Summer Solstice 2010

Little Egypt Maintain Another Tradition

Not One, Not, Two, Not Three...

The chalk board outside the Queen's Head pub in Hawkedon said it all - dancers, straw man, food, fire and a virgin.
A virgin?
Would we be lucky this year and find one of those elusive creatures?

It all started well, a fine evening, plenty of dancers and musicians plus our guests Westrefelda and the Haverhill Harlots (in their new 2010 "St Trinians" kit) dancing with the traditional hockey stick.   Old Friends for a special occasion  Old Friends, New Guise - good idea Nev? 

The Straw Man (Thank you Mr Bangs) was all ready, and following a quick inspection by the Squire his modesty was preserved with a whitish apron.
Dances were danced with enthusiasm and a large crowd had come along to watch the spectacle.

All there Nev?
  Giving it some clout  It's that time of year 
  My pub's better than your pub  Where would they be without us? 

Mr Bangs persuaded Westrefelda to let him join them for Gypsy Roundhouse which he executed in his usual inimitable style.

I once blagged some sausages and chips - they only cost us 40

However, beneath the relaxed atmosphere of fun and frolics lurked a serious problem.
The landlord Scott had not been able, so far, to find a virgin amongst his customers.
Would this mean that the tradition of asking a virgin maid to escort the Straw Man to his fiery end might not be continued this year?

Exactly what do you mean by ...?

In despair Squire Neville lifted his golden megaphone to his lips to call for a volunteer virgin to undertake this essential task.
There was silence amongst the crowd but slowly, slowly a shadowy figure was seen weaving amongst the assembled throng.
Then another, and another, and another.
Suddenly we had four virgins!


Neville conducted them to the Straw Man's station and, whipping off the whitish apron invited all four to inspect his (the Straw Man's) tackle.
A moment of stunned silence was followed by laughing, shrieking and blushing (although the virgins seemed completely unphased by the size of his Spanish onions).

Are you sure about this?  I've never seen anything quite like it ... 

The Straw Man was paraded towards the waiting bonfire and placed on top.
The Little Egypt Fire Wardens checked that one of the fair maids had some matches about her person and within moments the bonfire and the Straw Man were ablaze.

Which bit are you carrying?  I've heard of rubbing two sticks together but ... 

Tradition had been preserved, and another fine night with the Morris was enjoyed.

Didn't we have a jolly good time?

The Dancers:

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