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Looking back through our website, the only reference that I can find to Bishop Gundulf's Morris is that they attended the Morris Federation AGM that we hosted in 2010. It was therefore a great pleasure for us to meet up with them for a session at The Good Intent in West Farleigh.
The side is named after Gundulf of Rochester (apparently also known as Norman Monk according to Wikipedia), who came over to England just after the Battle of Hastings to help William I reorganise the monasteries. He was appointed Bishop of Rochester and was responsible for constructing many iconic buildings such as the Tower of London's White Tower, Colchester Castle, Rochester Cathedral, and St. Leonard's Tower in West Malling.
In his spare time, he trained to be a wizard and subsequently took on and defeated Lord Sauron with the aid of a ragbag of mythical creatures. You may have seen the film made about his life where he was portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen. He also wrote the definitive reference book on clothing that monks should wear — The Habbit.
Now back to the dancing. The position of the Good Intent means that there is usually a light breeze blowing and it was no different on this occasion. It was still a very pleasant evening for dancing, though. Bishop Gundulf are a multi-talented side and were able to field North West and sword teams. With three sides performing, this gave a welcome break between each dance.
We started with Presidcot and followed this with Horbury and Marston. This year, we have added Wakefield Morris's Celebration dance to our repertoire, so we ended the main part of our set with a performance of that. Then, as a finale, Val managed to persuade some of Bishop Gundulf and members of the audience to take part in a version of Churchtown.
Talking of joining in, one of BG's sword dances needed a volunteer (or should that be "victim") to participate. Always up for a challenge, Eva bravely put her hand up and was duly incorporated in the dance. Despite the impression given by the photographs, she enjoyed it immensely and came to no harm!
Thanks go to Bishop Gundulf for sharing our stand and for making it such an enjoyable and memorable occasion. It was also great to see our friend Esther in the audience.
Kettle Bridge Clogs web site by Stephen Cordery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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