Meet Reports

Hillstown July 1-4 2022

Swythamley – June 1st to 6th 2022

Walk to Hangingstone

Jubilee Tea Party

Seagrave – April 29th to May 3rd 2022

EASTER MEET – April 14 to 18th 2022

FOLK GROUP EASTER MEET was very well organized this year, hosted by Midland Area.

Many thanks to them all and especially to Gaynor for a wonderful few days. North Central helped out on Reception on the Thursday with booking in, and some of the childrens events. The fabulous programme was full of well run workshops, singing, dancing, crafts, socializing, children’s events and family dances.

An archery for beginners course was available for 4 mornings, and one of us has a certificate to prove it. For the artistic amongst us there was Glass painting, Mosaics and Paint a Board

Lots of wonderful dancing thoughout the Meet, one of us even tried her feet at Clogging,.

Meeting old and new friends plus experiencing the many workshops made this a fabulous 5 day meet. There was a variety of foods and drink available. Easter Meet 2023 is hosted by Home Counties at Sawston near Cambridge from 6th – 11th April .  Make a note in next years diary!

CHADS – March 25th to 27th 2022

And what a lovely weekend it proved to be with glorious sunshine on all three days at one of our favourite camp sites. We couldn’t believe our luck as, in the past, we have had extremes from icicles hanging from the vans to ‘paddling pools’ in the car park at Chads!

Normal CHADS weather

Unusual CHADS weather

Friday’s culinary welcome with soup proved to be a huge hit, as did games on the field.

KUBB on the field

Some of the group and the dogs ventured into the wood but came back regretting the huge thorns and brambles which somehow became attached in more than one painful place.

On Saturday morning Brian and Margaret organised a class for new and aspiring (or perspiring) dancers for the evening’s entertainment with reels explained.

Saturday afternoon was the AGM to which we welcomed Keith Jackson.

The retiring committee must be thanked for all their hard work and enthusiasm over the past years. Despite Covid the North Central Folk Group has held together and has a firm foundation. The American Shared Supper was enthusiastically eaten, after which dancing and “spots” were enjoyed by all.  Also, thank you to Brian for all the wine he provided.

We would also like to welcome our youngest member, Eva, a Guide dog puppy just starting her training with Susan and Raymond.

Many thanks to Paul and Janet for hosting a super weekend – did they get the hoover working?  (No – we didn’t!)

CHADS – October 29th to 31st 2021

It was the famous CHADS Halloween weekend. For weeks, all over the North Central Folk Dance area, participants had been choosing their costumes with care, in order to surprise, shock and terrify their friends.

The lone camper drove through the beautiful Autumnal Cannock Chase forest, only having to retrace the route at the very last, as the road under the bridge was flooded. A quick visit to a local supermarket advised on taking the Old Road, then swiftly the welcoming flag indicated the site.

Once in the cosy and welcoming hall, tea and cake were provided then over the next 24 hours balloons were blown up, masks were utilised to cover the lamps, and spiders and webbing were slung around to great effect.

The usual indoor games were played with the usual accusations made, crochet and knitting were greatly admired and the Jigsaw challenge saw many heads being scratched. We decided not to try to finish it otherwise we would have been up all night!

On Saturday afternoon a dance tutorial workshop, by Margaret, was well received, with the monster parade on Saturday night, which was great fun. The ladies prize was won by the most hideous masked creature! Who was she? Even Marlene couldn’t tell!!

At the end of the night the burning question was Would they, Wouldn’t they? Those that could dance it, did. The Elephant Stampede, called by an indefatigable Brian, brought a magic weekend to a close.

Very many thanks to Paul and Janet for stewarding, and for arranging the very tasty fish supper.

Freehay – October 8th to 10th 2021

Freehay has been a great weekend for relaxing, board games, walking, dancing and ‘spots’!  The stewards, Nora and Val, really looked after us and worked very hard to make our visit one of the best, also providing information on local walks.  The main theme of the Freehay Meet was to celebrate Margaret’s 70th birthday and her sister, Susan Parkin, wrote a dance for her called ‘Margaret’s Birthday Cake’.  We did a couple workshops, run by Susan, which we all enjoyed and in which we practised the birthday dance to do a demonstration that evening.  Newcomers, who have started becoming regulars, commented that our club was such a warm friendly Group!

Abbots Bromley THS – August 26th to September 7th 2021

The weather wasn’t that great, mainly cloudy but warm with the odd burst of sunshine, but did not do anything to diminish the great time we all had at Abbots Bromley.

Very many thanks to our Stewards, Richard and Jane and Brian and Marlene for arranging the Marquee and for not panicking when the generator seemed to fade.

Especial thanks again to Brian for the delicious suppers we all enjoyed and to the various club members who kept the morning coffee, evening drinks and biscuits flowing.

On the field four intrepid ladies tried their hands at Badminton, proving the theory of hope over experience. We managed a staggering rally of three shots over the net but failed to get a fourth. Maybe next time!  The ukelele choir strummed merrily and mainly kept in voice, tune and rhythm, we all promised to practise more!

Afternoon and evening entertainment in the Marquee had something for everyone. There was Jenga, plenty of crafting and the musical offerings from the musicians, which proved very popular, with some great songs and guitar playing. The raised voices in the evening over the jigsaw challenge showed that even the best brains amongst us could not always find the right piece for the right ‘ole, and there were even more raised voices debating the intricate rules of Rummikub!

Abbots Bromley is a lovely village. Having admired the Horns in the Parish Church, a couple of members discovered the joys and frustrations of Geocaching.

For the uninitiated this is a kind of worldwide treasure hunt played on your mobile phone. Great fun when you find a cache, can add your name to the list and read the comments of those who have been before, but infuriating when you are within a couple of metres and can’t find it.

