2018 Resume -
The weather was fine for our first dance out of the season. this year with our new guests : Oxford University Morris Men along with Charlbury & Finstock Morris Men
The usual stand at the church of St.George took place when the congregation emerged having drunk a toast to the new Royal Familly addition !
The three sides danced at The George Hotel until 9.45pm and then took supper – kindly provided by licensee John ‘Baggy’ Saunders – who also put on a special priced Hooky Gold at £3 a pint - ‘cheers Baggy’
A grand music session finished the evening – good songs – good company – good cheer
The new vicar – (also a George) gave us a song as well
One of the best Sunrise mornings we have had – a beautiful sight over Edge Hill as ‘Bright Phoebus arose’- a supportive gathering on the summit of Warwickshire as we danced in the Summer.
On then to the village for our traditional tour starting in Bennett Place- coffee at The Howard Arms at 6.30pm where we were met by Magda. The tour continued around the village dancing in Washbrook Place for Fred’s Birthday ! The Olde Foxe House for Sam and then to Berry View for Betty.
Final stand at The Howard Arms this year for breakfast – Pawel, the new manager, welcomed us to a magnificent ‘Full English’ and we dispersed at around 10.00am
Altogether a good May Day
Ilmington School May Celebrations – Friday 25th May
The annual celebrations (since 1951) at Ilmington School where the year 5 provide 6 Morris dancers for the intense training commencing a week before the event.
As usual ‘Shepherd’s Hey’ was given much to the delight of parents and May Queen alike.
Gardens Day – Sunday 27th May
This year’s guests : The Pebworth Morris Men.
The relationship with Pebworth goes back to the 1970′s when a few men came to join the Morris in Ilmington – returned to Pebworth and a few weeks later had mustered some 10 men to form their own side. Starting with a couple of Ilmington dances they soon widened their repertoire and today have a number of their own dances. A new traditional side is born ! Today they joined us for our usual tour around the village to be joined at the village hall be the Ilmington School Junior Morris Dancers- the new year 5 dancers from last weeks school May celebrations
Finally we all retired to the school for a splendid tea
On this day we were visited by an old school friend of Paul’s – Adam Strickson who brought along a friend – Naomi Parker who is going to undertake a major project to build a replica Ilmington Hobby Horse for us. This replacement will be much lighter that the original and easier to use whilst retaining the looks of the old original. The project is going to require funding and the side will be looking for sponsorship towards it in the near future
BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace – Sunday 5th August
The event ran for four days (2-5 August) and daily there were Morris sides performing:
This year – Adderbury Morris Men; Hereburgh Morris; Charlbury & Finstock Morris Men and on Sunday it was us along with the School Junior side.
The day was exceptionally hot however the performances went well and the Junior Morris Dancers from Ilmington school danced really well with good audience participation during the ‘have a go’ session. We met with Adam Henson for a photo shoot. The old Hobby Horse also featured at the show as did ‘Doris’ – Paul’s 1971 Morris Minor van.
A grand day for all – including the juniors Mums & Dads !!
Ilmington Flower Show & Fete – Monday 27th August
This year’s annual village show was a success with good weather.
This year we were joined by the Junior School Morris Dancers.
The Morris led the school May Queen – Tilley Kinchin – to the Horticultural Show tent to open the Flower Show side of the proceedings. She arrived in an open top blue Triumph Stag (owned by John Sergeant) and the Morris dancers encircled the car before dancing Her Majesty to the opening ceremony. The show was also graced by a Spitfire & Hurricane flypast of the Battle of Britain Flight. Excellent side shows made for a successful afternoon.
October sees visits from a number of Morris sides who take an interest in our village and our village tradition of dances. We take a pride in our dance tradition and actively promote the dancing of the Ilmington Dances to any Morris sides that take an interest.
Armistice Day Sunday 11th November
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the final ending of World War I – we danced to the memory of the many Morris Dancers and loved ones that gave their lives that we should benefit from a better life.
There was a particularly poignant event at the War Memorial at 11 am when the side was present for the 2 minutes silence and the brief presentation given by the Reverend Chris Goble – following which our lead singer Marc Griffiths led the side in the singing of ‘Only Remembered’
At The Red Lion afterwards the side performed the ceremonious act of regaining the tradition of the Morris from the girls of the village – as happened in many villages throughout the country. The village ladies that had danced in 2014 reformed to participate in this event and danced along with the men and the junior Morris Dancers from the village school. Afterwards the company were provided with complimentary drinks by the landlords – Andy & Dee
Boxing Day – Wednesday 26th December
Unfortunately we were unable to assemble a Mummers or a Morris side this year-
we are ever hopeful for next year!