by Rachel

Manx Folk Dance Society visit to Ladies’ Mockbeggar Morris Side of Clog Dancers, Wirral


Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May 2010

Taking a break from their fund raising activities, to raise money to hold an International Dance Festival on the Isle of Man during August next year, on the evening of Friday 30th April, 13 members of the Manx Folk Dance Society travelled to Liverpool by sea or air, to be met by some of their hosts from the Ladies’ Mockbeggar Morris Side of Clog Dancers, before being taken for a meal at the Farmers Arms, Frankby.

At 4.45am on Saturday 1st May, the now 18 members of the Manx Folk Dance Society (Norma & Dave joined them with their camper van, and the Evans family arrived in the early hours from the late night sailing to Heysham) gathered at Thor’s Stone, Thurstaston Hill, with the Mersey Morris Men and the Mockbeggar dancers to dance and see-in the May Day dawn. Luckily the weather was kind (although a little chilly) and there was a wonderful sunrise!

At 6.30am a welcome breakfast was provided at GJ’s Coffee Shop at Thurstaston Visitors Centre.

After a quick visit back to their hosts’ houses, the 3 groups went to dance at 10.30am for some of the children at Claire House Children’s Hospice, Clatterbridge Hospital. They danced outside and a couple of the visiting siblings were enticed in to join the Morris Men.

It was then on to Birkenhead Park, which was celebrating the reopening of the Main Gates. The 3 Groups danced once before lunch and again afterward to an appreciative audience by Main Gates and briefly outside the Cafe after their picnic lunch at Cafe. Then it was time to go home and relax for a short time before attending an informal Ceilidh Evening in Heswall. The Manx Dancers and Musicians were each given a mug celebrating the visit to Mockbeggar Clog
Dancers for the May Weekend and they reciprocated with a DVD and IOM Book featuring a photograph of the Manx Folk Dance Society. Luckily the only rain came when they were dancing INSIDE the Hall!!

After a good night’s rest everyone met at the Boat Museum, Ellesmere Port at 11am on Sunday 2nd May, to dance by the Canal – unfortunately the  weather was cold and grey, with a biting NE wind, so after frequent breaks to get warm
again, the dancers moved in to the education room for a wonderful picnic lunch, when small gift were presented to the Manx Folk Dance Society musicians in appreciation from the dancers – including a small ‘shivering penguin’ each as a
reminder of the day!! It was decided to continue the dancing inside – to a much bigger – and warmer!- audience. The displays finished with the Manx  dancers performing the ‘train dance’ when all their dancers, as well as the dancers from the other 2 groups joining them on the “train” for the final bow!! Then it was home for a meal before meeting later at the White Lion Pub in West Kirby for a final full get-together.

Monday 3rd May was free for shopping and or sightseeing, although some people followed the Mersey Morris Men, who were dancing at The White Lion, Childer Thornton, then at The Nag’s Head, Willaston and finishing at The Pollard
Inn, Willaston. Most of the Manx Folk Dance Society then left by sea or air for home – tired but happy after a very enjoyable weekend with long established dancing friends.