Anker Ring meeting 2015

A Mayhem of Morrismen

A Mayhem of Morrismen

Anker Morris Men’s 40th birthday celebrations seemed the perfect opportunity for some of the younger members of the side to experience a meeting of the Morris ring. I believe that Lassington Oak hasn’t attended a ring meeting for around ten years making this a special weekend for us as well.

The weekend kicked off on Friday with food at the venue and a great session at the White Lion thanks to Jess and Richard Arrowsmith for hosting it.

Saturday was full of dancing at various locations around Nuneaton with plenty of singing and tunes on the bus. The quality of the dancing from everyone was high and we were pleased that our dancing was well received.

The weekend finished with more display and massed dances from the various sides involved on the Sunday unfortunately we needed to leave a little early and didn’t see the weekend through to the complete end.

Thank you Anker for a superbly organised and thoroughly enjoyable weekend we’re looking forward to seeing all of you again at your ale.

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Lassington Oak at War – 2015

1. Armed with our bag of trusty sticks we assembled at Morris o'clock at Prestbury Park Station. Ready to travel back in time we inspected the transportation.

1. Armed with our bag of trusty sticks we assembled at Morris o’clock at Prestbury Park Station. Ready to travel back in time we inspected the transportation.

2. Being satisfied the train was sound Ed changed hats and transformed from Bagman to Ticket-man and handed out tickets and Identity Cards (just in case we forgot who we were!).

2. Being satisfied the train was sound Ed changed hats and transformed from Bagman to Ticket-man and handed out tickets and Identity Cards (just in case we forgot who we were!).

3. The trouble kicked off when someone mentioned something about Old Bill to Bill the Foreman.

3. The trouble kicked off when someone mentioned something about Old Bill to Bill the Foreman.

4. Having sorted out the differences between Bill and Old Bill we arrived at Gotherinton Station where we entertained the troops, nurses and general public with a display of our fantastical topiary (or should that be terpsichore!).

4. Having sorted out the differences between Bill and Old Bill we arrived at Gotherinton Station where we entertained the troops, nurses and general public with a display of our fantastical topiary (or should that be terpsichore!).

5. Having eaten the cheese and pickle sandwiches and drunk all of the water we were feelin tired and thirsty after all of the dancing. We were told by a kindly looking man that food and ale could be found at Toddington station. So off we went for lunch (and a spot more dancing).

5. Having eaten the cheese and pickle sandwiches and drunk all of the water we were feeling tired and thirsty after all of the dancing. We were told by a trustworthy looking man that food and ale could be found at Toddington station. So off we went for lunch (and a spot more dancing).

6. Arriving in Winchcombe our dancing was interrupted by an air-raid (after all there is a war on!). Being good citizens we raced to the nearest hostelry for shelter.

6. Arriving in Winchcombe our dancing was interrupted by an air-raid (after all there is a war on!). Being good citizens we raced to the nearest hostelry for shelter.

7. Having been revitalised at with refreshing and magical brews from the Harvest Home, we danced all the way back to Winchombe station.

7. Having been revitalised with refreshing and magical brews from the Harvest Home, we danced all the way back to Winchombe station.

8. Having returned to Winchcombe station it was all a bit too much for some of our younger dancers......

8. Having returned to Winchcombe station it was all a bit too much for some of our younger dancers……

9. Having danced some more and managing NOT to fall off the platform, some of the old folk took a rest whilst waiting for the next train back to Cheltenham.

9. Having danced some more and managing NOT to fall off the platform, some of the old folk took a rest whilst waiting for the next train back to Cheltenham.

10. Finding the buffet car on the train was great fun. Food, ale and some music - as is the Lassington way :-)

10. Finding the buffet car on the train was great fun. Food, ale and some music – as is the Lassington way 🙂

11. Once back at Cheltenham station some of the side were pure overcome by exhaustion.

11. Once back at Cheltenham station some of the side were pure overcome by exhaustion.

12. So, it was with a fond farewll we left the the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway to their Wartime in the Cotswolds and headed wearily back into the 21st century. Thanks to all who took part.

12. So, it was with a fond farewll we left the the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway to their Wartime in the Cotswolds and headed wearily back into the 21st century. Thanks to all who took part.

St. George’s Day at the Cafe Rene 2015

An early start was called for as we were dancing with Stroud Morris; the ladies always start early as I believe they go to bed early so as to maintain their stunning beauty and grace. However, this early-ness never translates for the gentlemen of Lassington (as is evident from their LACK of beauty!). Dancing eventually got underway around 8pm. Our assistant Foreman, being in charge for the first time out tonight, kept with tradition and we were six up for Balance the Straw (it also confuses our musician if we start with something different!).

