26 April 2014 - St. George's Day, Maidstone

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The Mayor of Maidstone starts the celebrations
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Kettle Bridge's first event of the year was at Maidstone's St. George's Day celebration held in Jubilee Square.

There was a variety of performers there to mark the day dedicated to England's patron saint and celebrate what it is to be English. A group from the Hazlitt Youth Theatre illustrated the story of England in the form of an A to Z and, inspired by them, I will describe the highlights of the day in the same way.

A is for Annie's, a dance expertly performed by Kettle Bridge.

B is for Boughton Monchelsea Morris who entertained the crowd with their own brand of dancing.

C is for Colne, our second dance of the day.

D is for Dragons, as slain by St. George. Any comments connecting dragons and the dancers of Kettle Bridge has been removed for Health and Safety reasons - the health and safety of the webmaster.

E is for England, the green and pleasant land that we all love and cherish.

F is for The Flowing, a gentle folkish band who kicked off proceedings with an excellent half hour performance.

G is for St. George whose day we were celebrating.

H is for the Hazlitt Youth Theatre who created and performed a very enjoyable A to Z of what England is all about.

I is for Ian and Sandy who were there in spirit and in our thoughts.

J is for Jubilee Square, an excellent dancing venue.

K is for Kits Coty Morris featuring a guest appearance from Iggy, the Iguanodon Mantelli, who roamed the Maidstone area approximately 140 million years ago and who appears on the Maidstone coat of arms. Morris dancing obviously keeps you looking young because he doesn't look a day over 100 million years old.

L is for Loose Women who always enjoy themselves and put on a good show for the spectators.

M is for the Mayor of Maidstone, the appropriately named Councillor Clive English, who gave a short but interesting chat about St. George and then declared the event open.

N is for national pride that was very much on show today.

O is for "Once more unto the breach", a quote from the 'Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' speech in Shakespeare's Henry V - and coincidentally what the band say before each dance.

P is for Pip who was sadly missed - get well soon!

Q is for the quintessentially English nature of morris dancing.

R is for rousing, rapturous round of applause that the crowd gave after each performance.

S is for Sidcot, Kettle Bridge's opening dance.

T is for tambourine which the webmaster would insist on playing if he ever joined the band.

U is for the unbridled joy that we saw on the faces of the spectators.

V is for Squire Val, also greatly missed but we did her proud.

W is for the weather which just about stayed dry, thank goodness.

X is the Roman numeral for 10, the score out of 10 that I would give the performance today.
(Yes, I am struggling now - does it show?)

Y is for young-at-heart which describes all the dancers.

Z is for the zest with which Kettle Bridge performed, right up to the last dance.