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Rochester

The Sweeps Festival

5 May 2007

 
Here we go again! 
The Rochester Sweeps Festival is one of the genuine Little Egypt traditions. The side has participated virtually every year since it was formed.
As always, Little Egypt were led from the front, with Nev taking charge of all arrangements, from whistle to weather.
As always the first port of call was the Gordon Hotel for their Beer Festival - Nelson's Blood a mere 6.4% this year, must be cutting down on the Pusser's Rum.
It had the usual effect on the men, though.
Be prepared

Lunch was leisurely - some risked a return to Elizabeth's, who had sent the Squire a precautionary e-mail reminding him that on the last visit some Little Egypt men had upset other customers by making slightly too much noise and using "Morris language" too liberally. On this occasion we were deemed to have behaved "fairly well" but as a precaution the bagman personally apologised to all other diners for any upset which might have been caused.
Not me, guv, honest.
Please can I have some more?
Shooting you, shooting me

The day's shenannigins ended with the Special Molly Dance in the company of a side we'd not met before in Rochester - the very Black and White Pig Dyke Molly.


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Heading for the stars  Look! This says Little Egypt DANCE, ok? So it's official.
There was a slight delay to the start of dancing because Sir Jukes's bag, which he'd had sent on ahead by post chaise was not left in the agreed place.
It took him quite some time to spot it in the almost empty car park.
The men meanwhile ensured their beer pots were ready and sound.


First stand, the Golden Lion where a spirited Ring O' Bells was danced, then on to the Eagle where an unlisted Maldon Greenjackets side was spotted.
Alan ran in the opposite direction as we joined our neighbours from across the border for a double Vandals.

Sir Jukes's bag once more went on an expedition, this time halfway up a street sign.

Plain as the whiskers on my face

The first afternoon stand saw a couple of antipodean visitors expressing a wish to take a free trial lesson in Morris Dancing - they weren't bad but those corks kept getting in the way.

Best behaviour, Sebastian?
Could be a long day!

By now the sun was shining as we made our way back to our very fine and brand new coach for the journey home during which someone christened the upholstery, his trousers and his dignity, with an almost full pint of fine ale.

Tears were shed...

What a waste of good beer.




As always with the Morris Men of Little Egypt, Great Fun had been had, Good Ale had been drunk, Good Friends had been met and made, and Good Resolution had been promised:

Same time next year!


She warned me not to come 
 
Just hanging about waiting for something to happen  Where? I can't see anything ... 
Oh, there.  I keeps all my secrets in here, my precious - and a little label telling me who I am 
Hi-visibility comes to the Morris  That's that then. 
Jeez, the folks will never believe this back home  Don't knock it mate, our grandparents were probably transported for behaving like this 

Then we teamed up with old chums Westrefelda for a couple of dances
Our mates from Westrefelda

 
Looking good 
I only do this to get on YouTube  THIS way ... 
We should be called 'Straightforward Morris' ...  ... we like to keep our feet on the ground 
What did I do to deserve to end up with this lot?  You should worry. I only came along for the music 
I ask you: greenfly ... at my age?  I got four of the blighters, but the rest surrounded me 
 
  • Background Music: "The Keys of Canterbury"
  • Sequenced by John Renfro Davis
  • Acquired, with thanks, from: www.contemplator.com
 
   
   
   
   
   
   

Page maintained by Stephen Clarke, steve@little-egypt.org.uk. Photography by Brian "Baggie" Stephens. Copyright(c) 2007. Created: 09/05/2007 Updated: