Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Look what we've done this year!

The basic idea of New Moon Morris was dreamed up by four people in 2014.  They quickly recruited one other, and the details were decided in pubs over the summer.  We couldn't dance, as there were so few of us, and one had a broken ankle.  However, by the end of the year we were up and running with a practice hall in Redbourn and six members.  We did our first 'dance out' at a private party.

Our hall was very small, so that we had to dance out of the door and onto the landing in several of the dances.  When we got a number of new people interested it was clear that it needed to be much larger - so we moved to Ivinghoe.  We've got around 20 members now, with a couple who come along to practices and events when they can.  Many are musicians, some of whom also dance, and the band is sounding fabulous - although we could do with more dancers to share the dancing.

We were very pleased with how 2015 went, but we are even more pleased with just how busy we've been in 2016.

January:
  • we Wassailed the apple trees in the dark at Jeacock's Orchard in Tring
February:
  • We danced at Hemlock Morris's Ale in Bedford
 April:
  • dancing at Pitstone museum
  • Oxford Folk Festival
  • dancing for St George's Day in and around Aylesbury, then...
  • the New Moon band played for the ceilidh in the evening
  • Rochester Folk Festival
May:
  • dancing as guests of Wicket Brood at the Rising Sun in Berkhamsted  
(I've got to add THIS video again - I just love it!)
 June:
  • dancing at St Albans folk festival, and the same day...
  • the band played at the Stoke Bruerne Family Festival.  The next day...
  • dancing at Stoke Bruerne Family Festival
July:
  • dancing as guests of Whitchurch Morris at the Half Moon pub in Wilstone
 September:
  • Swanage Folk Festival
October:
  • a small group of us played at the Tring Apple Day at Jeacock's Orchard
  • dancing at Tring Day of Dance, (which we also organised)
  • dancing and playing at a private party in Wilstone
  • dancing and playing at a ceilidh in Pitstone.
  • dancing and playing at the Half Moon pub in Hitchin as part of 'Rhythms of the World'
  • our own special tradition of 'Dancing the Sun Down' on Pitstone Hill - to mark the end of summer
 November:
  • dancing at the 'Tring Together' switch on of Christmas lights, and the next day...
  • dancing at Stony Stratford switch on of Christmas lights
 December:
  • the New Moon band played at the Tring Christmas Farmers' Market, and the next day...
  • playing at Ashridge Monument for visitors to the Ashridge Forest and the visitors to the Craft Fair. 
 We've also arranged group music practices, and been out to see the Demon Barbers Christmas Carol 'Lock In', as well as a number of meals.  It's been a busy year, here's to 2017!

There are already photos for earlier events on this blog, so here is a selection of some of the things that we got up to later in the year.  Click on any of these to see all of them as an album at the bottom of the screen.


Squire Martin at Swanage


Amelia with Jackie and Chris at Tring


Cath and David at Hitchin "Monkey Off"


Charles and Amelia at Hitchin
At the end of October we 'Danced the Sun Down' on top of Pitstone Hill, six months after the more usual morris 'Dancing the Sun Up', which has the advantage that you don't have to get up at silly-o'clock in the morning.

It was extremely misty, and a bit windy.  We couldn't even see where the sun was, let alone when it was setting, so we had to keep checking on the Internet to see if we had said goodbye to the summer sun yet.

We were observed by three bemused dog walkers, unlike the crowds of some of our other performances during the year.


Our band

It was not possible to see anything at the bottom of the hill

We also danced at the switching on of Tring's Christmas lights.  It was dark, and very crowded.  Steve Kitchener took some great photos of the event HERE, including some excellent ones of New Moon.

Steve also came to see us in Tring at the Christmas Farmers' Market, a few weeks later, and took some fabulous photos of New Moon playing - find them on FACEBOOK (opens in new page)


Russ sings "Jingle Bells" at Tring
Jackie at Tring Farmer's Market

The following day we turned up at Ashridge in fairly heavy fog - but at least it wasn't raining.  Ashridge was very busy, despite the weather.


Playing in the mist

The dodgy corner...
The fog lifted after a while, and we had an excellent time.  

It's been a very good year, we've done so much, and we have had new people join us - both musicians and dancers.  

Here's to 2017, which is in the planning already...






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