Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Kirtlington Lamb Ale

Kirtlington Morris

To Kirtlington this weekend with Rockhopper Morris - a beautiful sunny day in this gorgeous Oxfordshire village for the Kirtlington Lamb Ale, which has a long history going back to the early 1600s, and was revived in 1979 by Kirtlington Morris. More information about the event and its history can be found on their website.

Apart from Rockhopper (out in force, though short on men this time - Geoff was the "token male"!), the other sides present were: Kirtlington (of course), Adderbury (dancing very well indeed, with superb playing by Steve Wass, and Mikey Radford making his mark as always in the dancing), Mr. Hemmings (the "other" Abingdon team), Ducklington and Aynho Apricots, all from the locality. Sides from further away included Leominster (a border side from traditional border country, revived in 1983), BasingClog, Berkshire Bedlam and Silhill.

Kirtlington Village is taken over by the Morris on Sunday - a procession to the church, then another from the church to the school, dancing at the two pubs in the village, the Village Hall and the school, and then a massed display by all the teams, again at the school, to finish the day's dancing. On the Saturday, the "weekend" teams danced at Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, and there was a lamb roast and ceilidh in the evening.

Rockhopper danced well, and the standard was pretty high throughout the day, despite the rather excellent beer available (and Nigel's own "Lamb Ale" - a bit too gingery for me!). I was very impressed by Adderbury, who dance slowly and with a real sense of style. Berkshire Bedlam adapted well to the circumstance of having only five dancers (squire had got sunburnt on Saturday, apparently!), and looked as showy as ever, while Kirtlington themselves seem to go from strength to strength every time I see them.

An absolute joy to be there! Teams tend not to be invited year on year, so I don't suppose I'll be along next year unless Redbornstoke get and invitation. I'll just have to go along as a punter instead!!


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