4 May 2009 - Whitstable - Oyster Morris's May Day Celebration

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Our final outing of a long Bank Holiday weekend was at the Whitstable May Day celebrations at the invite of Oyster Morris.

There was a fantastic turn out of sides of different styles and from near and far including -

The day started outside the library with each side taking turns to dance. With so many sides, each only got one or two opportunities, but it made for a great spectacle. We then formed up for a procession down the High Street to Horsebridge where most of the dancers continued onto the sea wall.

Kettle Bridge were suitably cautious after Val's mishap last year so only a small contingent braved the "wall of death". Even so, Sue L unfortunately slipped while descending from the wall and strained her ankle. Even more unfortunate for her was that there was no young handsome doctor to tend to her, just the webmaster / photographer with an out of date freeze spray. Definitely not her lucky day! Meanwhile, the dancing continued at Horsebridge.

After a swift bite to eat, it was time to line up for the Jack-in-the-Green procession. This made its way from Horsebridge down to the harbour. There were enthusiastic crowds lining the street including Suggs from Madness.

Useless Trivia - Suggs's in-laws live in Whitstable so he has seen Jack-in-the-Green before. In fact he co-wrote a song about it with Jools Holland. See Wikipedia for more details.

Kettle Bridge didn't get an opportunity to dance at the harbour so it was back into processional order to make our way up to the Castle - or so we thought. As we reached the entrance, it became clear that the castle was closed for renovations, so the procession made a detour up the steep incline to Tankerton Slopes (and it certainly does!). I am not sure which was the more impressive achievement - getting to the top of the slope without stopping or managing to pass the tea rooms without going for a quick cuppa!

Once everyone had arrived at the Slopes, we had the traditional May Day Song, followed by a "team photo" of all the sides and some more dancing. However, the clouds were beginning to form so it was time to head down to the tea room for a well deserved drink and a piece of cake.

A very successful day for Kettle Bridge. We had 13 dancers out and also received many compliments from the other North West sides on our performances. And the rain just about kept away!