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The organisers had set up a hard dancing area on a grassy area behind Warwick School which was the main festival site. The surface was formed of a number of coloured interlocking sections which gave it the appearance of a chess board.
[I can feel a "theme" coming on. Watch out for any chess-related references below].
We shared this stand with Plum Jerkum Border Morris - a local side named after a type of plum cider - and Saddleworth Morris, who are famed for their rushcart procession.
As usual, the sides took turns to dance and our opening gambit was to perform St. Helens. We followed this with Ealuscerwen and Shawforth.
Our next stand was in the town of Warwick and so, to conserve energy, we decided to take the complimentary shuttle bus. Unfortunately, we had just missed one so we resigned ourselves to a wait and hoped that we did not get too board in the meantime. After a while, with no bus in sight, we started to worry that we may miss our stand and we all started perpetually checking our watches. Thankfully, the bus arrived just in time and we got on board.
We got off the bus near the town centre and made our way to the Zetland Arms pub in Church Street. I understand that the "King and Queen" pub in Rook Square is better but never mind.
A festival service was being held at the church at the top of the hill, so we had to wait for that to finish and for the official procession to make its way down the hill and file past the pub before we could start the dancing. For this stand, Kettle Bridge performed Milnrow, Marston 6 and Cossington.
Then it was time to move on down the hill to the Castle. I wasn't too sure of the way, so I asked Pip (a keen Fischer-man) to look on his map to see if we were on the correct road. He replied "I'll just check, mate". Reassured that we were on the right track, we continued our way to the castle and met up again with Saddleworth and Plum Jerkum.
The setting for this stand in the castle grounds was fantastic and there were plenty of appreciative spectators. Mind you, good dancing always seems to draw the crowds. The only down side was that the weather by now had become rather changeable and a nasty black cloud deposited its contents on us. At this point we had to exchange tatters jackets and sticks for raincoats and brollies. In between showers, Kettle Bridge performed Ealuscerwen, Prescot and Shawforth.
The final stand of the day was at the Rose and Crown in Market Place. By now, everyone was beginning to feel a bit tired and jaded but the dancers summoned up enough energy to perform Aughton and KBC Processional.
That brought proceedings to a close and we all decided that Warwick must rank as one of the best festivals we have attended. It was very well organised and the event spawned many new friendships. All that remained was for us to make our weary way home for a good knight's rest.
Footnote: In compiling this report, I looked up a Glossary of Chess. This defined "Wild" as "An extremely unclear or mind-bogglingly complicated position or move.". Enough said.
Kettle Bridge Clogs web site by Stephen Cordery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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