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Whittlesea Straw bear 2013

Wheatman 26 Sep 12 - 05:29 AM
My guru always said 26 Sep 12 - 07:57 AM
Wheatman 27 Sep 12 - 04:32 PM
Wheatman 28 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM
My guru always said 28 Sep 12 - 06:46 AM
Wheatman 28 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM
Mary Humphreys 29 Sep 12 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,bizibod 29 Sep 12 - 08:51 AM
Wheatman 30 Sep 12 - 04:13 PM
Wheatman 10 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM
Fran 10 Nov 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST 11 Nov 12 - 03:42 AM
Wheatman 11 Nov 12 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Northern Emma 29 Dec 12 - 04:19 PM
My guru always said 30 Dec 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 30 Dec 12 - 04:29 PM
GUEST 31 Dec 12 - 06:00 AM
Mr Red 31 Dec 12 - 08:19 AM
treewind 31 Dec 12 - 02:12 PM
Wheatman 01 Jan 13 - 05:23 AM
My guru always said 01 Jan 13 - 07:13 AM
Paul Davenport 01 Jan 13 - 09:55 AM
Wheatman 02 Jan 13 - 07:18 AM
GUEST 02 Jan 13 - 08:27 AM
Fran 02 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM
Wheatman 02 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM
Fran 04 Jan 13 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Melodeon Tom 06 Jan 13 - 10:06 AM
Fran 10 Jan 13 - 03:06 AM
RWJ 10 Jan 13 - 07:59 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 13 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,alanww 10 Jan 13 - 07:38 PM
My guru always said 11 Jan 13 - 04:25 AM
Wheatman 11 Jan 13 - 10:54 AM
Wheatman 11 Jan 13 - 06:18 PM
Fran 14 Jan 13 - 05:28 AM
RWJ 14 Jan 13 - 06:57 AM
Wheatman 14 Jan 13 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Kate & Tony 14 Jan 13 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Kate & Tony 14 Jan 13 - 05:33 PM
bubblyrat 15 Jan 13 - 04:57 AM
Richard from Liverpool 15 Jan 13 - 05:43 AM
Wheatman 15 Jan 13 - 09:25 AM
GUEST,Melodeon Tom 15 Jan 13 - 01:48 PM
Desert Dancer 15 Jan 13 - 07:26 PM
Wheatman 16 Jan 13 - 03:07 AM
treewind 16 Jan 13 - 08:14 AM
Desert Dancer 16 Jan 13 - 01:12 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Jan 13 - 01:28 PM
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Subject: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 05:29 AM

The straw is in, building is under way and the following is an outline of the event. See you in January, Brian

Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival 10 to 13 January 2013
Thursday and Friday 10 and 11th PETE COE telling Tall Tales in schools (Whittlesey and Coates) These performances are not available to the general public.
Friday 11th CONCERT at The IVY Leaf Club featuring Pam Ward and Paul Cherrington, BRAM TAYLOR and Whittlesey's own The Candle Thieves. Tickets £9-00. Club Bar.
Saturday 12th PROCESSION 10-30 till 3-30 STRAW BEARS on the streets with Molly, Sword, Morris dancers, Mummers and Steppers.
Stories with Sophie Snell in Queen Street Methodist / United Reformed Church, Queen Street (three sessions) also, in the Library, an hour with Tom Richardson (singer and guitarist) 2 till 3-00 sandwiched between presentations from Poets United 12-00 and 3-30
BARN DANCE 8-00 till 11-30 in Sir Harry Smith Community College with Ceilidhography Tickets £9-00 Bar available.
Please do not bring your own drinks as the Bar facility will be withdrawn.
CAJUN DANCE with free dance workshop 8-00 till 11-30: Park Lane School with Lil Jim's Cajun All Stars. Tickets £9-00.
There is no bar at this event please feel free to bring your own tipple.
Sunday 13th Grand finale at Sir Harry Smith Community College 12-00 till 2-30. Music and dance session with the burning of the Bear at 2-30. Bucket collection. Bar and food available.
For the latest information check out the official Straw Bear web site at www.strawbear.org.uk or ring 01733 208245.
Tickets for concert and dances go on sale on 1 October 2012 available from Ruth and Rob on 01733 204055 or write to 4 Delph Street, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1QQ. SAE please


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: My guru always said
Date: 26 Sep 12 - 07:57 AM

Fantastic, thanks Brian!

