FIDDLESTICKS

NORTH WEST CLOG DANCERS

Fiddlesticks’ 2005 May Tour “Back to our Roots”

For what was now becoming a tradition, a May Tour was planned with the theme of “Back to our Roots”, i.e. the destination was the north-west of England with the intention of dancing in many of the locations from where our dances originated. And so a jolly crowd set off early one Saturday morning for Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire, the home of clog makers Walkley Clogs. We entertained the residents of Hebden Bridge at a number of different locations, interspersed with lunch and a visit to the clog factory where various purchases were made.

Then we departed for our accommodation for the weekend, the Marriott Hotel at Broughton in Lancashire. Time for a few enthusiasts to try out the swimming pool before we set off for a fish and chip supper at Harry Ramsden’s in Blackpool. Then a chance to sample the delights of Blackpool’s Golden Mile. The groups of scantily clad hen-partygoers were quite an eye-opener for some of us.

Our first dance venue on Sunday was to be Fleetwood sea front, where we just HAD to dance “Fleetwood”, but due to injury we needed another dancer to learn this overnight. Cilla drew the short straw, and lights burned in her hotel room long into the night. Early risers may have seen Cilla and Linda practising Fleetwood in the corridor on their way to the swimming pool next morning. Well done Cilla for stepping into the breach!

After a breezy dance session at Fleetwood, it was on to Rivington Hall Barns where there was already a meet of motorcyclists taking place. Some of these were extremely rude and obviously took great delight in revving up and creating clouds of fumes in our faces. Not before time we retreated round the corner to Rivington Great House where we found a much more polite and appreciative audience.

The final dance spot of the day was in Clitheroe town centre where, of course, one of our dances was Clitheroe. Back to the hotel for a relax/swim/sleep or whatever, before going for our evening meal at the Punch Bowl Inn in Churchtown. Although apparently not the Churchtown from where our dance of the same name originates, we had to dance it before eating, with everyone taking part.

It had previously been decided not to plan Monday’s dances until Sunday evening – bad mistake! It rather spoiled dinner for the dance planners (Kay and Linda). Definitely won’t do that again.

Our final day, Monday, was spent at Quarrybank Mill in Styal, Cheshire (lots of our dances were originally mill dances with “implements” being items from the mills, e.g. bobbins). Lots of time allowed for looking round the mill, and lots of dancing too in front of a sizeable audience.

Then back home again to Norfolk. Another greatly enjoyable Tour weekend.

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