Saturday 11th June 2011 – Wimborne Folk Festival

This annual event was founded in 1980 and has become one of the largest dance and music in the south of England so it was with some trepidation and a lot of excitement that we all took to the roads early in the morning to be there in good time for our first dance at 11o’clock

We gathered at the Green Man Pub on the edge of the town where we were coupled with Ditchling Morris. It was good for some to meet old friends and others to make new friends and we alternated dances of different styles to the appreciation of the pub audience.   

When John Bacon, the Squire found out that we did South Australia , he expressed a wish to see us dance it, as we had learnt it from them originally, so we squeezed it in.  Luckily it went well and he was quite impressed

 

We then had to retire to the car park in order to prepare a dance for the procession (nothing like being organised) and our Squire, Bob had something in mind. Not surprisingly though, when he asked who would be happy to leap-frog, there was a strange and eerie silence! So… leap-frog free, we devised and practiced a dance in readiness for the afternoon.

Following this we all headed to the British Legion Club which was to be our next venue. Borderline Morris from Devon were in full swing when we arrived so it was a good opportunity to have a drink and a sandwich and enjoy watching for a change. Our turn came and we danced our Morris socks off as the dance area was on a slight hill so great going down but rather less so coming back! In true Meddlar style though, we smiled and enjoyed every minute as did the audience sitting outside in the sunshine

 

Once finished we had to find our way into the town to dance outside the Albion Pub in the High Street. Our partners for this session were going to be a tough act to follow though! Pupils from Pamphill School had obviously been practising thoroughly and the children put on a fabulous display of Morris and Rapper dance – well done them. Thanks to all the parents who had no choice but to watch us too when I’m sure they really only wanted to see their children (quite rightly) and we loved the real community atmosphere this created

So….on to the procession to do the car-park-leap-frog-free dance for who knew how long or far. We danced 13th of 32 sides, between Exmoor Border Morris and Quayside Cloggies and kept our impromptu dance going for the whole time. It was quite a spectacle - not only the number and colours of dancers and musicians but also the encouraging crowds who had turned out in their thousands to watch. So exciting!!

As each side completed the procession they all joined in to make ‘guard of honour’ for those still dancing and once  everyone had finished we had a short while to make our way back to the town centre for our final dance of the day. Luckily we just had time for a very welcomed pint of ale or an ice cream depending on preference!!

Our last dance was with Hunters Moon Morris from Eastbourne, and despite some of us being exhausted we remained excited enough to put on a good show for all those still watching, and finished around 5pm.

So.. with sticks, bells and smiles we wandered back to our respective cars for a well deserved sit down and pat on the back! Prior to heading home though, we were all invited to our returning members house for tea, beer and cake – thanks to Paul & Lorraine for finishing the day off so very nicely xx