Link to Straw Bear website!


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 27 Sep 12 - 04:32 PM

Thanks Hills I can never get the blue clicky thing to work. see you in January if not before. Gan Canny brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM

Just been asked if the bear can do an interview on the telly. I declined as the bear does not do interviews and they would only take the mickey. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: My guru always said
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 06:46 AM

Could not the Keeper do an interview?


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 28 Sep 12 - 10:10 AM

I don't think they really knew what they wanted. They did want a bear though in the studio (been there, got the tee shirt). A bear, at the moment, would be very difficult to provide as we haven't finished one yet. Also, there are some strawbearers (not me) who feel that the bear should only be seen on the day and only in Whittlesey. Such a venture as a visit to a TV studio would cause some upset within the organisation. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 08:12 AM

I agree with Brian.
TV interviewers employ researchers who haven't the slightest understanding of what a traditional event is. They nearly always poke fun at what we all consider to be an important seasonal celebration. They consider that mockery of an event is what keeps viewers' attention. Just look at any footage of Morris that has been presented over the last few years.
Why should we pander to their need to fill their newsreel time slots?
If they were serious about televising the Straw Bear festival and its history they should dedicate a crew for a whole year to go to meetings and become embedded in the community and culture of the region. They MIGHT just then get an inkling of what we are all there for at the festival.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,bizibod
Date: 29 Sep 12 - 08:51 AM

Heheheheh, why should we pander.....
Quite right !


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 30 Sep 12 - 04:13 PM

Nice one Mary, I have been caught in the past by trying to (please?) the telly. Best not to get involved, but, a documentary does not have to be serious. It would take a strong producer to produce such a prog. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 10 Nov 12 - 12:39 PM

Tickets are starting to go now, all be it slowly. Gone are the days when the barn dance was sold out on the first of October. However there is precious little B&B in town for the week end. Gan Canny Brian
link


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Fran
Date: 10 Nov 12 - 04:11 PM

Disappointed with the line up for the concert this year.   Could do with somebody new and fresh in it, somebody a bit more original, Roger Davies, Lucy Ward, Pete Morton,Jack McNeil and Charlie Hayes, maybe would attract more ticket buyers, and would not cost any more, and Roger in particular already works in schools.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 12 - 03:42 AM

Thanks Fran, We don't do the bookings any more will pass on your suggestions to those who do. However, Bram has a good fan following and Charrington and Ward were booked at Cambridge this year. The Candle Thieves are Whittlesey Boys who are touring nationally and being featured on the BBC radio (not "traditional" folk though, self penned stuff). They are on the line up to try and attract more locals in through the door. gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 11 Nov 12 - 04:47 AM

That Guest was me sent on the lap top. Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Northern Emma
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 04:19 PM

I hear that there will be a woman as the bear this festival. Is that wise?
I don't mean to sound sexist, but as a woman, I don't think our bodies could take that job on.

According to tradition it's a job for a man. A Farm labourer / ploughboy. Not a farmers wife. It"s almost mocking the tradition and mythical being of the bear.
What are you feeding the lasses down in fens?


