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One of our traditional stands is an evening spent enjoying the delightful company of Oyster Morris in the lovely village square at Chilham and we were blessed with a warm summer evening for our 2018 event.
At one end of the square is the White Horse pub while at the opposite end is Chilham Castle. The castle is one of the oldest dwellings in the UK as the keep of the Norman Castle dates from 1174 and is still inhabited. As you might imagine, the picturesque castle has been used in many films and TV programmes, including a Miss Marple story starring Geraldine McEwan ("The Moving Finger") and a Poirot episode called "Hercule Poirot's Christmas". However, my most favourite fact about the castle is that it was owned from 1949 until 1992 by the Hon. John Clotworthy Talbot Foster Whyte-Melville Skeffington, or 13th Viscount Massereene and Baron of Loughneagh, 6th Viscount Ferrard and Baron Oriel of Collon in Ireland and Baron Oriel of Ferrard in the United Kingdom, to give him his full title! Apparently he was known as "Jock" to his friends.
Back to the dancing. The White Horse pub is always the focal point of the evening and we all gathered outside while preparing to dance. As in previous years, Oyster Ladies danced first, followed by Kettle Bridge and finally the men from Oyster, and we continued in that order for the rest of the evening.
There was time for 5 dances from us, namely Milnrow 6, Sidcot, Blackrod, Aughton 6 and Ealuscerwen 6. These were all assured performances and showed that the adaptation of several of our 8-man dances to accommodate 6 dancers is working well.
As always, thanks must be given to Oyster for a wonderful evening and to our band for keeping the dancers in time.
I will end on a piece of trivia. Having mentioned a couple of Agatha Christie stories above, it is interesting to note that "The Queen of Crime" wrote 66 detective novels but only one play. The play of course was The Mousetrap and it is the longest running West End show in history, having opened in 1952 and it is still going strong today. As you will know if you have seen it, at the end of the play, the cast turn to the audience and tell them not to divulge who the murderer is so as not to spoil it for anyone else. Well, today I am going to let the cat out of the bag by identifying the killer. It was ...
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John Clotworthy Talbot Foster Whyte-Melville Skeffington