18 July 2010 - The Lion, Farningham

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Yet again we were greeted by warm sunshine as we congregated at "The Lion" in Farningham for a stand as guests of Greenwich Morris Men. The pub is in a delightful setting next to a stream and enjoys a large outside seating area together with an expanse of grass ideal for families. The picturesque village is a short walk away.

We were joined by Bullnose Morris who had made the trip from Essex. Their name would seem to be a wonderful pun on a model of Morris car built around the time of the First World War with no apparent connection to morris dancing at all.

And so on to the dancing. The only suitable dance area was a rather small paved area (very) adjacent to the seats outside the pub. This was further cramped by the proximity of a tree, so we had the spectacle of the Kettle Bridge dancers compromising their normally perfect lines to avoid crashing into the tree and fighting off the foliage with their sticks.
Warning! Shockingly bad references to trees may feature in the rest of this piece.

Taking turns with the other sides, Kettle Bridge danced Prescot, Colne and St. Helens.
During Colne, one of the Greenwich dancers seemed to be keen to join in the dance, risking life and limb by entering the dancing area. We then twigged that this was no drunken interference, as yew may have thought, but a gallant gesture to retrieve a stick that one of the dancers had dropped. As she danced past, he kindly thrust the errant equipment into her palm.

There was further drama during St. Helens when the restricted space nearly made the dancers make an ash of it but it all turned out oak-K in the end. Then it was time forest and relaxation with a welcoming drink and a bite to eat. This did take quite some time as there was a long lime of people waiting to be served.

All too soon it was time to return to the performance and Kettle Bridge didn't rest on their laurels. Fir the second stand, we danced Annies and Aughton followed by an all-in Churchtown featuring dancers from the other sides and various members of the public. The final Kettle Bridge offering was the ever-poplar Cossington. But that wasn't the end of the entertainment as Greenwich encouraged everyone to join in with a performance of Bonny Green Garters which involved branching out from the normal dancing area to weave in and out of the assembled crowd.

This brought an end to a very successful day of dancing and it was time to leaf. Kettle Bridge had put on yet another brilliant show, but what else wood you expect with Trish and Val at the elm. Ladies, please take a bough.