Whirling like windmills at Pitstone

On Bank Holiday Monday, 28th May Phoenix performed at the Pitstone museum. A new booking for us, we had a nice relaxing day in a very pleasant atmosphere .

We entertained the public in the courtyard outside the cafe where we were well received. After all, what could be better than to be entertained by Morris dancing whilst having lunch & afternoon tea!

Even the sun came out to see us – it must have been the Sun Dance we did!

As well as the dancing, our musicians played a few session tunes which were also very well received.

We managed to get a healthy collection for our charity so all in all a perfect day with lots to see .

Blog post by Sue, Phoenix foreman

Phoenix at the Canal Phestival

Another brilliant weekend at Rickmansworth Festival in the Aquadrome Park. As always Phoenix danced on both days with various side members joining at different times.

The weather was nice all weekend, not too hot or cold – perfect morris weather!

We even had Hertfordshire Fire Service on hand next to us. Just in case the sticks got a bit too hot with all the clashing, perhaps? Or maybe if any of the ladies fancied a fireman’s lift!

This year marks 30 years since the festival stated, and Phoenix have performed at every one. Long may it continue!

Blog post by Dennis, Phoenix musician

A night at the museum … well, an afternoon anyway!

A smaller than usual Phoenix team headed over to the Chiltern Open Air Museum on Saturday 13th May. With a few of the side having had to pull out due to injury, we were down to only 7 dancers but still determined to put on a good show!

The event was part of a traditional dance weekend. We were joined by Oaken Leaves folk musicians and a folk dance group teaching traditional dances. The maypole was in place and it was lovely to see the public getting involved.

With only 7 dancers, our repertoire was a little more limited than usual and everyone was dancing almost every dance.

Overall it was a great day in a lovely setting 😀

Welcoming in the Merry month of May

May Day. Monday 1st May. 2023.

Although Phoenix may not have “Danced up the dawn’ as many other sides traditionally do, we were still dancing out – albeit a little later in the day!
This time we were taking our annual trip up to the village of Pirton, (Nr. Hitchin) Hertfordshire, as guests of our friends Baldock Midnight Morris.

Pirton village has a traditional May Pole on the green, and children from the local schools carry out their display of skipping around the May pole entwining their ribbons back & forth as they go. Tea & cakes were on offer at a house by the Green, as well as a barbecue, and an ice cream van for those in need of a sweeter kind of refreshment. The village pub was of course also open for thirsty dancers…during the breaks of course!

As usual we alternated dances with Baldock Midnight Morris, finishing with a mass “Vandals of Hammerwich” As Phoenix do an extra round in this dance, it meant Baldock finished ahead. Although it course, it is not a race!

Blog post and Baldock photo by Dennis, Phoenix musician

Photos by Jo, Phoenix dancer

Sweeping up in Rochester

Saturday 29th April 2023 & Phoenix were once again performing at Rochester Sweeps Festival. Most came down on the Friday, so we were bright & early for the 10.00am start at the first spot, “The Eagle”

We rotated with other sides of all traditions, breaking for lunch on St. Mary’s Meadow on Castle Hill. After all, it’s calorie consuming work, Morris dancing & these needed replenishing!

Having resumed, dancing continued at various places along the historic high street, until the final spot. Unfortunately at that point, we were just downwind of a nearby barbecue, which resulted in clouds of smoke drifting over the set from time to time. (Either that or Mike’s pipe was on fire!) Nevertheless, we finished in fine style as always.

Later, some of the side went for an evening meal in an Italian restaurant, whilst others went their own way.

The festival also marked another occasion for a certain Phoenix musician, it being exactly one year ago when he first played out in Phoenix Kit. He tells us he hasn’t looked back since!)

Blog post by Dennis, Phoenix musician