send you Seasonal Greetings.
Last year we
carried out our traditional Christmas events: our Border
Morris tour to the
Wellington; the Bedford
Arms; and the Three Cups and the Castle in Newnham Street.
We attended the
party where we danced Much Wenlock,
Winter's Dream, and Fanny
Boxing Day, we danced on Bedford Embankment and then at
the Swan Hotel, where we introduced the formal
proceedings with the Boar's Head Carol.
In the New Year our annual Plough
Monday Plough Play tour started at
the White Horse, and progressed to the Devonshire Arms,
the Gordon Arms, and finally the Cricketers in
In late January, we celebrated Angus Darling’s 70th
Birthday at his Burns Night Bash at Goldington Church
in March we joined Letchworth Morris at their energetic
Annual Curry Ale.
Letchworth Morris joined us as usual,
together with Offley Morris, as the Summer Season
started on May Morning - a fine morning.
The Men sang the May Carol and the Northill May
selection of Morris dances followed, then Folk Dances
for all. The
following week we made our traditional first Wednesday
outing to dance at the Fox and Hounds, Riseley.
The Charles Wells brewery bus was again present
with a barrel of Bombardier on board for the Men.
We later sang
some favourite songs and made music until closing time.
The Ickwell May Festival followed on
the Holiday Monday and we were again rewarded by a sunny day.
With Letchworth Morris, we danced at the Crown,
Northill, and then led the Procession from Northill to
member of Greensleeves Morris who was in the area joined
We danced a
full Wednesday evening summer programme.
On our second May Wednesday at the Cross Keys,
Cranfield, we also practised a couple of North-West
next week we were at the Sun,
Felmersham and on the last May
Wednesday was at the
Wheatsheaf, Bow Brickhill,
where we were welcomed by Andy Malleson and who joined
with the musicians to play for some of the dances.
On the first
Wednesday in June, we danced the first of two North-West
tours to get ready for Saddleworth.
We visited the Ship, the Castle and the Three
Cups with the Royton, Colne
dances being performed with a fair degree of accuracy.
In June we visited the
March Hare, Dunton, which well deserves its CAMRA awards
as the real ales were excellent - and they also produce
an excellent cider.
Later in June we danced at the Polhill Arms,
Renhold, also showing some North-West dances to keep in
practice, and then at
the Anchor, Great Barford.
In mid-June, some of the men visited
the Forest of Dean Morris Men
for their family weekend.
The tour took in Beechenhurst; Ruardean;
Goodrich; Symonds Yat; Tintern and finished at Soudley.
Our second North-West tour in Bedford was in early July, this time with
music provided by the Bedford Town Band.
We danced at the
Wellington Arms, the Kent Arms, and the Burnaby Arms.
The Town Band was as
usual excellent – responding to the dances and Roger
Nicholls was able to play his tuba and hardly needed to
conduct except on the occasions that the drummer lost
Later in the month we danced at the
Horse and Groom, Clapham, and were very pleased to see
the late Jon Birch’s family in our audience.
We also danced at
the Bedford Arms, Souldrop and then on a Thursday at the
Stone Jug, Clophill, where we were the guests of
Letchworth Morris Men.
We finished July with an excellent evening at the
Three Cranes, Turvey, as the ‘normal’ end of season pub,
at Odell was closed for refurbishment.
In mid-August, we danced for the
celebrations of Anthony Heywood’s daughter, Emily's
marriage to ‘Nav’ at the Kings Arms,
We assembled in the bar where a poly-pin of
Shefford Bitter was provided, then traversed the dining
room to great applause from the 250 guests.
After a varied show we joined the celebrations.
This year, as
mentioned, we attended the 40th Anniversary
Saddleworth Rushcart week-end which also served as a
We performed our North-West repertoire, including
the newly relearned Royton, and the Colne and
Side was very honoured that members of the Bedford Town
Band, under the direction of Roger Nicholls were able to
join us on the Saturday to provide the traditional brass
We met up on the Wednesday before, for a final
practice with them.
The Rushcart this year coincided with the Bank
Holiday weekend and on the Saturday we helped pull the
Rushcart around the villages.
We showed our dances - and showed off ‘our’ brass
band – with performances at Uppermill Library; Delph
Club and at the Navigation, Dobcross.
On the Sunday, the band had to leave us as they
had an engagement back in Bedford.
Fortunately Roger Dorman had his melodeon with
him, and past member Keith MacDonald, back from
to play for Chanctonbury Ring, was also keen to play for
danced Preston and Colne at Saddleworth Church and later at the Cross Keys Inn.
The Side received much applause.
During much of
Saturday and Sunday we were followed, supported and
filmed by Wayne Allan, who danced with the side in the
1970s whilst with the US Airforce in
Bedford and later in
Germany; he is now retired and
living back in
In mid October we danced in the
afternoon at the 37th Bedford Beer & Cider
Festival at the Corn Exchange and that evening at a
somewhat mis-titled ‘folk show’ at
The following weekend we danced as usual for
Apple Day at
Fun was had by all and each of the two spots
included a ‘teach in’ for the audience.
During the afternoon, Fool Tim did an
excellent interview with Pilgrim Sound which he claimed
‘… was the cider talking …’!!
At our AGM in later October the
Officers were all re-elected.
season is now in full swing, at Ravensden Village Hall
on Wednesday evenings at 8.00pm.
We still need more fit young, or not so young,
had a scare last year when our Foreman, Simon Melvin,
had a heart attack, we are pleased to report that not
only has he danced during the year, but he has also
taken up the accordion and is becoming a competent
and Capers” Border tour will be on the 17th
December (the Wednesday before Christmas) and we will be
performing at the Fine Companions Party two days later.
On Boxing Day we will be on Bedford Embankment
and then at the Swan Hotel.
In the New Year, we will be performing our Plough
Monday Mummers’ play on 12 January.
The dates and venues are listed below, on our
card and also on our website -
We thank our ‘hosts’ for their generosity, tolerance and
friendship through the year, and hope to see friends old
and new, this winter season and next year.
you all, Wassail, and a very Happy Christmas and
peaceful New Year,
For details of how to
join Bedford Morris Men;
information on events; or to check dates/times for the
Ian Daye -
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - or visit
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