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: My guru always said
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:11 PM

Not long now!! Will it be cold I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 04:29 PM

I was in Whittlesey on Christmas day and there was an awful lot of water in the wash! I don't think I'll be able to make it back for the Straw Bear - but please give my regards to Mr Coe.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 06:00 AM

Now there's coincidence. I have just found a copy of the 1972 L.P. Rattlebone and Ploughshare. A section about the Straw Bear and quotes from the Folk Lore Society's Journal 1909. I'm sure some of you must have this L.P.
Andy


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 08:19 AM

GUEST,Northern Emma

You did know there are two men of straw. Even men can't take it all day.
And they burn him on Sunday. Which is the warmest time I got - the year I went. Just getting nice on one side only to freeze on the other.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: treewind
Date: 31 Dec 12 - 02:12 PM

"I have just found a copy of the 1972 L.P. Rattlebone and Ploughshare. A section about the Straw Bear..."

I'm fairly certain that Ashley Hutching's "Rattlebone and Ploughjack" played a large part in inspiring the revival of The Whittlesea Straw Bear. It certainly influenced the Molly Dance revival, whose history is very much tied up with that of the Whittlesea Straw Bear.

The "Straw Bear tune" is from that album too, played by George Green of "College Hornpipe" fame.

I had the original vinyl LP and now have it on CD.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 05:23 AM

The Bear is built, at last! It's been a difficult one this year as the straw is getting shorter. We have tried to grow our own in the past but failed miserably. Thatching straw can be used but it tends to be too stiff and brittle. Oat straw is the best but we cannot get hold of any easily so we have to rely on wheat straw generously donated by a local farmer.
As far as a lady driver is concerned, I would not imagine in these enlightened times, this would cause any consternation. We have had a girl in the little bear before and no one bothered then. Yes it will be difficult for Megan to drive the beast especially as it's weight is considerably greater than in other years in view of the extra layers but it she is an experienced dancer and I am sure she will prevail. A female driver does not seem to bother our German counterparts who regularly use girls or ladies for the job, after all the bear is an entity in its self the driver only provides the mobility.
Access to Whittlesey is still restricted at the moment . The northern route over the Whittlesey wash is still closed due to flooding. The area is designed to flood to save further problems towards Wisbech. Hopefully the road will be clear by Straw Bear Day and the railway crossing over the A605 behaves it's self.
As always now there are still tickets available for the ticket events, gone are the days when we used to sell out in October. Ah well , back to the garage as there are little bears to make.Oh, by the way treewind is correct, Rattlebone and Ploughjack was my introduction to Straw Bears and the rest as they say is history.
Gan canny,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: My guru always said
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 07:13 AM

Many thanks for info regarding road access Brian, we'd be glad if you can keep us informed of local conditions.

I'd say Happy New Year, but it's a bit early yet....


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 01 Jan 13 - 09:55 AM

"I have just found a copy of the 1972 L.P. Rattlebone and Ploughshare. A section about the Straw Bear..."
Interesting that Ashley has come in for a lot of criticism over the years and yet people forget the astonishing influence that 'RattleBone and Plough Jag' had back in the seventies. It's worth remembering that, behind that electric bass guitar is a serious researcher and a seminal force in the folk dance / music revival of the 70s and beyond.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 07:18 AM

Yes I agree, that particular recording was instrumental in the straw bear revival as I have said a number of times. I would like to hear the original recording of the George Green's tune we use at Whittlesey. I have heard two of his three recorded tunes via veteran records but not the heart of my heart (sic) one we use . Does any one know how I can access the national sound archive?
NB the wash is still closed and rail track have their own agenda. let's hope the sun shines, proceed with care and trepidation. Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 08:27 AM

I have just come upon this 'Mudcat' website by accident and the Whittlesea' thread caught my eye. I taught at Sir Harry's in the early eighties and for a while lived above the youth centre in Scaldgate, but I confess I don't remember the Straw Bear. I have now moved well away from the area and so almost certainly would not be able to attend, but it would be interesting to know details.

Neil Beaumont


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Fran
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM

Looking forward to it, hope the rain stays away, we have certainly had enough of it!

Here is the link to the website again
http://www.strawbear.org.uk/


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM

In the early eighties the event was very very small and it only started to have an impact after seven or eight years or so. There were no road closures in the early days but we managed a procession route three or four times as big as the one we use now. We only had a few dance teams in those early days. It was great to see people coming out of their houses and standing by their front gate just to see the bear. Sadly that aspect cannot be repeated now, that is the one downside of progress.
Thanks for the link Fran. Mr Red had tried to tell me where I was going wrong but I seem to have lost the plot.

