Well it was a fine morning as Jon, James and I cruised into the stately driveway of Halsway Manor, folk centre of the Southwest and place where Graham Barrett & Dick Musson branched out from West Somerset Morris Men many years ago - and so started the 40th Anniversary Easter Tour with 73 friends, musicians and dancers.
The dancing started and soon guests of the manor came out to enjoy the spectacle and enjoy some Simnel cake following the TDMM Cake Dance – a traditional dance for all of 6 days!
After dragging Sweet Coppin away from 'a quick cup of tea' the morris convoy was off to Halse, a regular dance spot for the Easter Tour. Total grid-lock was avoided by prearranged car parking admirably handled by Richard Shepherd but the road was soon blocked by villagers and dancers – and the sun still shone! The usual dance gremlin struck a few dancers and the Taunton Tradition took on some new variations!
With a thirst building we left Halse for the short drive to Norton Fitzwarren where our old boys had honed their skill many years ago. The Village Hall Committee had all been beavering away long before this day to provide a smooth dance surface, prepare and lay a two course banquet and a bar of epic proportions! Was it the smell of food, the unfamiliar weight of a Squires duties or the bag of new TDMM badges that caused Tim to veer off course in the Taunton Tradition? Only the crowd of six Norton worthies will know and we were soon to leave them for more of Cotleigh's finest and a meal with numerous toasts. With a heavy heart and waistline. and an offer for future catering by the NVHC team. we left and headed to Taunton.
The vision of morris was quick to draw a crowd of tired shoppers at the Market House and the sun helped. It was then away to the Taunton Museum courtyard and a place to dwell upon history as we danced the last few sets for those that supped on tea.
I would like to thank everyone that helped me to organise this celebration tour and those in the NVHC and museum for their contributions to our well being. It was a day to remember.