We're Stone the Crows Border Morris from Leyland.
Moulton Crow Fair
On Saturday 14th July we were proud to join the long-established Moulton Crow Men at their annual Crow Fair in Cheshire. As the Calendar Customs web site says:
The Crow Fair, held every July at Moulton in Cheshire, includes a dance which is unique to the event. With its origins dating back to the Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, when local unemployed men first performed the dance incognito as a way of raising money before the days of the Welfare State, the dancers are completely unrecognisable in their crow costumes and even today the identities of the dancers are a closely guarded secret. The dance also features a Scare Crow character, and scarecrows decorate the village for the event. As well as the Crow Dance there is a host of other activities and events and plenty of stalls, music and entertainments; it's a real family event.
Ilkley with 400 Roses Belly Dancers
Saturday 23rd June saw up flying off to Ilkley for a full day dancing hosted by the unique 400 Roses Belly Dancers, and also joined by Saddleworth Clog & Garland. We started off at the Bandstand with a very appreciative audience and we all had a go at belly dancing with 400 Roses. Then a tour around Ilkley, some nice cool beers for lunch, and a lovely final spot at the Riverside. And we kept our hats on so we wouldn’t catch our death of cold, obviously. Smashing day out.
Midsummer dance out at Croston
On Thursday 21st June, Stone the Crows had a lovely evening dancing on the longest day. We danced at the Lord Nelson pub in Croston from 19:30 until late, joined by the schoolchildren of Trinity & St Michael’s Primary School in Croston, Rivington Morris, Royal Preston Morris, Newburgh Morris, Fylde Coast Cloggers and Amounderness Ladies Morris. The evening was warm and the company was warmer.
Preston People’s Festival
Stone the Crows attended Preston People’s Festival on Saturday 16th June. Well done to the organisers and all who took part in the event, especially during the torrential downpours. We, the Crows, were lucky in that respect – the rain had mostly eased off when we danced in front of The Black Horse pub, which was enjoyed by ourselves and the audience. Then it was up to the Flag Market for a free drink and chat to everyone. Altogether an enjoyable day despite the weather.
Pendle Witch Fayre
On Bank Holiday Monday 28th May, the Crows were invited to perform for the Pendle Witch pub fayre alongside a talented singing duo and the Gypsy Dancers. The weather was incredibly hot so we had to sample the cool beers on offer. We danced two sets always starting with our signature dance, Ragged Crow. Some of the Crows were showing off their strength and managed to break a couple of our sticks with their enthusiastic dancing! We finished with a group Tinners Rabbit and got lots of the crowd participating, including the landlord, Jim. We hope the day was a success for him and his pub!
Cuerden Valley Country Park
On one of the hottest days on record for May, the Crows descended on Cuerden Valley Country Park, to perform at their annual carnival. There were stalls as diverse as Lancashire Wildlife Trust, sword fighting, vegan food and tombolas, the latter exciting many members of the side, particularly our secretary, Clare, who has a very penchant for tombolas and seeks them out wherever we go. Dancing was good, despite the heat, and we did two very successful sets, both culminating in a Tinners Rabbit. We danced both sets outside the St John’s ambulance tent, who were luckily not needed to deal with dehydrated or injured crows, but who were happy to participate in our massed dance, which they apparently they always do when they are somewhere we are dancing. It was all round a very good day and Linda came away with a strawberry plant, a wild garlic plant and a tombola prize, but that was only because it was win a prize every time.
Upton upon Severn Folk Festival
All the Crows are back safe in their nests from what was a wonderful weekend, as score upon score of Morris (and other) dancers and musicians filled the streets and pubs of Upton upon Severn at their Annual Folk Festival on the May Day weekend with music, dance and sheer enjoyment. A massive hats off and thanks to the organisers and all the volunteers who made the festival so much fun for everyone, performers and audiences alike. If you’ve seen any of the many styles of Morris dancing and enjoyed it why not contact your local side about having a go, you won’t regret it. We Crows dance in the border style of Morris and will be having fun performing most Thursday evenings throughout the summer at various pubs around Lancashire and at other events so come along, have a fun evening, have a chat to us – we’re a friendly bunch and always happy to help with anything you’d like to know.
Dance up the Sun
4.30am on 1st May found us rising much earlier than usual to head off to Bolton to dance the sun up to our signature dance ‘Ragged Crow’ on May Day morning. We were very lucky and despite the almost freezing temperatures the sky was clear and the sunrise was spectacular. A few hardy souls came to watch us and we were almost joined by some bemused cyclists who were up and about surprisingly early. Once dancing, we soon warmed up and danced the sun high above the horizon. We then retired to eat a hearty breakfast at a nearby Crow’s nest.
Amounderness day of dance
Amounderness Ladies Morris presented a free Day of Dance in Chorley on Saturday 28th April and Stone the Crows Border Morris were kindly invited to take part. It was a sunny, if cold, day and the Crows flocked to Chorley in good number. We shared our dance spots with the energetic Powderkegs Morris which ended with a joint ‘Worcester Monkey’ dance to end our set. We also danced alongside the the amazing Flash Company, 400 Roses belly dancers, and Fylde Coast Cloggers. It was a very enjoyable day and the beer flowed as we sampled some home-cooked Turkish wraps. We look forward to dancing out with them again next year.
Border Teams congregate in Ledbury
Invited by Silurian Morris to their annual gathering of border morris teams in Ledbury, Herefordshire, we travelled in style by coach. All teams showed off a dance under the roof of the Market House, then teams dispersed around the town for more dancing. At tea time we were all back at the Market House for a final fling, where we were very grateful of the roof (as the weather was a tiny bit inclement). Other teams there were: Bakanalia, Beorma, Beltane, Domesday, Ledbury and Styx of Stroud. A great day, thank you Silurian for inviting us.
Two 50th birthdays on Good Friday
Crows were hosted by John O’Gaunt Morris in Lancaster on their annual coach tour on Good Friday, with guests Southport Swords and Yon Lot (cloggers).
The weather was good, and in the morning we danced in Milnthorpe market square and bought goodies from the farmers’ market stalls (amazing olives), then repaired to the Malt Shovel in Warton for a great lunch (amazing chips) and not one, but two, birthday cakes (amazing cakes) to celebrate John O’Gaunt Morris and Southport Swords both being 50 years old this year.
It was the first outing for our new animal mascot (amazingly large crow) which was much admired.
In the afternoon we danced in Arnside opposite the pier before heading back for an evening social at the Lansil in Lancaster.
Moulton Crow Fair
On Saturday 14th July we were proud to join the long-established Moulton Crow Men at their annual Cr[...]
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