May Day, 2024

Our first dance out of the season, the May Day, Beltane or Kala Me (May Day in Cornish) dance where Morris sides traditionally dance the sun up and start their year. Well, with the almost constant rain over the past few months our place to dance the sun up, the stitches, was too wet so we decided to dance the sun down instead – after all, it is just about making sure that the sun understands who is in charge here ….

Our dance out now starts with another innovation, our ‘Ow Tevi’, a Maori haka style introduction including lots of shouting in Cornish, drumming and running around. From this new audience grabbing start we went straight into a Bear Down Man.

Next came a call to our ‘creature’, another new feature of the side this year. It is tradition al for Morris sides to have a creature that brings them luck and good fortune, ours is Morsterren (Sea Star), a Selkie. More normally associated with the Irish and Scottish brands of Celtic folklore, Morsterren was blown into Cornish waters by a storm but finding so many seals in the area decided to stay. When we are rehearsing over the winter she remains in the harbour waters protecting the village from storms but for the season she joins us in our dances. So we poured a libation into the Valency and called her to us, giving her a crown of seaweed as a welcome. In tribute to Morsterren we have added some silver ‘seal skin’ tatters to our jackets, 64 new tatters on each.

We have also elected a Green Man to represent the coming of summer in his new green tatters. As you can see, an awful lot has happened during the winter! As well as rehearsing our existing repertoire of dances we have added several new ones which we are keen to show.

Dancing continued with September 4th and then our own, Boscastle, dances Boscastle Breakdown and Cider Stomp and Lovers’ Green. A musical interlude and Upton-on-Seven followed then we gave two dances; Bonnie-so-Blue, which is new to us this season and Harbourside another distinct Boscastle dance written by our Foreman.

The dance out ended with a couple of Tinners’ Rabbits, one for us and one with audience members – lots of volunteers this time – then off to The Cobweb for a bevvy or two to celebrate a new season well kicked off!