Gan Canny
Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Fran
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 12:11 PM

bump


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Melodeon Tom
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 10:06 AM

Straw Bear Festival Photographic Competition 2013

Could your photo be the one?
Why not send us your best photo of the 2013 Bear
The lucky winner will have the opportunity to see their photo as part of the 2014 Straw Bear programme.
Please send us x1 photograph with your name and age to
strawbearphoto@gmail.com
Open to all ages. Closing date Friday 1st Feb 2013


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Fran
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 03:06 AM

Here is the weather forecast

Outlook for Saturday to Monday

Rather cloudy on Saturday with outbreaks of rain later, this becoming increasingly wintry. A chilly easterly breeze developing. Snow showers on Sunday in cold winds. Further snow possible on Monday

Wrap up warm!


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: RWJ
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 07:59 AM

Is The Bricklayers Arms allowing camper vans this year? I cant find the phone number.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 04:46 PM

I asked the weather fairies to move the rain away from the middle of the day on Saturday, and the forecast is looking a lot better now.

Thank you, weather spirits. Please keep it that way!

(I didn't say anything about temperature: for dancers and musicians rain is a real problem, but cold is just cold)


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,alanww
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 07:38 PM

Getting excited now!
While its going to be cold in my campervan - very cold - let's hope the deep snow and tge rain keep away!
"When I heard of some ringing, some dancing and singing!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: My guru always said
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 04:25 AM

Alas, we'll not be joining you all this year. Have a Fab weekend and don't forget to wear 2 pairs of socks!


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 10:54 AM

Sorry a house full of Kell's has made getting to the computer difficult. The Bricklayers has reopened and is on the dancing schedule but not on the list in this year's book. Their telephone number is 01733 686076. The weather forecast shows some improvement for tomorrow and Sunday. It will be cold though.
Pete Coe has done some sterling work in the schools as the run up to the festival.
Sorry you cannot make it Hils, perhaps next year.
The wash road is still flooded so you cannot come into town from the north. the East West and South routes are OK but we have heard there are some problems on the Peterborough ring road at the moment. Hopefully that will be cleared before tomorrow.
There are some tickets available but the events are filling up now thankfully. Box Office 01733 204055
Gan Canny
brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 06:18 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Fran
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 05:28 AM

Local news article
http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/lifestyle/arts-culture/video-34th-annual-whittlesea-straw-bear-festival-1-4677650

Link to some pics https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151231217358506.453762.520148505&type=1&l=d40de8ea2b


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: RWJ
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:57 AM

Had a great weekend, even the weather was good. Thanks to all of the organisers.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 01:19 PM

Oh we were so lucky with the weather, but that's straw bear for you. Great dancing and atmosphere in town during the day, the first procession was awesome. Ticket events well received and attended. A little bit of teething problems at the revamped Sir Harry community college but a good atmosphere at the Sunday session. We would be glad to get feed back, good or otherwise. Here's to 2014. Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Kate & Tony
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 05:21 PM

We have some thoughts about the weekend.

Firstly we thought the Saturday was fantastic and seeing two little bears was something new. However watching the morning procession we thought the Little bears we're putting more effort in to their dancing than the big bear who seemed to have trouble dancing in time to the music.

Saturday afternoon we caught up with bear outside the Factory shop whilst eating our amazing Fish and Chips and WOW! It was Jumping, Dancing and was a completely different animal for earlier.

Please Please Straw Bear can we as the public have a true dancing bear? We felt cheated last year.

Saturday night and Sunday's layout.

We felt rather sorry for Heddingham Fair on Saturday night as knowone really knew they were there unless you went to the toilets.

Maybe adopting the entrance used to view the dance teams outside on the Sunday would have been a better idea.

