This year we chose a railway theme for our day-of-dance, as both OBJ and HuMP had successful water-based days-of-dance last year. Little did we know that this years day of dance would have a high water content - at one stage requiring considerable navigation skills. Some of the photography was achieved despite adverse environmental conditions, to the pictures are not quite up to the usual standard.
sides attending - in alphabetical order - were:
Basing Clog, Carrig Las, Fleet Morris, Flowers of May, Hurst Morris People, Kennet Morris Men, Kintbury May Maids, Lord Pagets Morris, OBJ Border Morris, Old Speckled Hen, Reading Cloggies (changed their name to Aldbrickham too late to get to the top of the list), Shinfield Shambles, Taeppa's Tump, Towersey Morris Men (a surprise to all but them!), Wicket Brood.
The day started at Twyford railway station, where over 230 dancers and musicians assembled and danced in and between the rain. We boarded Thames Trains unit 166209 (yes, attention to detail) and travelled to Shiplake. We left the train and were confronted by a flood between us and the Baskerville Arms. After wading, circumnavigating and hitching lifts from passing vans, we reached the pub where the third landlord in 3 months provided lunch. We danced between the raindrops and waded back to the station to board the train to Henley-on-Thames.
In Henley, it continued to rain - and rain, and rain, and rain. After very limited consideration, we implemented contingency plans and headed for the pubs. However, we did manage a couple of hours dancing, concluding with a massed stand of all 15 sides in sunshine.
We then boarded the train (166209 again) and headed to Shiplake, where we all piled off the train and into the pub for more food - which was nearly enough to go around. Humble apologies to those who were with me at the end of the queue. We danced again - this time without rain, then boarded the train back to Twyford, where we danced probably the biggest set for East Acton in recent history - estimated to be well over 100 dancers.
The day ended with a Ceilidh in Twyford attended by about 150 of the participants, dancing to music provided by Roger and his band, plus Judy and various others from time-to-time.
Thanks are due to Judy for organising music, food, and the ever-changing landlords at the Baskerville Arms, to Mike (of HuMP) for helping considerably with administration, to Roger for providing the band, and to Dave, Pat and Mick for calling dances at the ceilidh.
The Henley Standard gave the day a brief report, but were a bit mean about giving us a copy of their photograph for free.
Here's their group photo taken at Shiplake, which shows some of the sides present. I spotted Basing Clog, Carrig Las, Fleet, Flowers of May, HuMP, OBJ, Shinfield Shambles and Wicket Brood kit in the photo.
Can you see them all?
|The day began at
Here are Kennet Morris Men doing something, whilst most of OBJ look on, awaiting their turn.
|Shinfield Shambles doing their thing at Twyford.|
|The scene that
greeted us when we alighted from the train at Shiplake.
Up to that point I thought the organising on the day might be stressful. I simply reached the conclusion that it was out of control and mellowed (Guinness helped).
found a bit of sun somehow.
Now, Fleet always dance in the may at Fleet Ponds and I've seen them wading through the Whitewater on the way to King John's castle.
Is it possible that the water is hiding webbed feet?
|The scene as 230
morris people emerged from the train at Henley. The rain
did ease just enough to make a dash for the pubs (which
had been researched in advance).
The landlords at the Horse&Groom and Bird-in-hand did a great job!
|Waiting for the
train at Shiplake, to take us to Henley.
In the foreground are Liz, Lynne, Vera, and Diane, with members of Basing Clog and others in the background.
|A mixed Kennet
and Hurst Morris People side dance at the Baskerville
Mike and Margaret are in the middle of the picture.
Maids doing something odd at the Baskerville Arms.
Still, they look like they are enjoying it!
|A lovely happy face leads Old Speckled Hen at the Baskerville Arms.|
|The ladies of Fleet Morris performing a figure that looks extremely hazardous.|
|For the last
hour of the afternoon, the skies cleared, and we enjoyed
mass dancing in Henley-on-Thames High Street in sunshine.
You can even see shadows!
I'm not sure whats happening here, but it seems to involve OBJ.
|Even the bus
stop is drying out!
Flowers of May perform, while everyone else mills about in the background.
|Flowers of May dancing in the High Street.|
|Taeppa's Tump dancing with another side in the background.|
|Basing Clog looking like they may need an emergency stop to avoid crossing the white line.|
|The "in kit" part of the day ended with a giant unruly performance of East Acton (line dancing for englishmen) at Twyford station.|
|The East Acton Action continues.|
|The evening ceilidh going really well. The floor was still crowded when we closed down at 11:30pm.|