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We are usually very lucky with the weather for Oyster Morris's May Day celebration in Whitstable and this year was no exception. The big challenge was parking, as the main Gorrell Tank car park in Whitstable was closed. Thankfully most of our cars managed to find a spot in the car park behind the location of our first stand at the Library.
Oyster always invite a mix of familiar and unfamiliar sides to take part and this year the other guests were
The Flag and Bone Gang are based in Yorkshire and we actually danced with them when we were in Harrogate in 2011. Their take on preserving the morris tradition of anonymity is to wear large-brimmed hats with black veils and they are very effective. It was good to see them again, with their very distinctive style.
Redbornstoke Morris, whom we haven't seen before, is a menís Cotswold side based in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, but apparently they transform during the winter months into a border / molly side. Perhaps they could add North West to their repertoire as well!
The day was the same format as usual with a joint stand of all sides at the Library followed by a procession along the High Street to Horsebridge. Here the sides split into two (it wasn't that funny, I thought) to perform a stand.
After a quick break for lunch, we formed up again to welcome Robin Hood, Maid Marian and the Jack-In-The-Green who led the procession to the Harbour where we all performed another dance in turn. Then the final leg of the journey was up to the Castle where the fete was in full swing. Once all the sides were assembled, everyone joined in singing the traditional May Song.
The day then finished with a frantic search for the procession car that was carrying all our belongings, followed by the mandatory trip to the nearby kiosk for a very welcome cake and cuppa.
Many thanks to Oyster for inviting us once again and to all the folk who came along to support us.