Mudcat Café message #1888888 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95214   Message #1888888
Posted By: IanC
20-Nov-06 - 09:02 AM
Thread Name: Ashwell Winterfolk Weekend (Herts UK)
Subject: RE: Ashwell Winterfolk Weekend (Herts UK)

Thought I'd provide a little report of the whole event, from my point of view. Quite often when people read threads about events, they aren't sure of the nature of what went on and how it all went. I wasn't there all the time ... I had to sort some things out offsite (like Saturday's breakfast and Sunday's too, come to that, for people not staying at one of the pubs) and also had to do a few logistical things (like getting the Old Wild Rovers sorted out on Saturday and the band for Saturday night).

Friday night, the locals got a little delayed due to doing a 1-hour spot at The Rose & Crown for a concert. One of us was also playing with one of the rock bands, Reflex so he was even later getting down. So it was really nice to see that everybody had made themselves at home in the back bar and that the local children were enjoying themselves singing with us. Numbers not bad, especially when the Ashwell crowd finally got there. Loads of old friends, too ... too many to mention. The locals were a little surprised, I think, when Alan called a halt before "closing time" (there isn't really a closing time ...). We usually keep going and get a bit rowdy towards the end of an evening and it was 10:00 before we'd all got there so there didn't seem time to do very much somehow.

Saturday morning, I missed the first session because I was clearing up after breakfast. The second morning session was a bit on the quiet side ... a bit short on personnel ... and I was a bit bemused by the fact that The Bushel wasn't serving anything alcoholic before 12. Simon tried to get me a pint, but the best he could do was tea (whatever happened to Merrie England?). By the time lunch came on Saturday, people were arriving in significant numbers.

Saturday afternoon, I missed the workshops. Had to sort out accommodation arrangements for the band and got involved in greeting the guys down from Norfolk. They finally arrived about 7:00 but I was able to slip into the late afternoon session where things were progressing nicely.

In the evening, a slight hiatus with the meals meant that the Ceilidh didn't start till 9:00 so Hilary started a small session in the back bar, which continued on through the evening. Quite a good good move, this, as it kept us entertained while we were eating. It might have made us a bit short for the Ceilidh, though, had the Old Wild Rovers not been so wholehearted about dancing all evening. Despite Linda's difficulties with the calling, it was actually a great dance ... I've often played the Horse's Bransle, but I've never seen it danced before. Gets difficult playing the melodeon when you're bent double with laughing.

After the dancing had run out of steam (about 11:30), we joined the back bar session. By midnight, everybody was well stocked with drinks and had found a space by the bar. What had been a nice quiet session all evening changed its nature with 3 times the bodies (including the band) and we launched into a wide variety of stuff ... blues included ... with everybody joining in from both bars.

Finally finished about 1:20 am, though the Norfolk bunch went back to Brin and Linda's for a few drinks and carried on singing till 4:30.

Sunday morning, when I finally made it after breakfast, was another quiet session in the Restaurant. I had to leave to collect Liz from the airport but the Norfolk guys reported that the lunchtime session (which went on till about 4) was a beatiful, laid back, somewhat eclectic session.

All in all, more or less everybody had a splendid weekend. Total attendance unknown but, at its peak Saturday evening, we had over 50 people singing and dancing (not to mention drinking).