Monday, September 16, 2013
EXMOUTH echoed to the sound of jingling bells, clicking sticks and hollering whoops recently as the Exeter Morris Men danced out at The Bicton Inn in Bicton Street.
Morris dancing is a rare sight around Exmouth, as the town currently doesn’t have its own side.
It was the first time that the Exeter Morris Men had danced in Exmouth for two years and their first appearance at the Bicton.
“We loved it,” said Exeter Morris Men’s bagman Mike Painter. “It was a superb spot. The atmosphere was great. It was a genuine, old-fashioned, unspoilt pub, a good local clientele and a good crowd watching us, and that’s what we enjoy doing.”
The colourful side gave it everything, performing with great gusto to an appreciative audience.
“We always like dancing with a crowd around us,” said Mike. “Sometimes you find yourselves dancing by yourselves, which is a bit lonely, but it was good at the Bicton.”
The Exeter Morris Men – who formed in 1951 and are members of the Morris Ring Of England – had a difficult season last year due to poor weather, but have had a terrific one this year.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant,” said Mike. “Every time we’ve danced out we’ve had fine weather.”
The side – now nearing the end of its season – is currently on a recruitment drive for next year. Anyone interested in joining is invited to attend an “open-evening” practice at the Ide Memorial Hall, at 8pm on Thursday, October 3.
Will they be back at the Bicton next year?
“Definitely. The pub made us very welcome, advertised our presence with posters, gave us a free pint and the landlady was super. We’re very impressed. We’ll certainly go there again.”