4 May 2013 - Rochester Sweeps' Festival

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Alton Morris
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The Saturday of the May Day Bank Holiday weekend found us at the Rochester Sweeps' Festival. This is an event that Kettle Bridge Clogs have not attended for a number of years so it was good to get involved once more.

Most of the dancing spots were at various points along the High Street in Rochester and the organisers cleverly arranged for the sides to do a stand at one place with one set of sides and then move to another venue where they would meet up with different sides. This provided an interesting variety for both performers and spectators alike.

The weather was sunny but with a slight breeze as we all met up outside the Visitor Centre for our first stand. For this session, we were accompanied by

Part way through this stand there were a few drops of rain but thankfully the weather was mostly kind. Kettle Bridge took their turn to dance Prescot, Colne, Marston, Annie's and Aughton.

By the end of the stand, it was time for a very welcome break for refreshment. Several of us somehow found our way to a beer festival site - strange that. Most had brought a packed lunch which we enjoyed while sitting in the sun outside the beer tent. There were of course occasional forays inside just to see what was on offer.

All too soon we had to make our way back to the Visitor Centre for the second stand. Here we met up with

A bit of a chilly breeze had sprung up over lunch but, undeterred, Kettle Bridge danced Ealuscerwen, Prescot, KBC Processional and Milnrow, all with great enthusiasm. By this time, the numbers of spectators had increased and this added to the atmosphere (and congestion!).

It was a short walk along the High Street to our final stand at the French Hospital. The other sides involved were

The repertoire for the final stand was Cossington, Shawforth, Ealuscerwen and Prescot, all very well received by the substantial crowd that had gathered.

The lure of the coffee shop then persuaded us that perhaps it was time to call it a day. It was however an excellent day's dancing and - not forgetting our ever faithful band - playing, and a welcome return to one of the major local morris events.