The Whitchurch Morris Men – July Already!

May and June have gone and so have all of the Spring tours but our Tuesday evening programme continues:-

5th July; The George and Dragon at Quainton

12th July; The Hampden Arms, Great Hampden

19th July; The Half Moon at Wilstone with guests New Moon Morris

26th July; The Broad Leys, Aylesbury

We’ve had a couple of really good evenings out with Owlswick and St Albans and we intend to continue these ventures next year. On the other hand comes some sad news that the Offley MM will perform their last Day of Dance on the 20th August before they fold due to lack of numbers. Offley are a Hertfordshire side and their details can be found at:

It’s perhaps a little late but I had a truly fantastic tour with Towersey Morris to Lithuania. Lots of photographs are circulating privately but we’ll have to get them published on the website. In the meantime, try this: Towersey Morris LollipopMan on Youtube. sic(it’s not a typo). That’s me leading the second set on a church roof, Sv. Pranciskaus Ksavero (jezuitu) baznycia, Kaunus, Lithuania whilst attending XXXI Atataria Lamzadziai. We had just been taken there to enjoy the view and it cried out for an impromptu dance. These things just have to be done. By the way, the beer is nice and available at only 1 euro a pint!!! Lovely.

Elsewhere, the BBC is getting into the historic folk scene again, this time with Ben Elton’s new comedy starring David Mitchell in Upstart Crow about a young William Sheakspeare (1564 – 1616). The theme tune is now known as the Jovial Broom Man or to us Morris Men, Jamaica. This rousing tune first appears as ‘Jamaica’ in John Playford’s Dancing Master (Fourth edition, 1670), although earlier in that century it was known as ‘The Slow Men of London’. There is no definitive dance that goes with the tune but it can be used for several. If you want to listen to it, it can be found on Dartington Morris’ CD Proper Job. Again it shows just how old the Morris tradition is. It’s almost as old as some of the dancers.

John King

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