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We had invited as many former members as possible to attend and be involved in the procession, in honour of Mary's landmark birthday and it was great to see so many there. There was also a fair sized crowd assembled to witness the dancing season's opening event. Thankfully the weather was kind to us and the dancers crossed the bridge in bright sunshine with a rendition of Churchtown.
This was followed by performances of
Part two of the May Day event is always another stand at The Bull in Barming so we all made our way up the steep hill to the pub. Here we were greeted by the new pub landlords, Matt and Liz, who made us very welcome. There was still some dancing to be done, however.
We started with the first public performance of Milnrow which uses our new custom built mega bobbins.
[I am sure someone will tell me the correct technical term for these new implements. Think small wooden dumbbells and you will not be far wrong.]
Kettle Bridge gave a very assured performance and I am sure we will see a lot more of this dance later in the season.
This was followed by Marston and an audience participation version of Blackrod. It was great to see Matt and Liz having a go. There was just about enough light for a team photo outside the pub before we went in for the final stage of the evening's entertainment.
As it was Mary's special birthday, Mike and Val had arranged for the pub to provide celebratory food and champagne and Matt and Liz really did us proud. The excellent food just kept coming and coming and was greatly appreciated by everyone. Mary was presented with a special cake and we all drank a toast to her.
With everyone well fed and watered, it was time for the music to start. Our friends from Kettle Bridge Concertinas played Red, Red Robin and Liberty Bell and there were more folk tunes from the floor.
All too soon it was time to head off home. Many thanks once again to all who came along to support and especially Matt, Liz and all at The Bull for making us so welcome. Here's to next year!