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Sadly, Rhiannon lost her battle with cancer in October 2014 but, as a token of the affection and respect that she commanded, a day of dance in Canterbury was arranged and dedicated to her memory.
The rendezvous for the participating sides was La Trappiste near the Cathedral. Despite the sudden influx of morris people demanding refreshments, the staff coped pretty well and the coffee was excellent. Warning : Don't order a portion of toast unless you are hungry!
Apart from us, the participating sides were:
Our first stand was at 11:00 in Rose Square accompanied by Oyster women, Windsor and Seven Champions. However, when we arrived, there was a busker already there, so we retired to a safe distance to dance round the corner. The stand was not without drama, though. As you can see from the pictures, Jerry from Seven Champions had a nasty fall and twisted his ankle. Mike stepped in immediately to take his place seamlessly and completed the dance. Hopefully, Jerry has now fully recovered.
It was also great to see Trefor Owen who came along to support the performers.
Our next spot was a short walk away in Guildhall Street. Yet again we found an incumbent busker so we once more deferred and moved away down the road. Our companions this time were Oyster women, City Clickers and Redbornstoke. This stand was rather less dramatic but featured excellent dances from all the sides. We performed Ealuscerwen and Marston 8.
Then it was time for refuelling. Many of the performers grabbed a bite and took part in a communal picnic, but a small group of us opted for a pub. On a whim, we chose the Cherry Tree, just off the High Street, and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food.
The post-lunch stand was back at Guildhall Street this time with Oyster men, City Clickers and Seven Champions. There was time for only two dances so we went for Milnrow (although the width of the street did not permit the full 8-wide dancer finale ... or should that be 8 wide-dancer finale?) and Annie's.
There was a final massed stand of participating sides but, as a number of Kettle Bridge dancers had to leave, we opted out.
So that was the end of a fantastic day. The weather was brilliant (almost too hot), the company was excellent, the dancing was first class and the crowd were thoroughly entertained. I am sure that this was an ideal tribute to a great friend who would have loved every minute.
Click here to read the Winter 2014 Morris Federation Newsletter which contains an appreciation of Rhiannon's life.
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