Stroud Morris

Stroud Morris

Dancing turn and turn about we entertained the small but perfectly formed and enthusiastic crowd with the likes of the Upton Hanky dance (a dance with hankies from Upton….), Laudnum Bunches from Headington, Vandals of Hammerwich (from that well known Cotswold town of Lichfield) and various other dances. Having sung and danced for Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl, the landlord did just that and supplied jugs of ale for the thirsty dances – which washed down the chocolates supplied by Stroud Ladies (such a sweet side).

Lassington giving it some stick

Lassington giving it some stick

Our usual session then ensued after dragging some willing (and not so willing volunteers) into our final dance of Bonny Green Garters.
Thanks to Stroud Morris for dancing with us (a pleasure as always) and to the Cafe Rene for being so hospitable.
Well done to George for keeping control and to all who turned out to dance and to spectate.
Last, but not least thanks to Lloyd for the photos.
Next stop we are of to War at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway.

Kits Coty 2015

This blog is brought to you by the letters T&B (Tom Brown thanks you so much) Also, thanks to Roz for the pics.

As things sometimes don’t work out as planned, I was unable to make it down to this years tour of Kent with Kits Coty Morris due to being really, really sick 😦 Gutted is not even close to how I felt making the call Thursday to let the lads know I was not going.

However, 7 made it down. You may have noticed Bill dancing in his rag jacket – no we have not changed our kit policy, someone (who shall remain nameless GB) forgot their waistcoat and shirt!

Speaking of forgetting things, Tom had a lapse of memory writing the report as he did when he left his box in the first pub visited on the Saturday. All was recovered though. I am off to crawl in a corner and prepare for tonight’s dance out fo St George’s Day and leave you with the words of Mr Brown:-

Assembled might for the Kent Tour 2015

Assembled might for the Kent Tour 2015

We were a man down as we set off for Kent on Friday morning but hopes were high for a great weekend. In keeping with tradition someone always forgets something but white shirt and leather waist coat are pretty vital. The Court will sit.

Weekend kicked off with a session at the Dog and Gun. Great playing from Kits Coty’s musicians and rather too much ale consumed by myself, I never did get my coffee and two sugars just another pint but I didn’t really expect anything less.

Saturday started at the Society Rooms with dancing in the rain at 10:00am then down to the Canon (still not a pub!) for dancing in Maidstone town centre. The rain abated while we waited, with NO ALE, for the bus that was running late to take us to Sutton Valance for the rest of the tour. Finally the bus arrived unfortunately with a grumpy bus driver so no singing or music on the way.

Caught napping.......

Caught napping…….

Arrived at Sutton Valance for lunch and dancing at the Kings Head. the sun was out by this point so dancing was much more enjoyable. Then we walked down to the Castle (also not a pub!) for the playing of the Alpine horn bizarre but a very impressive instrument glad I wasn’t lugging it around all day. Then more ale and sunshine with dancing at the Clothworkers Arms, Lassington Oak wanted to stay drinking and playing in the sunshine but it wasn’t to be. The bus driver on the way back to Maidstone was in a better mood so singing and music was back on, we arrived back in town for a final dance Bonny Green and then into the pub for some well earned respite.

Saturday night the session was held at the White House (a pub!) with great tunes from all and George even got given his punishment (Morrison’s 2% lager) courtesy of the Landlady, but sentence will have to be held off until the Kangaroo court is held!

Great so see everyone from Oojahkappivvy brilliant dancing from them and very impressed with the new girl Sian, she dances well and smiles all the way through a dance which is something I can’t master!

Kits Coty doing their thing...

Kits Coty doing their thing…

The Ooja's

The Ooja’s

Thanks to Kits Coty for all their hospitality and for organising such a great event see you all next year for the Lassington Oak Tour of Kent!

The Survivors on Sunday Morning

The Survivors on Sunday Morning

Icknield Way Ale 2015

As this was Lloyd’s first EVER ale we thought we would let him do the write up. So here it is and thanks Lloyd……

I had never been to an Ale before; my old morris side didn’t really go in for them. That meant that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as we drove on smaller and smaller roads into Oxfordshire, to the small village with a very large hall where Icknield Way were hosting us (Lassington), plus Abingdon, some men from Leicestershire, and some observers from Bampton Traditional Morris.
 
The format was quite simple; sides did show dances, interspersed with mass dances for as many people who could fit onto the dance floor. There was a suggestions board for the mass dances, which started out with only the mythical “Squire’s Jig” but was soon filled with a variety of dances from everywhere from Oddington to Fieldtown. The mass dances all went well, although a little bit of discussion was needed before performing The Vandals of Hammerwich to make sure that everyone was going to do exactly the same thing at the same time! 
 
