View from Oban Bothy

View from Oban Bothy
Showing posts with label English tradition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label English tradition. Show all posts

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Dancing up the Mayday sun, Tuesday 1st May 2018

Windgather Rocks
The fine folk of Powderkegs like to rise early on Mayday morning in order to dance up the sun on their local top, Windgather Rocks. At 416m it’s not a towering peak but it’s a nicely dramatic crag. It’s famous for rock climbing, good views (when it doen’t rain), easy access, and er, Mayday morning morris dancing.
Windgather Rocks
UK Climbing describe to top as crag being amply provided with square-cut jugs and picnic spots. Well, I’m not sure about square-cut jugs but the top certainly offers nice flat bits for picnics. And dancing.
Rather than get up at stupid o’clock in the morning to drive over in good time for the 5.36am sunrise I chucked some gear into my pack and set up camp on the top last night.
This was my second Powderkegs Mayday morning – last year I was joined by Rob – we camped. This year it was only Rob who showed up – he drove over in the morning rather than camp. Rob does photography rather well. He’s a pretty decent musician too. And a good dance-caller. He’s also a really nice guy….but don’t tell him I said so, it might go to his head.

An hour or so of not very fruitful night-time photography preceded a hot cuppa and a snuggle-down around 1am.
4 hours later my alarm jangled me awake and in time for caffeine followed by caffeine.
Dancers were already arriving – the sun waits for no man. Or woman. Or dog for that matter.
I took some photographs, chatted, sang a song, ate a sausage butty and then went home, getting back around 7.15am.
It was good.

Thanks Powderkegs, you’re a great bunch - you actually get out there and DO IT! And you gave me a great excuse to get out in the tent last night Smile
Oh, and thanks for the lovely sausage butties!
Lots more photographs are here.
Rob’s far better photographs may well be here…I hope.
And a video c/o, and I never thought I’d say that, The Daily Mail

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Play Time

Rob’s YouTube video: Not sure who the ugly bugger is – the one who nicks a pint at the end.

Thursday 12th November:

8.40pm: Plough, Ashton on Mersey (Hydes)

9.10pm: Volunteer, Sale (Holts)

9.40pm: Prairie Schooner, Urmston (Brewery Tap)

10:15pm: Steamhouse, Urmston (Freehouse)

10.45pm: Church Inn, Flixton (Various cask ales)

Friday 13th Nov

7.45pm: Greyhound, Ashley (JW Lees)

8.30pm: Railway, Hale (Robinsons)

9.00pm: Old Market Tavern, Altrincham (Freehouse: ELEVEN handpumps!)

9.30pm: Malt Shovels, Altrincham (Sam Smith)

10.10pm: Costello’s, Goose Green, Altrincham (Brewery Tap, Dunham Brewery)

10.40pm: Quarry Bank, Timperley (Hydes)


 The BIG day is Saturday:

2.30pm: St Werburgh's Autumn Fair, Warburton (Tea….hmmm)
6.15pm: Black Swan, Hollin Green, WA3 6LA (Various cask)
6.45pm: Rope & Anchor, Dunham, WA14 5RP (Various cask)
7.15pm: Axe & Cleaver, Dunham, WA14 4SE (Various cask)
7.45pm: Swan with 2 Nicks, Little Bollington, WA14 4TJ (Various cask)
8.15pm: Spread Eagle, Lymm, WA13 0AG (JW Lees)
8.45pm: Green Dragon, Lymm, WA13 9SB (Various cask)
9.30pm: Saracen's Head, Warburton, WA13 9TH (Dunham Brewery)

The Saracen's Head performance is the last of the season and is one huge party.

Lymm Folk Club are running a singers night in conjunction with The Play and there'll be music, singing & dancing afterwards.

Play Poster last night 2015 ver1.1

More information about The Play here. 

Come and have a look-see if you’re at a loose end, it’s going to be fun!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Warburton Souling starts tonight

The Warburton (Cheshire) Souling Play season starts this evening, Monday 2nd November

The Plan (Ho-ho!):

8pm Saracen's Head (Dunham Brewery), Warburton

8.45pm The Vine (Sam Smith's), Dunham

9.15pm The Black Swan (Free House?), Hollins Green

10pm The Wheatsheaf (Hydes) Agden

If you're doing nowt and fancy having your pint nicked by Beelzebub then you know where to be!

Play Poster

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Saturday 17th January, Wassail at Dunham Massey

Wassailing is a bit of an old English tradition dating back to pagan times. In times gone by it was very common in apple-growing areas of England - particularly Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and so on. In fact if you produced cider it's highly likely that you would have been very familiar with the ritual of Wassailing. The general idea is to ensure a good crop of apples (and therefore a decent lot of cider) by scaring off any evil spirits by firing shotguns close to the tree. I don't know about evil spirits but if someone fired a shotgun that close it would scare the living daylights out of me.

