26th. Day of Dance 2001
After a while, well a quarter of a century anyway, days of dance start to merge into each other and memories only stand out because of their rarity value... "Do you remember the day it snowed... what about that time...." well actually that's all I can remember, but I do keep a diary and one day in an orgy of self indulgance I'll type in all the references to days of dance gone by.
All this is by way of a preamble to to an extraordinarily memorable outing on April 28th which has been recorded for us by Carol Leslie on a digital camera, burned onto CD by John and could have been on public display by the Monday night afterwards if I hadn't been so busy. I'm still technologically naive enough to be amazed by this. Anyway, special thanks to the Leslies.
So we started with....
.... well a lot of standing around really, outside the Old Wheatsheaf, before launching to our traditional starting dance: "Sweet Jenny Jones", followed by "Haste to the Wedding"
The string section seemed a little reduced in numbers this year, some one had gone off with some garbled tale about playing with some band in some arctic sounding place.... I ask you.
Bryan Martin, Verna Wass and Sheena Powell
After a stand at the Red Lion, a couple of dances on the Green in the middle of the car boot sale we fetched up outside the Coach and Horses.
Keith Norton, Ian Harris. Adderbury has never been a 'hat' tradition, now you can see why.
Down to The Bell for our usual lunchtime spot and team photo.
Congratulations to the person whose fluffy purple top has gained immortality. Otherwise represented are....
BACK ROW( left to right): Martin Taylor (on his first outing), Pete North, Matthew Le Mare, John Wright, David Gunby, Colin Street, Chris Hone, Tim Laughton, Stephen Wass, Steve Priest, John Leslie, Nigel Bennett, Dave Moore, Jon Eastmond, Bryan Martin, Verna Wass.
MIDDLE ROW: Sheena Powelll, Simon Pipe, Trevor Stevens.
FRONT ROW: Michael Radford, Ian Harris, Phil Le Mare, Luke Jones, Will Gill, Sam Leslie and Robert May
Another extraordinary feature of this particular day of dance was the absence of Bryan Sheppard who had written a few days earlier to members of the 'Village' team to say that he would no longer be dancing. Following the departure of Tim Radford for the States this was the first day of dance when neither of the sides' founding fathers were present. I guess this represents maturity of a kind but the day wasn't the same without Bryan.
On the positive side we decided this year, in conjunction with the 'Village' team to acknowledge our debt to Janet Blunt, who collected the original dances, and her sometime maid and companion Winnie Wyatt, who saved the manuscripts from the fire. In former years we had paid our respects by dancing outside Mrs. Wyatt's cottage and she regularly came out to watch us. Following her death and later the death of her husband I suppose all living links have been lost, hence the notion that putting flowers on their graves would be an appropriate gesture. The flowers were tied with ribbons of red, white, blue and green representing both teams.
Nigel Bennett reflecting on mortality.
The team then continued its usual course: round to the White Hart, where there was a bit of a beer flow crisis then off to Manor Road and into the gardens of Le Halle Place and on to the hallowed turf of Janet Blunt's former garden. This is the only location within the village where we can be certain that at least one member of the original team danced for we have photographs of William Walton teaching "Lads's a Bunchem" to a group of young ladies on the self same lawn!
Last year, as part of the twenty fifth day of dance Tim Radford created a new dance and Chris Leslie instantly dreamed up a new tune for it! The dance called "Le Halle Place" features 'hands round' for three in the chorus and it had its second outing ever, slightly modified (sorry Tim) this year. There are a couple of interesting things about this: one of them is that it seems that only Tim has the authority to generate new Adderbury dances, I'm sure there is a learned paper for someone to explain why this is; secondly I wonder if the dance will enter the regular repertoire or will become something special that is only ever danced at that particular place at a particular time each year... only time will tell.
'Hands Round' for three, "Le Halle Place" at Le Halle Place.
Tea followed in the back room at The Bell then in the evening it was back round to the White Hart where we joined with the Adderbury Village Men and our guests: Bloxham, Kirtlington, Mr. Hemmings and Sherborne to dance the evening away. The sun continued to shine but the temperature plummeted eventually driving us into the sanctuary of the Village Institute for supper, song, music and dance.
The Adderbury Village Morris Men
Mr. Hemmimgs Morris