Every year the Oakworth Village Morris Men hold a weekend of dance to which they invite other morris sides from around the country. There were a variety of styles of morris dancing present including Cotswold, Border, North-West and Longsword. Also present were the 400 Roses, they describe themselves as Tribal Fusion and perform belly dance inspired dances infused with their own unique take on British folk dancing. It was a full weekend of dance. The weekend started for some on the Friday evening with a beer or two to greet those camping. Saturday was a coach tour around the beautiful countryside, stopping to dance at various village pubs along the way. With ten sides present on the Saturday we had to split into two coaches and take separate routes. Despite coming to the same pub for lunch, due to the staggered lunch times, one tour was dancing while the other was eating and vice-versa so we were not able to see all the other sides dancing. This was only a minor issue though. The weather was good for dancing as it was not too hot and remained dry. The dancing was all to a very high standard and everybody was in a good mood (once certain hangovers had abated that is!). All in all a relaxed and pleasant day.
The weather was again kind to us on the Sunday. This time we had thirteen sides present, which meant three separate tours. Also due to limitations on the numbers on each train we had to set off at different times. The result was again that we did not get to see all the other sides dance which was a pity. We started dancing outside the station in Haworth before boarding our train to Ingrow West where we danced on the platform before returning to Haworth and continuing our tour around the town. We had another day of excellent dancing and entertaining the locals and visitors alike. After a full weekend sides were beginning to flag a little and not many made it as far as the final stand. In fact there were only three musicians to play for the last dance, ‘Bonny Green Garters’, in which as many as are still able all join in, whether they know it or not.
It was a great weekend and I hope to do it all again next year.