Meeting Reflections

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Good Morning, Lords & Ladies – Gill & Barry Goodman

An Evening to Remember



Torrential rain and even hail stones did not deter the fifty hardy souls attending the April Social Meeting!

Our guests Gill and Barry Goodman, who met at college many years ago, have made it their lifetime hobby to study the national Folk scene and Morris dancing and have become involved nationally in local customs and traditions. This knowledge they thoroughly displayed by running through the year starting with the traditional May Day festival at Ickwell, which has been operating 1561. Gill acted as narrator with Barry singing traditional folk songs, which told a story of the various places and their activities. We were then taken to Rochester to experience the Rochester Sweeps Festival and then to Hastings to hear about the Jack in the Green procession. Next stop was the Cotswolds to become acquainted with the Spring sowing, Kirtlington Sheep and the August Bank Holiday Saddleworth Rush Carts festivals, with each of the villagers attempting to create the best display.

Having arrived at August it was time for refreshments. The next highlight of the evening was the very splendid feast of plentiful and delicious fare, which had been provided by the members. With appetites more than satisfied, November heralded the winter and the Tar Barrel rolling in Devon. Later, at Whittlesey we heard about the Straw Bears of the town. Finally, arriving in Norfolk in February we learnt about Norfolk’s Jack Valentine and his pranks. This was an excellent evening of entertainment, in which we learnt much about Local and National customs. We were also hoarse, being encouraged to join in on the chorus of Barry’s songs, of which there were many.

Should you want to meet our duo again, then you have an open invitation to St Katherine’s Cross at Ampthill Park at 5.25am on 1st May, where you can hopefully witness the sunrise and enjoy further Morris dancing and singing. Our next meeting is in September when we will be learning about the life and times of one of Willington’s oldest residents, Gordon Vowles. We look forward to seeing you then.

Alan Powell