Sunday.
The seating was awful yes ok it was a new thing but being spoken to like children by the MC time and time again wasn't very nice infancy the family sitting next to us said "that's it we're off I'mbot standing for this".

Maybe keeping the chairs as they where in previous years could be a good thing and moving the band on to the stage or into the bar area could help.

We did like the rotation of dance teams as you often see them looking board because they want to do more dancing. (Work on thousand it'll be great)

Apart from that we had a good time and can't wait till next year.


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Kate & Tony
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 05:33 PM

Sorry I miss typed I ment to say

We did like the rotation of dance teams in and outside as you often see them looking board because they want to do more dancing. (Work on this and it'll be great)


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: bubblyrat
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 04:57 AM

Likely you'll be talking about bored and lodging soon !


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 05:43 AM

My family and I came up from Cambridge and had a great time. My 3 year old keeps saying "are we going back to the Straw Bear?"

One of the things I like about the festival is that it's not just an exhibition of folk dancing, but a true town festival in the real sense, with the local youth in particular intent on having a good time and the pubs doing a roaring trade. (As is appropriate, these things seem to create a certain licentiousness, one of the reasons my wife thought she'd accompany me this year rather than letting me go out on my own.) It's fully in the spirit of the time of year. Of course, we won't know how successful it's been until we see the effect of the ritual on the crop growth in the coming year...


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 09:25 AM

Thanks for all of the comments, good and not so good. A number of the points raised have already been identified as subjects for the wash up meeting in February. We like to think that the event is a community carnival with a heavy bias to British Tradition.
Dancing out side on the Sunday session I think will continue but as always the weather will dictate.
We do feel that it would be better for all if the locals did not drink so much during the day, but like any major city or town on a Saturday night ............
Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: GUEST,Melodeon Tom
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 01:48 PM

Another fantastic festival.

We would still like to see your photos of the 2013 Bear so why not send your picture to the Straw Bear Festival Photographic Competition 2013

Could your photo be the one?
Why not send us your best photo of the 2013 Bear
The lucky winner will have the opportunity to see their photo as part of the 2014 Straw Bear programme.
Please send us x1 photograph with your name and age to
strawbearphoto@gmail.com
Open to all ages. Closing date Friday 1st Feb 2013


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 07:26 PM

Thanks for the video and pic links. Who are the group in the procession in blackface, black coats, and with greenery on their hats?

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Wheatman
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 03:07 AM

Hi Becky. Are you really in Tucson USA?
I think you mean Old Glory, molly dancers from Norfolk. Those in black coats, black faces and ivy hats are their musicians.
Go to U tube, put Whittlesea Straw Bear 2013 in their search engine, some great stuff.
Gan canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: treewind
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 08:14 AM

Old Glory Molly - and yes, they were there and fit your description.
I've been dancing with them this winter (but not at Whittlesea, as it happens)

The men are the dancers, in brown corduroy trousers, waistcoats and trilby hats, and long black or dark grey overcoats when not actually dancing. Women = musicians all in black with ivy round hats as described.
+ Lord and lady in slightly different costume.
Whittlesea is unusual for Old Glory - we usually perform in the dark and arrive in silent procession to the slow beat of a drum and carrying flaming torches...


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 01:12 PM

Got it. I googled all the listed groups to try to identify them, but was thrown off by the dancers being featured in the images, rather than the musicians.

Treewind, wow -- that must be something!

I am indeed in southern Arizona, USA, where we've actually been having wintery weather - even with sunshine. (High temps in the 40s F, overnight lows in the 20s F, for four days straight.)

The Straw Bear Festival looks like a fine one.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Whittlesea Straw bear 2013
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Jan 13 - 01:28 PM

A friend of mine is a leader for Wild Wood Border Morris in Long Beach, Calif. (where I spend half my time). Last Saturday they were in San Francisco for a winter traditions day of dance (that I can't find a web presence for!). Here's a video, y'all might enjoy:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=428255777245894

~ B in T


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