One of the least promising of evenings on 30 April, 2002, weatherwise, gave way to a clear night and a beautiful early morning of 1 May here in the depths of rural Suffolk.

Thus the Morris Men of Little Egypt were able to celebrate the coming of May in perfect weather.

After a couple of years dancing away from the village on this important day, 2002 saw the men return, thanks to Peter and Maureen Ford, to their spiritual home above the Glem Valley, looking out to the Stanstead Wood and the park of Kentwell Hall.

5 o'clock shadow? That's a.m. then?

Since our inception, "Dawn" on May Day has been translated as accurately as possible. We have not chickened out and gone for "Sunrise" which is much later. So, as these photos show, we gather in darkness to welcome the light. From the looks of Geoff, we also gather in our sleep.

 I could do this in my sleep  ...   I AM Steady with that stick now.

To ensure the correct rising of the sun, dancing began while it was still nearly dark, but, as sure as eggs have salmonella, soon after the dancing started, the first streaks of a glorious morning drifted across the eastern sky. We had done our part.

Beautiful surroundingsWelcoming the fiery sun with Fires of August

And as the morning sun grew stronger by the minute, so the dancing became more vigorous in a wonderful Suffolk dawn. The setting was spectacular. The creatures of the dawn were there to watch and the ancient trees bore silent witness.

After which we repaired to the Black Lion to read our Thomas Hardy and sack the bloke who wrote this rubbish.
Never take a photo into the sun Ancient ritual?

But not before the all-important group photos had been taken to prove just how fine the dawn had been.

Business as usual Honour satisfied, and the first fag of the day
And the first pint too

As before, a grand English breakfast was served, thanks to Ian, and those who needed to, or could, braced themselves for the day ahead in traditional style.

I'd like you to get on quietly ... very quietly

Quite how well some coped
is open to question.

Page maintained by Stephen Clarke, Copyright(c) . Created: 11/05/2002 Updated: 03/05/2004