After a glorious 2 weeks of this relaxed and friendly Meet, where some chose to enjoy the ‘plentiful’ supply of field mushrooms, while others explored the area and it’s delights, it was time to say our goodbyes and pack up!  Thank you to all those who took part to make this such a ‘fun’ event.  We look forward to seeing you all at future Meets!

Walk to the Reservoir

Interesting Hall at Ambaston

Little Dunstall Farm

Waiting for the Horn Dancers

Horn Dancers

Our turn to dance!

Broom Dance!!!!

Thoresby Park – August 5th to 9th 2021

Most of the participants having arrived and set up camp on Thursday, The  North Central Folk Group Meeting, started with a delicious Pasta and Lentil meal for everyone, courtesy of Brian and Marlene. The lone camper had set up her tent with extra tarpaulins against the torrential rain expected overnight and it would have worked well apart from on a midnight trip to the loo when, on opening the tent door she stood up, thus releasing a flood of rainwater collected in the dip in said tarp. However all was not lost as the sun came out and dried everything on Friday and the tarpaulin was pegged down properly with some more heavy duty pegs borrowed from Richard.

Friday morning was spent by a small group of us walking round the grounds of the hall, and visiting some of the shops and the museum in the old stable courtyard. The curator told us all about the fascinating history of the Hall, its occupants and the wars they fought in over the years.

Games on the field in the afternoon lead to the usual cheers and groans.  In the evening some excellent music, calling and dancing at the village hall, every single one of us was so pleased and happy to be back together again.

On Saturday some of us walked to Clumber Forest past the happiest outdoor piggery ever seen. The wallows were pristine, the pigs were rolling around in unctuous mud, their houses were spotless, the straw was first class. It was a pig “Spa”.   In the afternoon, more games of Kubb then to the field at the front of Thoresby Hall where the Vintage Car Rally was taking place.  The car “gymkhana” went down very well with the crowd and, after a slow start and lots of heckling from the crowd (who, us??), the vintage cars were put through their paces, as were the drivers who had to drive round a zigzag course, then blindfold and backwards round another.

Another splendid evening of fun and dancing in the hall on Saturday night brought the lone campers weekend to a close.

Ashover THS – July 20th to August 1st 2021

We had a very enjoyable time with a good number of units during the Ashover THS.

The first week we had no rain and it was hot and sunny most of the time.

Many members took advantage of the good weather to go on some of the walks that Brian had printed out which took in the local undulating terrain and lovely cross-country views. Having three pubs in the village serving a choice of food and real ales was most welcome after a day exploring the landscape including the industrial history of the area’s old quarries, mines and water mills. The local ice cream parlour in the cake shop just a few minutes walk into the village was proving to be a very popular attraction as well. Following games of Kubb on the field, some evenings were spent sitting out singing and playing music taking advantage of the warm summer evenings.

Knighton – July 9th to 12th 2021

We had a very enjoyable meet with a good turnout at the Knighton Sports & Social Club in July, although the covid restrictions were still in force so we could not use the club room for our song and dancing social activities. The club was open however for drinks throughout the day and evenings which was a bonus. The weather stayed sunny all weekend and there are some lovely walks from the site along the Shropshire Union canal and the large fishing lakes in the Hamlet of Knighton. On Friday and Saturday we had musical evenings on the field until dusk when it was deemed time to retire to our vans or the club bar. The football final was being held on the Sunday evening and the social club invited us to watch the match on a big TV screen set up in the large club room. At the half time break they brought out pizza and garlic bread which helped to ease the tension of watching the match. The only downside to a great weekend meet….England lost!

Copt Oak – June 11th to 13th 2021

The site at Copt Oak was very cosy and one of the first Meets since lock down.  Our stewards made everyone very welcome and provided cakes for all!  They organised field games and led a walk to increase our activity levels to work off the cakes!  We also sat, socially distanced, each day, enjoyed the sunshine and the music played by musicians on the field.  Having experienced a couple more ‘Meet’ type events put on by different organisations, recently, we realised the music was the main thing that makes our get-togethers so special and we can’t wait to get back into the other things that we all enjoy so much, especially the dancing!

Swythamley – May 28th to June 1st 2021

We had a very good second Meet with 21 units at Swythamley, helped by the sunshine.  We had some glorious afternoons with the sound of instruments drifting across the field.  Several campers played a new puzzle game whilst setting up – where does this awning pole go?  How do I heat the water with gas?  Who was that in the queue for the lone camper’s ‘loo with a view’!  We were very fortunate in that Janet (Hall Secretary) had provided several local walk guides and maps for us.  The most popular one was to Wincle Brewery, over 14,000 steps and 9.6 K uphill and down dale.  Other walks have wonderful views of the Peak District.

On Saturday morning we had a sheep shearing demonstration in the field next door but the fleeces were going to be burnt as there is no profit in selling them anymore.

So a brilliant few days in the sunshine, meeting up with friends, old and new – Missed some ‘Old faces, but they were still thought about – alas no dancing due to the Covid but a grand outdoor celebration for Brian’s 85th birthday, postponed from last year.

Offley Hay – May 14th to 16th 2021

Our first Meet of the year at Offley Hay was not that well attended for various reasons and the weather could have been better but it was great to be out in the countryside once more after over a year since our last Meet.

Although we could still not use the facilities of the hall, the adjacent camping field surrounded by trees, provided a secluded setting with plenty of space to keep to our social distancing.

Between the showers we had some lovely walks around Copmere and the local pub was quite busy providing meals and takeaways from a large marquee in their beer garden.

We may also have gained a new member who is a musician and very keen to come to our future Meets, after joining us on his first meet with the folk area, to see what our special interest section is all about.