Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Meet The Members - Mags Layton (Musician, Assistant Music Lead & Dancer)

Mags Layton - Musician, Assistant Music Lead & Dancer


 
Who are you and what do you do in the group? (Dancer, Musician - Jack of all trades)  

I’m Mags, and I play fiddle and dance a bit when they’re short of numbers, or to keep my hand (foot) in. 

Why Morris dancing? 
I joined because my daughter persuaded me to, back towards the end of 2015. It seemed a delightfully ludicrous thing to do, and it certainly is. 

Why New Moon Morris and not another side?  
As I said before my daughter persuaded my to join who was already a member.

What's your favourite thing about being in New Moon Morris?
I love the dancing out at festivals, seeing and dancing with other sides. It’s great seeing the variety of costumes & styles, and even when another side does a dance I know, there’s always subtle interpretive differences to discuss. 

The great thing about New Moon is that the music is so strong. Most of the dancers play as well, so when we host a folk night, we can practically fill a pub by ourselves, although guests, regular and occasional are warmly welcomed. It’s a good way to recruit new members and we’re always on the look out for more people. It helps keeps us fresh and brings new ideas for tunes & dances to the side, which is great. 

How long have you been with New Moon Morris?
I have been a member since the latter part of 2015.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Meet The Members - Martin Hicks (Green Man, Musician & Events Organiser)

Martin Hicks (Green Man, Musician & Events Organiser) 
 
Who are you and what do you do in the group? (Dancer, Musician - Jack of all trades)  
Hi I'm Martin Hicks and I am the Green Man for the side as well as drumming and organising local events.


Why Morris dancing? 
It's traditional and why not?

Why New Moon Morris and not another side?  
It's local, fun and there are young(er) women.

What's your favourite thing about being in New Moon Morris?
Dressing up, building folks local enthusiasm, taking part and appreciation for local cultural folk stuff! 

How long have you been with New Moon Morris?
I have been with the group for 2-3 years.

How did you get involved?
Headhunted by Christian at a folk session!

Sun Up - Happy Beltane (May Day)

On the 1st May we merry Morris lot went to dance on top of Pitstone Hill, warts and all!



It was a lovely bright morning, the atmosphere was very special and the countryside views were stunning. With sticks (or a 'Hare's' whip) in our hands and bells on our toes we danced 'The Sun Up' in celebration of the coming Summer.

It was lovely seeing some brave folk joining us this year. After the sun had risen and the moon had gone our work was done. 

For those that came thank-you and those who didn't this is what you missed! We are often 'out and about' so come and join us. Will you come and 'Follow me down the rabbit hole'?

Monday, 31 December 2018

Meet The Members - Musician Bob Lilley

Bob Lilley - Musician
 
Who are you and what do you do in the group? (Dancer, Musician - Jack of all trades)  
 I’m a musician and I play the melodeon.

Bob, on Pitstone Hill
Why Morris dancing? 
I had a feeling of "this is in my blood" about the Morris long before I got actively involved, with Stevenage Sword in 1976. After that there was no looking back.

Why New Moon Morris and not another side?  
I don't drive, and they're local!

What's your favourite thing about being in New Moon Morris?
Goodness! What isn't? 

How long have you been with New Moon Morris?
Since 2014, which is when the side set down roots in Ivinghoe.

How did you get involved?
Headhunted by, Martin L., then Squire after he heard me playing Christmas carols with the Church choir and thought I must be a Morris musician. I wasn't really, but I'm getting there.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Meet The members - Dancer, Dance Lead Assistant, Minutes Secretary & Members Rep - Lou

Lou - Dancer, Dance Lead Assistant, Minutes Secretary & Members Rep


Who are you and what do you do in the group? (Dancer, Musician - Jack of all trades)  I’m Lou here, Members rep, minutes secretary and Dance lead assistant. I dance and love to play my Concertina, however l mainly dance for NMM. 

Louise dances

Why Morris dancing? 
I moved to Berkhamsted and didn’t know anyone apart from Alan and Cath Fincher, NMM bagman and publicity respectively, though boating, our shared interest.  l didn’t drive at the time and each Wednesday Cath kindly took me to a boaters' knit club and mentioned her Morris side needed dancers , l ignored her, until she asked me more directly would you like to try Morris dancing.  Well l wasn’t thrilled at the prospect, however as Cath had been so good to me , l thought l’ll give it a go for her.

When l arrived at the practice hall, l loved the music being played by Christian our lead musician on his melodeon and l was hooked.


I was determined to learn an instrument to play and decided on the concertina because no one else in the group was playing one, l just had to be different!


Louise in Tring
Why New Moon Morris and not another side?  
All ready covered in 'Why Morris Dancing'

Whats your favourite thing about being in New Moon Morris?
My favourite thing about NMM is all the wonderful friends, l have made, the great social side and being introduced to the world of folk music.

How long have you been with New Moon Morris? 
I have been with NMM for 3 years or maybe more!

How did you get involved?  
Already covered in 'Why Morris Dancing'

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Meet The Members - Dancer Cally Barker

Cally Barker - Dancer

Who are you and what do you do in the group? (Dancer, Musician - Jack of all trades)  I like to think of myself as a dancer.

Why Morris dancing? 
My first introduction to Morris dancing was at the village fete and I rather fancied myself in one of the fabulous embroidered skirts! I then had a go at clog dancing but sadly discovered I have 2 left feet and that put paid to that! 

Much much later a friend introduced me to his Morris side (Cotswold this time) and I danced with them for a while. 
Why New Moon Morris and not another side?  
I came across an ad for New Moon and it looked and sounded like good fun and I decided to give them a whirl! What I especially liked was their style and their dances and I decided to join them.
Whats your favourite thing about being in New Moon Morris?
What I especially like is their style and their dances.
How long have you been with New Moon Morris?
I have now been with them for a year!
Any pearls of wisdom?
I am what I call directionally dyslexic which can be somewhat tricky at times but once I’ve got the hang of the turns (it has been suggested i should get a sat nav) then I’m ok. My saving grace is that I keep going and end up where I’m meant to be, so there! 

So you don’t have to be perfect to join a Morris side and if you fancy having a go with bags of fun thrown in and some good days out dancing at festivals etc then New Moon could be worth a try!

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Tring Together Christmas Festival

Hello its me the hare again!

On Friday the 30th November we bell jangling Morris lot danced at Tring Together Christmas Festival which  had a terrific festive atmosphere and wonderful to see so many people enjoying the Christmas cheer.

We were dancing at the crossroads in the high street with the fabulous Whitchurch Morris (with some of Towersey Morris too). It was lovely to have so many of you along joining us for some dancing, bell jangling and stick bashing fun.

Cold, but dancing kept us warm
Tring Photographer Stephen Kitchener took some lovely photos of the Festival, you can see his album of photos (including New Moon Morris) on Facebook HERE.

There is also an excellent VIDEO of the Berkhamsted and Tring Christmas Festivals by Roger Robinson - with some footage of New Moon performing and the Whitchurch/Towersey dancers. 
After dancing we retreated to the Kings Arm's for some beverages and music.

For those that joined us and came down the rabbit hole thank-you. Those who didn't this is what you missed. Will you follow me down the rabbit hole next time?