6 May 2013 - Whitstable

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Oyster Morris Men
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It was with great pleasure that we accepted the invitation of Oyster Morris to take part once again in the annual May Day celebrations at Whitstable. This is always a splendid event and we somehow manage to have good weather even though it always falls on a Bank Holiday.

The itinerary for the day was the same as usual with all the participating sides congregating outside the library. This year, the teams dancing were

This was a good mix of sides with just about all forms of morris represented.

With so many teams to dance, each side had time to perform only two dances at most at the library before we had to form up for the procession. Kettle Bridge delighted the audience with two of the more recent additions to the repertoire, namely Shawforth and Ealuscerwen.

With the traffic suitably cleared, the procession made its way down through Whitstable to Horsebridge with Geoff leading the way with the Kettle Bridge banner. As usual, the dancers performed Churchtown as they processed through the town.

On arrival at Horsebridge, we declined the traditional sea wall route as this has proved to be rather dangerous in the past. Like 2011, we were allocated a spot to dance on the seafront which was a little compact and made for some close encounters with the audience. We danced Colne and Cossington which both went down very well with the crowd.

There was just time for a quick lunch break, with ice creams proving very popular, before we reassembled for the next part of the procession. As usual this was led by Jack in the Green, accompanied by Robin Hood and Maid Marian (obviously). Large crowds lined the streets as the procession made its way to the harbour.

On arrival, it became clear that we would be even more cramped for space to dance so Kettle Bridge opted out of this stand and just lapped up the sunshine and admired the performances of the other sides.

Then it was on to Whitstable Castle for the final part of the proceedings which was the communal singing of the May Day song.

Perhaps though the most important tradition that had to be maintained was the ceremonial invasion of the tea rooms and game to see how many chairs can be arranged together to form a single circle. Joking aside, it was a very welcome refreshment stop for dancers, band and supporters alike. A wonderful end to an excellent day.