“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” — Elsie de Wolfe

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Morris Dancers and Narrowboats - Banbury Canal Day 2011

"Poetry is everywhere; it just needs editing." - James Tate

Last Sunday afternoon Joe and I drove into Banbury for their annual Canal Day festival. Each year they have a theme and this year it was 'A Right Royal Occasion'. Celebrating the very best of Red, White and Blue.

It is a huge event that is regularly attended by at least 10,000 people, with narrowboats and people coming from miles around. This years glorious sunshine was perfect for the celebrations.

So without further ado, please join me for a stroll through this years Banbury Canal Day.

There were people everywhere, and music playing. . .

This lady was spinning, seemingly oblivious to the crowds. . .

These gents deep in discussion about their steam engines. . .

Ladies selling tradionally painted bargeware.

This owl seemed totally unphased by it all. . .

Down by the mill arts centre the rhythmic banging of a drum drew my attention,
and I went over to see what everyone was watching.

It was Morris Dancers - these are not the tradional dancers I am used to seeing. Apparently this is a Borders Morris team and this one was called Plum Jerkum and they hailed from Warwick.

With the insistant drum beat and their whoops and hollers, I was totally hooked!

Border Morris is known for its mixed teams, blacked up faces and if you notice all the women have one black leg and one coloured leg. They danced around their hats placed on the floor.

I really liked it and to tell the truth I quite fancy doing it myself! I asked Joe
if he would join me, if I took it up - but he was having none of it! :-)

When they weren't dancing they were playing the music for the rest of the team.

They also used the traditional sticks. . .

The sound of that drum was really primal.

There were loads of other Morris teams waiting for their turn to dance. . .

After all the excitement - I thought this boat had an appropriate name. . .

and the Tai Chi demonstration was a perfect foil for the hustle and bustle elsewhere.

There was also a very colourful French Market with delicious smelling food. . .

Plus lots of other things on offer. . .


I could have shown loads more photo's, but I would have been here all day!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour, it was good to have you along.
Now does anyone fancy joining me in Morris dancing? ;-)

I hope that your week has been a good one.


Thought of the week
"The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life,
the clearer we should see through it. " - Jean Paul Sartre

I am linking this post to week 56 of I Saw Sunday

Images and words - Susannah Bec

18 comments:

Deborah said...

Ooh I wish we'd have come, it looks wonderful and the Morris dancers look fantastic ... I'll definitely join you! :o)

Hazel said...

What a very interesting tour! Thanks. I love the spinning lady and the Morris Dancers. Calm Down made me smile.

vivinfrance said...

This is wonderful, Susannah. Those costumes gave me the urge to do another big quilt! Thank you for taking so much time to share the fab. pictures. I hope my comment sticks, but don't count on it!

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate anything. The photos are wonderful, but the owl is tremendous. I kept going back and looking at it. And to quote a popular song, "I hope you dance!"

Elizabeth

shewriting said...

the colorful festivities were in full swing. looks like a fun-filled day.

Sheila Moore

Susan said...

What a great event! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Susannah said...

Deborah, yes you should have come. We will make a date for next year and I will let you all know in plenty of time. :-) x

Hazel good to see you again. x

Viv, I can see how they would inspire a quilt! Good to see you. x

Elizabeth, yes the owl was beautiful, there was another one too, much smaller but very beautiful, both totally unphased by everything. Good to see you. x

PS. As Viv has told me about comments getting eaten! eeek! I have chnged my settings and all comments should now appear immediately....I hope. ;-)

Barbara Scully said...

ahhh owls and canals.. fabulous. Great pictures... I was thinking of you as I stumbled into a great programme on telly here last night. It is called Waterways and was on RTE1. If you can access their player - have a look. It's a series of half hour programmes about a boat journey on our Royal Canal (only relatively recently reopened).. Its a languid beautiful programme and I think you would love it!!!

b
x

Morvah said...

Yes please, I'll join 'streaming morris' - We should have stars in our hair, birch twig broomsticks and dance around viv's quilt. Wonderful afternoon out Susannah, thank you M x

earlybird said...

Looks like a glorious day out, Susannah! LOVE those Morris dancers. Weren't you lucky with the weather.

Don't know what happened to yesterday's comment...

Jinksy said...

You're right! Eaten comments indeed. Anyhow, I shall now try to dance up a storm here so that Blogger hears my feet stamping to the Morris Dancers' drum, and takes note. ♥ Looks like you had a great day out. :)

Susannah said...

Barbara, I shall look out for it. Really great to see you, thanks for popping in. x


Morvah, yippee! our own virtual morris team. :-)- Always good to see you, I hope all is well. x


Earlybird and Jinksy, thanks very much for repeating your comments. (I shall be in fear of the comment devourer now.) :-)
Good to have you both along on my day out. x

Paul Andrew Russell said...

That looks like a great day out, Susannah. :-)

Susannah said...

Paul, yes it was fun. :-) Good to see you.

Stafford Ray said...

I cannot resist anything to do with 'mucking about in boats', but your festival is so much more. Great fun, and thanks for the one boat photo!

Susannah said...

Good to see you Stafford. :-)

Actually if you scroll back a bit you will find more narrowboat photos as I've written a couple of posts lately about them - complete with photos!

Selma said...

The owl is adorable. And I love the hats with the long feathers. What fun you all must have had!

Susannah said...

Good to see you Selma, yes it was a good day! :-)

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