A Grand Spell of Sunshine - The Life and Legacy of Francis FrithA Grand Spell of Sunshine - The Life and Legacy of Francis Frith

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Whitethorn Morris Dance At The Red Lion Coleshill

A Memory of Coleshill.

For many years morris sides danced in the road in front of the pub garden of the Red Lion. This has been a popular venue to celebrate May Day morning at dawn. Whitethorn Morris and their Whitethorn Band made this a really exciting way to kick off the "dancing season" in the dark pre-dawn, with a slowly growing crowd of sleepy Coleshill villagers emerging from their cottages to come and watch.

I played my accordian and sometimes had to shelter under an umbrella to keep my keyboard dry! The jolly landlord came out and passed around a hipflask of strong liquor to encourage both the musicians and the dancers! As dawn broke the music and dancing became more vigorous - helped by the drink no doubt.

Our dancing companions from Grand Union Morris and our Whitethorn Band and Whitethorn Morris Dancers then go into the Red Lion along with scores of villagers for a traditional English cooked breakfast! I don't know how the landlord and his staff managed to do it! Probably a hundred huge cooked breakfasts served at the bar  and all eaten by 7 am !!  

What fun and what memories!  Particularly those occasions when it rained and we didn't actually get to see the sun rise!

With thanks to John Howard Norfolk for this memory of Coleshill

Added 24 February 2007


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