A silly Westminster Morris Man
The Date: 13th May 2000
The Time: 10:15 BMT (British Morris Time)
The Place: Westminster Arms, Storeys Gate.
Here we were at the first spot of our first public performance this century. Shirts, trousers and hankies pristine white and crisp (crunchy in one case but the Squire has spoken to the man concerned) tabbards polished, shoes ironed and hats 'as black as your hat'.
Conditions were near perfect. Our team was assembled sticks in hand, many old friends with us, a vague threat of rain in the air, we were outside a pub and it was open.
Westminster was first up, six men ready to go with Black Joker and the man and his dog were standing a few yards away to witness the event. Mitch, accordian strapped to his chest, was scuttling around huddling with various members of the team. "What's he doing" I asked myself. Colin 'team Gob' Fleming had just introduced us to the audience (the bloke and his dog) and we were off.
The music started and we all had an uneasy feeling but couldn't quite put our fingers on it. By the time we had figured it out, it was too late. WHAT'S HE PLAYING UPTON ON SEVERN STICK DANCE TUNE FOR?
In fairness to Mitch, it has to be pointed out that he did ask several of the team elders to sing him the tune just before we started. Singing is not one of the things that the Westminster men are known for and given the source of his information, we should count ourselves lucky that we got a morris tune at all. And just in case you are wondering, yes you can dance Black Joker to the Upton tune, you just have to miss out the four capers after the stick tapping.
In unfairness to Mitch, he was not allowed to forget the incident all day - or for the rest of the summer for that matter Squire's note: It's still being talked about in 2004!. For a final insult, here is a picture of the man himself deep in thought, contemplating the seriousness of his actions.