A Sunny Day at Bury Festival

Five Sides Have Fun In The Heat

The start of May in East Anglia has been almost unremittingly warm and sunny. Saturday 16 May was no different when five local sides came together for a series of dancing sessions as their contribution to the annual Bury St Edmunds festival.

The sides gathered in the Abbey Gardens, The sides assemble in the Abbey Gardensbeneath the remains of the Great Gate. There was a sizeable crowd to watch a whole range of dances and dancing styles from Hageneth, Haughley Hoofers, Bury Fair,

Bury Fair go through their paces in the gardens
Green Dragon and ourselves (Little Egypt). Here we met for the first time the impressive
Wolf of Hageneth
Wolf of Haughley
Wolf of Hageneth

After dancing in the gardens, we processed (informally) up Abbeygate Street

The sides process through the Great Gate of Bury Abbey
to the town centre. After that we each took separate pitches around the town, meeting each other at the various venues.

Our first pitch was outside MacDonalds, rather to the consternation of the semi-resident Andean panpipers. We shared this pitch with Green Dragon

Green Dragon at play
with their particular brand of rag coated and face-painted fun.
Green Dragon entertain the crowd

Our second spot was outside the Midland Bank, which we shared with Little Ron and the high-capering men of Hageneth.

Ron's hankies are slightly out of time, it seems.
This made for an interesting contrast of style, Hageneth and Little Egypt, precise/accurate and imprecise/what-the-hell.

Finally, we returned to MacDonalds, Moyses Hall and a bunch of fed-up South American gentlemen. This time we shared the spot with Bury Fair and included a two-set presentation of one of our favourite dances, "The Fires of August", created by a founder member of Bury Fair, and in the Buxhall Tradition. Despite blandishments to end with "Fanny Frail" or the six-handed reel, we performed another joint dance, a rather ragged and "after-lunch" version of The Special, taught us by Mollly-guru Cyril Papworth.

The Special wasn't very...

One final point. It is an offence, punishable by fines of 500, to drink alcohol on the streets of Bury. This understandable, but draconian, anti-lager yob measure made it difficult to get anywhere near the Nutshell (Britain's smallest pub), and we were thrown out of another because Graham had the cheek to take his infant daughter through the doors, but we still managed to find some good ale in the Home Town of Greene King IPA.

I don't think this would be admissible evidence in a court of law.
But it was bloody hot.

Page maintained by Steve Clarke, steve@little-egypt.org.uk. Copyright(c) july 30 1997 Created: 16/05/98 Updated: 27/07/99