24 April 2010 - Maidstone - St. George's Day

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It was a gloriously sunny day for Maidstone's St. George's Day celebrations. The first stand was outside Marks and Spencers in Week Street. Anyone assembling here before the start and expecting to see the other members of Kettle Bridge was to be disappointed. Where could the others possibly be? The answer was, as usual, to be found in the nearest coffee shop. Unfortunately, some of us were too latte for a drink before the performance started.

By 2 p.m., all the dancers were "present and correct" and a fair crowd had gathered to witness the impressive sight of a Kettle Bridge performance. Between dances, the band kept the audience entertained, giving the dancers time to recover their breath. For Cossington, the dancers were thoughtfully provided with flags bearing St. George's Cross. This, combined with the music that accompanies the dance (mostly British Grenadiers, with Rule Britannia to finish), gave a truly patriotic feel to the occasion. And everyone now has something to wave during the World Cup.

The next stand was in Brenchley Gardens, where much of the St. George's Day fair was taking place. Of particular note were the costume characters including a knight and damsel (not apparently too distressed) on horseback. Rapunzel was also there in her tower, but I thought that her hair was a bit of a let down. The ice sculpture was fascinating and the off-cuts proved very popular with the audience as the day was so warm. For the same reason, the ice cream van did good trade as well.

Back to the dancing. The Brenchley stand was much appreciated by another good crowd, especially the reprise of Cossington. The finale was a demonstration of Churchtown by the dancers who then went into the crowd to find volunteers to take part in a repeat performance. The usual gang of tots joined in and had a great time. The only disappointment was when the rather loud band in the bandstand decided to start playing before their allotted time, thus curtailing our dancing.

However this was not enough to spoil what was otherwise a great day.