The trees are encouraged to grow by hanging slices of toast in the branches. There's nowt like a nice bit of toast and marmalade, all washed down with a nice cuppa. Or cider in this case.

Rick, Les, Richard and meself were delighted to be asked to perform at a Wassail at The Dunham Massey Apple Company's orchards, not very far from Timperley. We dragged the Morris side down as well, they weren't doing anything special and we thought it would do them good to get out once in a while.

Photos courtesy of Rob Phillips, YouTube clip by Bob Sweet.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Friday, 8 November 2013

1st November onwards….Souling time again

This is the time of the year that the Warburton Souling Gang take to the pubs road to spread mayhem, disquiet, misrule….and to sample far too much ale than is good for us:
First night 2013 Tooled up and ready for action
P1000210 Dick (aka ‘Old Hobbs’) with The Driver
Beelzebub got fed up of waiting to get served
The lads in the Wheatsheaf, Agden, trying for a place in next year’s Play
Invasion of The Star in Statham
The Quack Doctor does his stuff
Wimmin’s talk

This is The Plan for the rest of the season….tonight and tomorrow:
Come and visit if you can, but hold on to your beer. Tight.

And after all that, this:
I know what this is, do you?


On a more serious note, and it was the Pieman’s Blog that made me thing I should mention it, The Play raises money for local charities. We tend to concentrate on two, raising much needed dosh for each in turn: the local MS Research Charity and Cotebrook House.

This year we’re making fools of ourselves and sending the hat round for the very excellent Cotebrook House in Lymm. They say ‘Cotebrook House offers both continuing and short term care for residents and we have experience dealing with a variety of physical disabilities.’

We say that it’s a marvellous place that offers a superb level of short and long term care for those with physical disabilities. It has a lovely homely feeling, and deserves all the financial support it can get. Last time we supported them, two years ago, we donated £1350. Last year we raised £1450 for MS.

And another thing:

P1000227 With the statue of Frank Sidebottom, the Bard of Timperley, last night. In the rain.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Saturday 7th September, Thelwall

Thelwall Morris are a fine bunch of lads, always up for a bit of fun and a leap around. Every year they invite a few Morris sides to Warrington to join in the fun and leaping around. This year was my first Thelwall Day of Dance – and what a cracking day out it was. A bus was commandeered hired for the day which provided transport around the various venues. This was a good plan….most of these venues seemed to provide lots of rather good beer.
Just some pics from the day….and more pics here.
P1020835P1020860  P1020858
P1020869  A grand day out Grommit!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

11th August, Last week was the week that was…

Just some pics:


P1020437 Shame about the focus on this one

Oh dear x2:


A fine example of a flying kettle, aka Suzuki GT750 2 stroke triple:

P1020504 I’m fairly certain that’s a non-standard seat

Lymm Rushbearing:

(Anyone spot the Long Suffering Rick?)
Lymm Morris

Marmalade in Manchester:

And in my spare time…

Monday, 15 July 2013

Beating The Bounds

The Court Leet, an ancient form of local government, is responsible for keeping the old (Saxon) boundaries of Altrincham defined and to do this they 'Beat the Bounds' each year.
The boundary is marked with a number of boundary stones or plaques and on the second Sunday of July Members of the Altrincham Court Leet process around these markers.
The Court Leet always invite members of the public (ie: Plebs like me) to follow them around their annual bimble….stopping off around half-way round for beer and lunch. Nice…except hardly anyone ever turns out to support them.
Today a total of four walkers turned out, better than most years, but still not great.
At 10.30am we all gathered at the boundary stone on The Downs in Altrincham for the first ‘beating’ of the day:
P1020394Members of The Court Leet doing their stuff
P1020398 The boundary stone on The Downs, Altrincham
P1020401 P1020402 A Dunham / Altrincham boundary marker
Altrincham / Hale boundary marker on a house gate-post
I’m sure The Court Leet won’t mind me saying that a couple of them aren’t in the first flush of youth – although one member in particular walked around most of the route with the pedestrian followers. Other members of the Court Leet were transported around the 8 mile route in a minibus.
Lunch was had at Timperley Old Hall (that isn’t very old at all) where a very good pint (or two)of Jennings High Spy was served. I don’t normally drink beer when on a walk, but we were probably 5 or 6 miles into the route, and at 3.8% ABV it didn’t have any adverse effect – apart from straining the bladder department!
imageThe Court Leet at lunch
After lunch there were only 3-4 more boundary markers to visit. A few people came out to see what all the fuss was about and I’m pleased to say that they all showed a genuine interest in this quirky tradition.
By 3.30pm it was all over. Around 12 boundary markers had been visited, some of them in locations that made access difficult – but not impossible.
The population of Altrincham had been assured that their town’s boundary was intact and, according to the speech repeated around the circuit, assured of protection by the Barony….provided they stayed within it’s boundaries.
A nice little walk and a very interesting day out. I’ll probably do it again next year. Especially if the Old Hall are serving High Spy.
More photos here.

Anchor Inn session