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21st - 23rd February 2014

Celebrations carried on late into the night!! A sizeable group of us ‘camped’ overnight in our campervans, on the car park of the ‘Hare and Hounds’. There was much agreement that it had been a very fine day indeed, and a superb evening!

Here’s hoping that Saturday  11th  January, 2014 will be enjoyable and as much fun!

Simon Weaver  

A small contingent of Crook travelled across the country to join Susan Clough and Ryknild Rabble to celebrate the 9th anniversary of the death of Alan Stewart (Susan’s husband).  As usual, the high point of the weekend was the opportunity to dance “Knickers in the Hedgerow”, the dance composed by our own Martyn Harvey in memory of Alan. We stayed at a variety of locations around the town, some in vans, some in B&Bs and five of us (Anj, Claire, Evie, Tiffany and Dan) all huddled together on the living room floor at Anjie’s Auntie Hazel’s!

Friday night was informal, fish and chips, pizza etc. and a meet-up at The Granby for a drink and a chat.  On Saturday morning Crook, Ryknild and Jet Set assembled at the whalebones for the first set of the day.  We were very lucky to have a clear blue sky, but the wind was blowing a gale and was BITTERLY cold.  Some of Crook regretted not putting a vest on that morning, and a variety of hats, gloves and scarves were worn when dancing.  Despite the cold, we had a respectable audience  (you have to admire the stamina of the folk from the North East) and our own set of groupies (a contingent of Anjie’s relatives who followed us around during the day).  The next spot at the Bandstand also drew a sizeable crowd, and we added some clogging from Ayliff and a Rapper dance from Ryknild to our performance.  After lunch the final spot was by the War Memorial, outside the Tourist Information office, where we had a lovely big space and a large, enthusiastic audience.  Crook performed their Rapper dance with the aid of a borrowed musician, then all three sides finished by performing “Big Knickers” together.  It was a privilege to have Susan dancing in the Crook set, and a fitting tribute to Alan’s memory.

After tea, the Rapper sides of Ryknild and Crook did a tour around the old town pubs.  Some of the bars were so small that you wouldn’t have thought we would be able to all squeeze in, let alone dance, but we managed to do it without loss of life, limb or furniture.  Crook Rapper would like to thank Richard, of Ryknild, who stood in as our Rapper musician and played for us all evening.  The day was made complete by a visit to the Indian restaurant, where Crook ate far too much.  It remained only to stagger up the hill to the Granby for a final drink, then home (Auntie Hazel’s) to bed (sleeping bag on the floor).

What a great weekend, I can’t wait to do it again soon.

Claire Duplock.