11 July 2009 - Canterbury

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The weather forecast all week had promised a rainy day for our solo "tour" of Canterbury City Centre but we met up with high hopes at the M&S Kitchen for the traditional pre-event fortifier.

By a masterpiece of planning, our first stand was right outside the coffee shop in Rose Square. Although we had reduced numbers due to injuries and other commitments, we managed an excellent repertoire of dances. This did however mean that there were not many opportunities to "sit out" and, as we were not alternating with any other sides, the dancers had to work hard.

As usual, the spectacle of Kettle Bridge in full regalia swirling about to pleasant music stopped the crowds who were very generous in their applause (and donations!). We managed to finish the first stand just as a shower of rain arrived, leaving us to scurry for cover.

Luckily it didn't last long and we soon set off to the second location just a couple of hundred yards away, outside C&H. The weather had brightened a little and we managed a full set without any rain interruptions. There was even time for the inevitable tourist photo opportunity. The final dance was a well supported Churchtown with full audience participation.

Next stop was outside Lloyds TSB (other banks are available) where we encountered some very enthusiastic French youngsters who were very taken by Kettle Bridge's performances. Luckily, Sue W was on hand to overcome the language barrier and explain why these (mostly) mature ladies were cavorting about in strange costumes. Perhaps she can now enlighten the rest of us.
With such a keen audience, it was too good an opportunity to miss, so we had another Churchtown. Star of the show was a tiny tot who joined in and was rewarded with a Kettle Bridge badge.

There was just time to squeeze in a spot of lunch before returning to our original location for another stand. Part way through, a local lad decided to show off to his mates by trying to join in with the dancing but this was quickly dealt with. We were all beginning to flag after so much dancing so there were sighs of relief all round when Squire Carol called it a day.

But the fun wasn't over yet. Margaret B kindly hosted a barbecue so we picked up our cars at the Wincheap Park & Ride, loaded up with goodies and set off for Wye. The weather held off long enough for Richard to do the cooking honours. Teddy kept us entertained but he does have rather a worrying ear fetish as John especially found out. Before you ask, Teddy is Margaret's somewhat excitable dog.

All in all, a very exhausting but rewarding day. Special thanks go to Margaret and Richard for an excellent barbecue and to Peter and Don for going great guns with the collecting tin to help keep the side financially afloat.