Whitethorn Morris Dance At Sidmouth - a Memory of Sidmouth.

This view is little different from the one seen by Whitethorn Morris at the Sidmouth International Folk Festival on several occasions in the 1980's. We danced and I played my accordian for the Whitethorn Band on the prom and in "The Arena".  

On the last Friday night of the festival we danced our way through the town in a torchlight procession and extinguished our flaming torches in the sea. Thousands of spectators lined both sides of the streets and it is a magical memory that I shall always treasure.

I revisited Sidmouth in August 2006 and watched dancers at the Festival performing on the prom more or less exactly where this picture was taken all those years ago. The steps down to the beach are different and there is now a high concrete kerb separating the road from the prom - very necessary as the prom was absolutely packed with festival goers crowding round the performers.

On this occasion Whitethorn Morris were not there so I was a spectator myself - it did feel strange without my accordian! I met a busker with an old upright honky-tonk piano on the prom and he let me have a go with a couple of ragtime numbers. When I stopped and turned around I found a crowd of people behind listening to me! It was a hot day so I went for a dip in the sea to cool off with Elizabeth. A lovely day out and it brought back happy memories of our visits to the Folk Festival with Whitethorn Morris in the 1980's!  

I write this today as we have just had a daytrip to Sidmouth enjoying what feels like the first day of Spring in 2007 - walking along the prom, throwing pebbles in the sea and having a picnic sitting on the rocks by Jacobs Ladder. The only thing missing from an almost perfect day out was the music and dancing!


A memory shared by John Howard Norfolk on Mar 13th, 2007.
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