Monday, August 29, 2011

Wet end to Whitby

Friday was wet. Very wet. It started raining in the early hours, and by lunchtime was still coming down in buckets. So much so that most of us didn't do anything in the morning, and then when we did move, had a ride into town courtesy of Pete. I walked - in shorts rolled up as far they'd go, a cagoule and a hat. I must have looked a right sight - but, only my legs were wet! I went to see Meet the Tom McConville Band - a very relaxed hour of music, chat and questions from the audience.

 As all of the dance spots had been cancelled (although I did spot Sallyport Sword dancing rapper in The Station pub, we had to have a couple of drinks in The Elsinore, then made our way up to the Spa for the workshop showcase, where all everyone who's been learning stuff all week get a chance to show it off. The views from the clifftop were somewhat different to the rest of the week:

The Procession was also cancelled, so we had  an indoor, small parade and some dance spots. Then me and Stu went back to the cottage, but picked up pie and mash from (you've guessed it) the pie and mash shop on the way. Steak and stout pie, peas, mass and gravy. Excellent on a rainy day.  Cab to The Spa (well it was still raining) for the final ceilidh.

We established a Sheffield corner and picked up loads of friends to come and join us.  The first dance spot of the night were our good friends Handsworth Traditional Sword dancers who gave an excellent performance which you can watch here:

Apologies for the few seconds blip in the middle - had to change camera batteries!

The garland (made from heather collected from the moors was then paraded in), and the dancing continued. The final band and caller of the night was the excellent Martin Harvey and Peeping Tom. While they were setting up we had the second dance spot from Sallyport Sword who fielded not one, not two, but three rapper teams. After they'd all done a dance they joined into one set for a 16 person curly:

They then attemped to make a giant lock. I won't post a picture of it, but lets just say it didn't go as well as they'd hoped - but an excellent display and good on them for trying.

After some more frenetic dancing, it was time for the last dance - The Willow Tree written by Hugh Rippon. Then the garland was brought into the centre of the room, guarded by Goathland Plough Stots and the various awards given out, for supporting the festival, collecting etc.

Then the final song - Wild Mountain Thyme  - led by Will Noble, and heather handed out to all of us to take home. Not like the old days when the garland was hung from the ceilling and it was a free for all...

A very pleasant walk back (it had stopped raining), one or two nightcaps, and suddenly it was very late (or early depending on how you look at it). But, we managed to get up after a few hours sleep and leave the cottage at the appointed time, have a coffee in Sander's Yard with the Matthews family and buy some kippers to take home.  Had good drive across the moors, passed a fully decorated Christmas tree by the side of the road.  Stopped for lunch on the way back at Towton again, and got home mid afternoon. This time our cats were even more disgruntled than last year, as they hadn't been fed for 24 hours due to a mix up over keys....

Great festival again - already booked cottage for next year.  Just 358 sleeps to go.

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