Meddlars' News

This section of the site contains items of interest about the activities of the side. These may be simple reports, interesting pictures received, or illustrated accounts of recent dance outs and/or festivals.



Saturday 10th May 2014 – Awbridge Fete

Our first weekend outing of the season was to Awbridge Village Fete, which has become a regular fixture for us.  A true reminder of how village fetes used to be in my childhood.  It was also our first opportunity to put some our new dances we had learned during the winter months to the public test.

The weather forecast for the week had indicated that we were likely to be subjected to some rainfall; as if we had not seen enough of it during the winter months.  The Squire had contacted us all, via the modern communication of email the previous evening, to inform us that his weather report indicated the weather would be fine for dancing, and that he would see us all after lunch.  The morning was overcast and on route there was some drizzle in the air with a strong breeze, not a good sign, but the Meddlars are always optimistic.

We congregated at our usual dance spot in front of the beer tent, ensuring that we did not obstruct the entrance from the visitors who wished to partake of the amber liquid.  It was not long before a good crowd gathered to be entertained.  So despite not having danced for a few weeks we were encouraged on and did rather well, if we do say so ourselves.

Our offerings for our first session included ‘The Oi Dance’ and ‘White Ladies Aston’.  The Squire then announced that we would be dancing ‘Duck and Dive’ which turned out to be rather appropriate, because  as we commenced to dance the rain started to fall, which then saw the musicians and the spectators duck and dive for cover under the canvas, whilst we continued with the dance.  Due to the inclement weather the Squire had no hesitation in making a decisive decision that a tea break was the most appropriate course of action in the circumstances.



The side having consumed various cakes that were quite scrumptious, washed down with tea and were now feeling refreshed.   The clouds decided to drift away and the sun put in an appearance.  It was now time for our second session.  A bit more care was now required on the grass as it had turned slightly muddy and was a bit slippery under foot, so no high capers or sudden turns.  The routine started with ‘Saturday Night’, ‘ South Australia ’ and ‘Much Wenlock’.  As the crowd had gathered once again to be entertained, it was time for a bit of audience participation.  The ‘Five Hand Reel’ was called and the Meddlars went on the search for willing volunteers, which on this occasion were quite forthcoming, which is always a bonus.  Even the Squire put a smile on the face of one young lady.


In the traditional  manner we informed the audience that we were finishing our routine with the ‘Upton Stick Dance’.   On completion the audience showed their appreciation with a round of applause.  Exhausted but very happy it was a fine way to end the day

Saturday 14th May 2011 – Awbridge Fete

The sun shone as the Meddlars arrived in dribs and drabs in preparation for dancing at this regular, well supported local fete. 

We all followed the customary sound of bells and found each other, surprisingly outside the beer tent, where we were to perform throughout the afternoon.

All was looking good until someone asked where the sticks were…………….the bells went silent as everyone realised they were nowhere to be seen! Bob, our very inventive Squire, was on the case immediately and in the jangle of a bell he was walking back towards us with a smile and his arms full of newly cut sticks procured from a very friendly, local woodman who was exhibiting at the fete – our eternal thanks go out this man – Morris dancers with no sticks would be like tap dancers in slippers!  

So….we prepared to dance and dance we did – though some of the new members found it hard going on grass. However, perseverance and a smile helped - the crowd had no idea of this and were most appreciative of our efforts, despite some being hauled in for the audience participation dance which actually went very well.



Following the first set we all had a look around the fete which included a classic car exhibition and dog show - Milly & Evie should have entered in their Meddlar doggy raggies!! 

The sun continued to shine and many more people were waiting for our second performance which was most encouraging. Our ‘resident photographers’, Paul & John were on hand to document the proceedings (or they just liked being close to the beer tent), and we were away again.  

The second set was even better and many people asked if we would be doing any more. Sadly we couldn’t but many 2011 dance-out programmes were handed out so we hope to recognise a few faces around the area this season.