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As the day entailed an early start for many of our side, a number of us went to Bill's restaurant for a welcome breakfast and a cuppa. Then it was off to The Dorset pub which was the location of the first stand.
Hammersmith need no introduction but we had not met Horsham Black Dragon before. They dance in the Cotswold style but interestingly they have there own unique set of dances. Take a look on their web site for more information about their history and repertoire.
There was still quite a chilly breeze so we were all happy to get going with the dancing. Hammersmith gallantly agreed to perform two dances to get proceedings under way in their own inimitable style. Kettle Bridge followed this with Ealuscerwen and then it was Black Dragon's turn to entertain the crowd. Next time round the rotation we danced Marston 8 and then finally Aughton.
This signalled the end of the stand and so we all moved on to the John Harvey Tavern, resisting the temptation to pop into Bill's again on the way. During this stand there were several interruptions due to traffic which is quite remarkable as the pub is located in a quiet cul-de-sac in the middle of a pedestrian precinct! Kettle Bridge performed Prescot, Churchtown and Milnrow as their contribution. Considering the limited viewing opportunities, there was a decent-sized crowd to enjoy the entertainment.
There was then a break before the next stand which was at the other end of the town so we all took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat en route. The chip shop seemed to be a popular choice!
The Lewes Arms provided the location for the third stand. Horsham Black Dragon were a little delayed but we carried on regardless. The road outside the pub had a significant slope which made it hard work for the dancers but Kettle Bridge coped admirably. We featured performances of Shawforth (which stretched right across the road at the finale), KBC Processional (with some tough sprinting up the slope) and finally St. Helens Gala.
Now Hammersmith rightly pride themselves on their athleticism and enthusiasm and this was ably demonstrated in one dance that they did at 10 times the normal pace, apparently without any errors. Pity the poor musician that had to set the pace! However, another dance involved leap-frogging and, at the end, one Smiff didn't quite make it all the way over his colleague and they ended up in a heap. Thankfully, no frogs were hurt in the incident.
This stand marked the end of Kettle Bridge's involvement in the Day of Dance. Many thanks are due to Hammersmith for hosting the day (and inviting us) and it was good to meet Black Dragon. Also a big "thank you" to the people of Lewes who gave us great support. And we must not finish without acknowledging the contribution of the Kettle Bridge band to the success of the day as without them the dancers just couldn't dance.