Little Egypt
Off we go again
May Dawn 2011

Another Morris Year is greeted in fine style

The men were all agreed, the morning seemed lighter than in previous years at 4.45 a.m..
Normally we would gather in the pitch dark but on this particular May Day the sky over Stanstead had a definite rosy tinge to it.
Was sunrise going to be unexpectedly early in 2011?
Would it wreck the Squire's impeccable timing of the dance programme?
We would have to wait and see.

The musicians warmed up in the barn with a tune or two, while the dancers waited patiently for Squire to reveal the identity of the morning's first dance.
As I roved out one may morning ...  Don't ask me; I just do as I'm told 
Squire waited patiently hoping someone had recovered his Baldrick, last seen in the bar of the Angel Inn on Boxing Day.

Luckily Mr Bangs had rescued it. 
Kit inspection? What kit inspection? I'm Management, me. 
By now, tension was rising to fever pitch as Squire finally announced "Vandals".

The dance was elegantly executed with a special hey where eight men danced it properly while two extras circled around them.

How did I guess?  It's the certainties that keep us going 
Checking his H. Samuel Ever-Right watch (other cheap and tinny timepieces are widely available, and the Squire's use represents no endorsement on the part of the Morris Men of Little Egypt ), Squire was keenly aware that we were running slightly behind schedule so the dancers and musicians moved straight on into "Jenny Lind".

Some finely-timed sticking was observed, and some wasn't.  
Keep moving. We'll warm up later  Too fast for the human eye 
After a couple more dances it was time for that nerve-wracking moment - starting "Ring O' Bells" at exactly the right time so that it would finish just as the sun rose over Stanstead hill.
The musicians played the introduction. "Not this time, Not this time, Not this time ... This Time!"
With precision timing for which the Squire is justly renowned, plus a couple of extra back-to-backs, his aim was achieved with the final flourish of sticks lit by the first rays of the morning sun.

Such precision  Oh what a beautiful morning 
With the sun now contributing a little warmth to the morning, we could not put off the traditional Kit Inspection.
The men lined up while the officers of the side passed comment.
Despite this being the first dance of the new season, certain amounts of contamination were noted on some shirts and trousers.
Spillage. seepage and ullage were all present, while cream trousers, non-regulation hankies and bell pads transposed were among the other offences.
Much the same as usual.  
You! You there! You in white! Yes you!  I rest my case 
One final dance was requested by some of the newer men who'd been practicing it for many a week - "Skirmish".
A bold choice for 6 a.m., but danced well without a single injury.
And then it was off to The Angel where Kevin was preparing breakfast and Paula brewing tea.
Lovely stuff! 
It's ok, the paramedics have been alerted  Such elegance, such poise. 
Page designed and maintained by Steve Clarke on behalf of the Morris Men of Little Egypt. - - Steve Clarke 2011 - Photographs courtesy and Brian "Baggie" Stephens - 2011