1 May 2011 - Barming Bridge

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The official start to many morris sides' season is 1st May and Kettle Bridge is no exception. Some sides emerge at first light to perform but we are much more civilised and, despite what the Kent Messenger claimed, Kettle Bridge assembled at their usual spot at the bottom of South Street in Barming ready to process across the eponymous bridge over the Medway at the traditional time of 7.15 p.m.

The weather was pleasantly sunny although there was a blustery wind in evidence. This however did not deter a large gathering of spectators who were keen to witness Kettle Bridge dancing at their spiritual home.

After a quick pose for the cameraman on the far side of the river, the side danced their way over the bridge, led by the squire and hotly pursued by the band. With everyone safely on the south side of the river, the dancers performed a number of their most popular dances, namely

  • Churchtown
  • Prescot
  • Blackrod
  • Colne
  • and Cossington

The final dance was a reprise of Churchtown but this time the dancers were helped by members of the audience. I think some of the crowd only come along so that they can join in! They certainly seemed to enjoy the experience.

Then it was time to make our way up the hill to The Bull on Tonbridge Road. The light was starting to fade as Kettle Bridge performed more dances outside the pub. This included Ealuscerwen during which Caroline suffered a slight "wardrobe malfunction". Thankfully this was just the wind blowing her hat off!

With the dancing all done, this was our cue to find a seat in the pub and enjoy the music and singing.

All that remains to be said is that this year's event was dedicated to our absent friends, Mike and Mary. All of Kettle Bridge is thinking of you and send their best wishes.