25 May 2014 - Ranscombe Farm

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Wild flowers - what the weekend was all about
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"And now for something completely different" as the saying goes. As far as I know, Kettle Bridge has never been invited to a wild flower weekend before but we are game to try anything. So it was with a certain amount of curiosity that we arrived at Ranscombe Farm Nature Reserve for their event. Ranscombe Farm is Plantlife's largest nature reserve in England with a total area of over 250 hectares (620 acres) and is a haven for rare wild flowers. The wild flower weekend is an opportunity to encourage the general public to visit the site and learn about all things botanical.

Inevitably, such events are very dependent on the weather and we were lucky to enjoy a beautifully warm and sunny day. The organisers had kindly set aside an area of the car park just for us. A short walk up the hill took us to the designated dancing area which turned out to be a tarmac road which was fine, if a little narrow.

As the emphasis was on engaging the visitors, we made an effort to include more join-in dances than usual and this went down very well. For the first session, we performed Prescot followed by Churchtown which was the first opportunity for audience participation. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience.

Next up was Aughton and then Sue led the way for an all-in Scottish Country dance called Circassian Circle (although I prefer the German name which is Fröhlicher Kreis). There was then just time for Milnrow before we enjoyed a well-earned break.

The organisers had very thoughtfully provided some cake for us which went down very well - in all senses! But all too soon it was back to work with a performance of Marston and then another public participation opportunity with Green Stockings (or Kijani Soksi as it is known in Swahili). We brought the session to a conclusion with a performance of the ever-popular Cossington.

Our thanks go to Ranscombe Farm for looking after us so well and making us so welcome. It certainly was a fascinating dancing venue.