February 3rd. The Winchester Feast

The Men who had been working with the Scouts the previous evening were now joined by James and Steve in place of John L for the journey down to Stockbridge in Hampshire, as guests of Winchester Morris. This annual event featured a few gentle speeches, some campfire songs in mock sailors’ accents, a couple of toasts, a whole lot of dancing, and a massive banquet coupled with endless beer, all served by our hosts.

John S excelled himself by singing our vocal contribution whilst accompanying himself on concertina; and the whole side (led, for the first time in public by myself as the new squire) presented our show dance of the ‘Riggs of Doom’. It went down well, and for once we were well proud of our contribution to the proceedings.

It was also very pleasing that, for the first time, women were invited to what had previously been an all-male event. Maybe there were only two women present on this pioneer occasion; but it is my personal hope that, instead of being an ‘issue’, this might soon be accepted practice for us all.

Finally, here is a Blog Competition. Here are two photos of some Morris dancers relaxing between strenuous work at the Feast. Can you spot the differences between the photos? (Clue 1: one features a Squire; the other the gong-wearing Clayton Francis, currently Treasurer of the Morris Ring. Clue 2: one features an accordion player, but in the other, he had gone somewhere else).