Little Egypt in Bury St Edmunds

Day of Dance - 17 April 2010
Ribena, officer, honest.

Little Egypt start 2010 as they mean to go on

Our first outing of 2010 was to meet 51 other sides who were booked to gather in Bury St Edmunds for a Day of Dance arranged by the three national Morris organisations: The Morris Federation, The Morris Ring and Open Morris.
This is an annual event which moves around the UK and is a celebration of the exemption for Morris Dancing from the Licensing Act 2003, meaning that Morris dancers do not have to obtain a licence each time they wish to dance in public.

It was a beautiful sunny morning as we met up at our first stand, outside the Gents Toilets in Abbey Gardens.
In fact we and the other sides decided that the path on the other side of the main thoroughfare from Abbey Gate was a little more attractive.

A suitably pious assembly  Sticking precision 
  Slipping precision  The Massed Band 

Joining us for this opening set were three sides we hadn't met before, Oyster, Redbornstoke and Milton.

This gave the appreciative audience a rare variety of dancing styles, including our own unique take on Ring O' Bells. As regular readers of this website will note, a complete break with tradition for Little Egypt to open with this dance.

It'll be all white on the night Brushin' down my tails
Keep it up lads: we're on Google Street View By way of contrast

A short note at this stage about drinking on the streets of Bury. Notices inform visitors that large fines are payable if you consume alcohol in the restricted centre of the town.
All sides had been warned about this in advance and the men of Little Egypt were irked. Mr Bangs sent emails to the civic and police authorities asking for clarification; their replies were inconsistent.

See? It says so.

Squire took a brief slurp from his tankard as two members of the constabulary passed by, but they weren't interested.
In essence there's nothing to stop you from peaceably consuming alcohol in public but if asked by a policeman to stop drinking, you must obey instantly or face a fine of up to 500.

Luckily the organisers knew of Little Egypt's healthy desire to maintain fluid levels and avoid dehydration and consequently had given us pub-based stands for the rest of the day.
The first of these was The Fox Inn where we arrived just in time for opening. We had to beat Bury Fair and Chelmsford to the bar, and rather wished we hadn't.
The beer was the usual old GK fare and the prices? 3.40 for something called, as I recall, Old Tripe.
And it was.

Summer's here and the time is right...  ...for dancing in the street 
Thankfully our lunchtime venue was The Old Cannon Brewery which was packed with discerning morris folk who could choose from four fine ales brewed on the premises.
Gunners Daughter proved the favourite with the men, as did the fine lunch menu. 
Ranking precision  The Inner Man 

Our partners in crime at this stand were the men of Belchamp Morris who appeared to have doubled in numbers almost overnight.

With heavy hearts we moved on from the Cannon to our final spot of the day, the Black Boy.

There was a friendly welcome from the landlord and an equally friendly welcome from a side we plan to dance out with in Southwold, Pig Dyke Molly.


Also dancing with us were Sharp and Belles LC. Mr Jukes's tongue is still hanging out.

Is this the right dance? Corset is.  I don't know and I don't care 

All in all, it was a great day, the people of Bury were genuinely enthusiastic about the mass Morris invasion and Little Egypt acquitted itself as well as it could.

Which can't be bad.

Page designed and maintained by Steve Clarke on behalf of the Morris Men of Little Egypt. - - Steve Clarke 2010 - Photographs courtesy and Brian "Baggie" Stephens - 2010