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We have been blessed recently with plenty of fine, sunny weather and thankfully this continued for our meet-up with our friends from Ditchling Morris. They are a Cotswold side whom we always enjoy dancing with, as they are great company and excellent performers.
The venue was the Boar's Head Inn, which is just outside Crowborough and is almost exactly equidistant from Ditchling and Maidstone. This proved to be a wonderful choice as the pub staff were very welcoming and they had reserved part of the tarmac car park for us to dance on.
Unfortunately, Kettle Bridge suffered a drop-out of one dancer and one band member due to illness and we wish them both a speedy recovery. We therefore concentrated on 6-person dances and used this as an excuse to dance out (for the first time) a version of Milnrow adapted for 6 dancers. This proved to be very successful and has now officially been added to our repertoire.
There were some familiar faces in the crowd and it was especially great to see Carol, who only recently retired from dancing with Kettle Bridge, and her husband Brian, formerly Squire of the Morris Ring. For some reason, Carol could not be persuaded to join in and make up for our missing dancer but I don't blame her really! She couldn't resist the audience-participation Churchtown, though, and was joined by Hilda, one of our trainee dancers who had also come along to watch.
Ditchling and Kettle Bridge took turns to dance and, for the first session, we performed Sidcot, Marston 6, Aughton 6 and Churchtown. Then it was time for some lunch and a refreshing drink, and a chance to shelter from the sun.
The lunch break never seems long enough on a hot day and the dancers from both sides were soon back in action again. As mentioned earlier, we did a faultless performance of Milnrow 6, and this was followed by Cossington and Sidcot. For the finale, Val organised a Churchtown for everyone to join in with and the Ditchling dancers gamely took part.
That brought proceedings to an end and, after fond farewells, we made our way home to enjoy the rest of the day.
While I was researching this report, I discovered that Crowborough is perhaps best known for being the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for many years. There is even a statue of him in the centre of the town. Conan Doyle's most famous character is of course Sherlock Holmes who was always confounding his assistant, Doctor Watson, with his deductive logic.
In one of the stories, Watson points to a large woody plant with yellow fruit hanging from the branches. "What can you tell me about that?" says Watson. Holmes ponders for a moment and replies "It's a lemon tree, my dear Watson.".