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Let's get the meteorological puns out of the way at the start. Kettle Bridge are usually blessed with good weather for their performances (unless it is Chippenham, of course). However, our appearance at Petts Wood to lead the annual May Queen Parade was marked by four seasons of weather in one day, ranging from bright sunshine to a hail storm. Undaunted, the dancers and the youngsters that formed the parade braved the elements and completed the short tour of the town. Well done to all!
As a variation on previous years, the parade was held on the same day as the fair. Although this made parking more of a problem, it guaranteed a larger audience. The parade started as usual at the News Shopper car park with Kettle Bridge leading off, followed by the May Queen and her entourage. A police escort kept the traffic at bay. Because of the rather inclement weather, there were not quite so many people lining the streets as usual.
At the half way point, we passed under the railway bridge and this provided a welcome temporary sanctuary from the rain and hail. It seemed as though we were in the middle of a thunderstorm but the lightning turned out to be camera flashes and the thunder was Alan's bass drum reverberating in the excellent acoustics under the bridge.
Despite nearly taking a wrong turn, we made our way in good time to the hall. In fact, we were rather too prompt as the door was still locked! The police came to the rescue and we gratefully marched into the shelter of the hall.
The dancers and musicians then enjoyed some refreshments thoughtfully provided by the organisers and there was just time for a quick tour of the fair stalls before we reassembled in the hall for a dancing performance. This included Ealuscerwen and our signature dance Yellow Rose which always goes down a treat. The audience thoroughly enjoyed it and there were no shortage of volunteers to join the dancers for the "have-a-go" Churchtown. Unfortunately, there is no photographic record of this dance because the photographer (that's me!) was co-opted to join in to dance with the woman police officer who had been part of our escort during the parade. I had been standing there just enjoying arrest when I was forced to accompany the police (but not to the station). We plodded our way through the dance, making sure that we kept in time with the beat of the drum.
Time to finish, I think! Despite the weather, we had an enjoyable and successful day.