Thought about joining a Morris team since Wickham Folk Festival, and had a look on the web to see which of the local ones I'd prefer and could get to. Other Val is thinking of joining Mayflower Morris, a clog dancing team, with pretty red and black costumes. They do some really nice dances, but dancing with heavy clogs on looks like too much hard work, plus their squire blows a whistle at them!! They also practise on a Monday which is no good for me, as that's choir evening.
Jackstraws are supposedly a Farnborough side, but they practise in Hale for some odd reason, very difficult to get to from Farnborough. Didn't fancy dancing in a smock (or Daisy the cow costume!), although I'm assured smocks are more practical than the pretty dresses. No relations of the New Labour MP although I understand he likes morris dancing!
Fleet were a possibility, although further away, but they dance in bare legs - not with my tarantula-like pins mateys!
Fleur de Lys seemed ideal, as they do a mixture of traditional dances, with sticks, staves and hankies, as well as a few of their own, and I liked their purple dresses. I saw them dancing at the May Day celebrations in Guildford. They practise in Guildford which is handy for the train, although there's a bit of hanging around involved - must find something to do for 2 hours from when my train arrives until practise starts! Things will get better when the train times change in December.
I've been to practise twice now, and met most of the ladies and musicians, and they are all really nice people. The side seems to be more about having fun than being foot-perfect, although some of the ladies are very knowledgeable about the dance tradition. I've kind of been thrown in at the deep end, as the ladies were busy practising for their anniversary trip to Dublin, and had no time to teach me steps or jargon really! Still, good fun, will keep it up and see if I'm any good!