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Morris sides meet for Dance Out at West Berks pub





The jingling bells at The Bell at Aldworth last Tuesday announced the arrival of two mixed Morris sides for a Dance Out.

OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers Pic: Geoff Fletcher

Both sides enjoyed the beer and hospitality, as well as the banter between them, at CAMRA award-winning pub.

Sometime near 8pm the melodeons, concertinas, violins and drums struck up by the village well for the first dance by OBJ in their green, black and white rag jackets.

The Bracknell area side follow the flamboyant Border Morris tradition, their drum beating and stick clashing adding to the noise and spectacle.

OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher

They danced on into the evening, alternating with the local Garston Gallopers from the Valley of the Racehorse in their purple and green, the village colours of the school uniform (when East Garston had a school) and the racing colours of a prominent racehorse trainer from the village.

Their emblem too is the traditional carousel galloper.

OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
Garston Gallopers at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher
OBJ Morris at The Bell Aldworth Pic: Geoff Fletcher

Garston Gallopers practice on Monday evenings in East Garston Village Hall, and are always on the lookout for new dancers and musicians.

On Monday, June 24, they will dance out with Mayfly at the Carnarvon Arms Whitway at 8pm and on Sunday, July 7, they perform at East Garston Fete on Jubilee Meadow.

OBJ boast a large membership, due they say to enjoying themselves during performances and socially and accepting all, regardless of their number of left feet, fitness or sense of rhythm.

The following evening also saw a visit to The Bell by the Wantage-based Icknield Way Morris Men.



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