News and pictures - 2014

 All goes swimmingly at Swanage Festival


HuMP was one of 50 dance sides who drew thousands of people to Swanage Folk Festival.
We all had a great time, dancing on the beautiful Victorian pier, outside the parish church and at other sites in this historic town.

A highlight  was the processional dance for all the sides, along the sea front. Every dancer was offered a swig of the  Slovakian dancers' powerful potion at the end.

HuMP is pictured, left, with the pier master and, right, with their young Maid of the Mill, a member of Taeppas Tump morris.                                                                       September 6 and 7

 Motoring along to serene Nuffield Place


We spent a gentle summer's afternoon at Nuffield Place, Henley, the home of the late Lord Nuffield, founder of the Morris Motor Company.

The weather was gentle: we, of course, were full energy and vigour as we danced on the lawn for visitors. Afterwards we relaxed and picnicked in this serene and beautiful place.

Morris, Wolseley and vintage cars associated with the Nuffield company are invited to park outside the house front door. Somehow, a splendid Riley (above right) managed to hover in the wings there as well.                                                                                                           July 12


 We tea (tent) dance as rain hammers down

It's always great to dance on home turf, where people know and love you - and possibly feel free to give you an honest opinion of your performance! Here we are in action at Hurst Show and Country Fayre.

Clockwise, from above left, the day started well, grey but dry. Then the drizzle started and a brolly protected our precious instruments. Then our anti-rain dance failed to work. Nothing daunted, we retired to the tea tent where we danced as the rain hammered down. Our appreciative audience supped and nibbled as they watched. It was all rather cosy.  

A big part of the fun of the fayre is visitors taking part in our joining in dance. They did spendidly, as usual.                                                                                                                 June 28 


 Musician Mike steers us to Evesham festival


We had a brilliant summer's weekend at the National Morris Weekend based in Evesham.

Our first dancing (above left) was at The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, which is steeped in six centuries
of history. Then we boarded the Spirit of Freedom boat for a river trip (above right) back to Evesham. The captain kindly allowed our musician Mike to take the helm for a while.

We danced at spots round the town (below right). We also enjoyed some relaxed singing at the campsite, accompanied by our musicians.                                                          June 21 & 22


 HuMP journey to Lands End in ten minutes

Hurst Morris dancers and musicians wisely avoided the quick route through the River Loddon ford (scene of many marooned vehicles) to meet Shinfield Shambles border morris for a delightful evening at the Lands End pub, Charvil.

Going the long way round to avoid the ford meant the journey to our version of Lands End took all of ten minutes. Enthusiastic customers joined in with our dancing.                              June 5

Sizzling summer arrives for care home date  

West Oak Care Home in Wokingham  laid on the first day of sizzling summer temperatures for us - along with refreshing drinks.

Residents gathered to watch us in their attractive central garden.

They and their families gave us an  enthusiastic welcome and support.

We are pictured performing Skirmish from the Adderbury tradition.

                                         May 17

Hurst Morris paint the town blue and white

  HuMP became a popular part of Reading's nightlife when we danced there with Aldbrickham Clog
  and Step Dancers on the evening of May 15.

  We started off by Reading Town Hall (above) and then finished up in Broad Street for another
  encounter with a delivery lorry (see below).

  We had enthusiastic audiences and were told there were elements of traditional Indian dance in
  our performances. A Portuguese folk dancer joined in with one of our dances. Quite an
  international night!                                                                                                  May 15

 Sunny Saturday A321 tour with some showers 

HuMP danced their way up the A321 road in a packed day of performances to hundreds of people.

We started outside Wokingham Town Hall as the town council's Sunny Saturday event, above left. We just carried on when it became Rainy Saturday. Lots of shoppers and children joined in with our dancing.

Then we headed north up the A321 for the Polehampton Infants School spring fair at Twyford, above right and below left. We arrived with the rain and so danced in the school hall, with lots of pupils having a go.

Final stop was The Mount Care Home in Wargrave. We were greeted warmly - and with more rain. HuMP  Squire (leader) Ian Brant said: "We had a great A321 road tour. Everyone was very welcoming. It was all very English with our performers and audiences just ignoring the weather and having fun."                                                                                                        May 10


Tally Ho! HuMP dance in the spring on May 1st

We danced in the spring on
a damp May 1 evening at The
Tally Ho pub at Eversley.

But a little bit of rain failed to dampen spirits. We shared the
fun with Fleet Morris who are based in Yateley.

It was our first pub dance out of the season. Five days later we were performing at the Turners Arms, Mortimer.

HuMP does its bit to keep pubs alive: we will be dancing at more than nine this year.          May 1

 Pleasures and perils of dancing at Oxford 


Ancient and beautiful Oxford proved again to be a fabulous place to dance. The city was packed
for the folk weekend with shoppers, visitors and dozens of morris sides.

When you choose to dance in a public place there can, of course, be hiccups.

A large and decidedly unfriendly dog hurled itself at one of our dancers. She gallantly carried on regardless and emerged from the dance unscathed. We were later confronted by a huge lorry intent on making a delivery as we performed. Our Sheila and Patsy bravely stood in front of it as we finished our dance.

But the rest of the time we had a ball. Many people, including a party of Greek visitors and some Oxford students, joined in to dance enthusiastically with us. We posed endlessly for photos with many tourists. Lunch was in a sunny, cobbled square.                                                 April 26


Ready to slay dragons for St George's Day

Cookham Bridge Rotary Club members joined in to dance enthusiastically when we helped them celebrate St George's Day.

Afterwards they praised our "very professional performance." We
had shown "great enthusiasm, character and, indeed, stamina." Honest, that's what they said!
How very kind.
Squire Ian composed and recited splendid poetry to mark the day.

HuMP celebrates 25th birthday

This year is a great one for Hurst Morris People - we're celebrating our 25th birthday.

The side was started in February 1989 by Hurst villagers Christine and Tim Taylor. A 25th anniversary Ceilidh was held at Shiplake Memorial Hall to mark the occasion.

Christine, still one of our dancers, and Tim were honoured guests, along with other current and previous members, including founder member Penny Shaw. Dancing was to music by Patsy Smith and Emmy Goodby, with Howard Ballard calling.

The side is blessed with brilliant bakers - one of those, Margaret Russell, baked and decorated a fabulous birthday cake. A raffle organised by Jason Yannacopoulos raised £84 for HuMP's charity of the year, The National Autistic Society.                                                                   March 22

   Above, present and past members gather, with Tim and Christine holding the cake.
   Below, dancing in action at the picturesque hall and the cake surrounded by hats.


Tim said: "When we started the side we aimed for high standards of performance and presentation. We're pleased to see that has been maintained. We do wish HuMP well for the next 25 years.

"We started a mixed team of men and women so we could dance together. With few mixed teams at the time, we had opposition and criticism." Happily, that dissent has faded away and HuMP is now loved, appreciated and firmly part of the morris scene!

Hurst's borough councillor Wayne Smith has sent the side a special message congratulating them on their anniversary.

HuMP's silver year is a busy one with many invitations to dance. Performance venues include: Hurst Show and Country Fair, Oxford Folk Weekend, Evesham Festival, Swanage Folk Festival and Henley Show.

The side pictured in 1995 by Baylis Media Ltd at Hurst Horse Show & Country Fair