I particularly enjoyed dancing Highland Mary (Oddington) as I haven’t had a chance to do much Oddington recently, and it’s a lovely tradition. The fact that I hadn’t danced that particular dance before made it slightly more exciting for everyone; similarly for Saturday Night (Bucknell), which made sense in hindsight but not as much (to me) at the time.
Massed dance at Icknield Ale 2015

Massed dance at Icknield Ale 2015

After a good deal of dancing, there was a long pause for a hearty meal laid on by Icknield Way; a chunky stew and baked potatoes, followed by chunky cheese, all washed down by a good beer. A rousing singing session followed, with classics such as “Pleasant and Delightful” and “When the Old Dun Cow Caught Fire” being enjoyed by all.
 
More dancing, both mass dances and show dances, followed, together with a spectacular dual jig danced by one of the Icknield Way men and one of the Leicestershire men, and after another singing session with port kindly provided by Icknield Way, we set up our beds and went to sleep.
 
In the morning, after a superb full English breakfast cooked by Icknield Way, we drove back through the Cotswolds, going past the village of Stanton Harcourt, back to our homes to recover from a long evening of energetic dancing.

A whistle, a wassail about our town – part 2

Wick Court 18th Annual Wassail

In a galaxy a long time ago........Bill and Eric

In a galaxy a long time ago……..Bill and Eric

18 years, and still as popular as ever, the Wick Court Wassail has become a great regular event in our diary. Arriving early Bill took us through the house to show us a photograph of himself and Eric in their younger guise when this event was still in its infancy – as someone said, no wonder Bill knows the words so well!

People began to assemble and the side were all present for 7.30 and we set to dancing in the courtyard, endeavouring to avoid the slippy bit in the middle. Having avoided all disaster after completing 4 dances we went out to the orchard to wassail the apple tree. By all accounts it was the wettest underfoot for quite a while, pity those poor fools who forgot their wellies 🙂

Returning to the courtyard, and after a quick scrabble to change into costume, we performed our last mummers play of the season. We had Greeks playing Turks – providing humour with his dying dagger, heckling from the crowd – with a valiant repost from the Soldier Bold (or was that a bold repost from the valiant soldier?) and a new old woman with an old toothache (six years before she found it and seven since!). The treasury man was in great demand and we collected several pieces of paper as well as coins of the realm – which we duly donated to Wick Court. Our reward was great praise (best play yet!), hot soup and bread, mulled cider and an invitation to do it all again next year. Our thanks to the generosity of all who attended the wassail and put money into the hat.

Muso's on the go

Muso’s on the go

After all the merriment and food outside we retired indoors to warm our feet on the underfloor heating, and to enjoy the songs and tunes that follow such festivities where’er we go.

So ended another great season of wassailing; music, song, cider and fine company. May the orchards be fruitful again this year.

Pray don’t let the wassailers stay on the cold stones. Waes Hail!

A whistle, a wassail about our town – part 1

Eric’s Annual Wassail

As usual with Eric’s Wassail, the weather proved kind to us with a dry, if chilly evening. The media were well represented with both BBC Radio and the print media being present.

At the appointed hour the gathered might of Lassington Oak were there and ready to take on the wandering challengers from the Forest of Dean Morris Men (no doubt plotting how to steal back young Tom). We started off with a lusty Bluebells, managing to stay upright on the sloping ground. Forest took theie turn and we responded with Idbury Hill. The gloves were off and Forest danced again, this time in the darkness as the lights went out as they started to dance. Light back on and we were off with the Upton Hanky dance – our final dance of the night. Again Forest were up for their last dance and – the lights went out again!

Dancing done, light restored we donned our wellies and tatters and made our way to the orchard, carrying flaming brands, to wassail the apple trees. The Judas fire was lit and duly stamped out by the marauding morris men (top tip of the evening – remove bells before stomping around in a fire!). The ring of fire was light around the tree and words were said, songs were sung, more fire was lit and we processed around the tree three times singing and making as much din as possible. The wassail bowl was passed among the gathered masses and the proceedings brought to an end by three shotgun blasts.

Mine host, Eric Freeman

Mine host, Eric Freeman

Returning to the farmyard we were met with mulled cider and a table full of goodies to munch upon. As the evening got colder and the food ran low people drifted off home and the hardcore made their way to the undercroft of the house to sing and play music until the early hours. Dave Blick sang the Rose in honour of a friend of the farm, a young lady who worked there and has now been struck down by serious illness.
Even Eric sang a song, at which point his dog came in and laid at his feet (his master’s voice calls).

The tunes and songs drifted into the early hours and so ended another fantastic evening of wassailing at Eric’s.