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Traditional activities and the law

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bobby's girl 12 Jul 01 - 04:41 PM
sian, west wales 13 Jul 01 - 04:33 AM
The Shambles 13 Jul 01 - 06:05 AM
InOBU 13 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM
The Shambles 13 Jul 01 - 08:48 AM
The Shambles 13 Jul 01 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Dave the cookileess 13 Jul 01 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Dave again 13 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM
The Shambles 13 Jul 01 - 06:04 PM
hesperis 13 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM
InOBU 14 Jul 01 - 10:35 AM
The Shambles 14 Jul 01 - 02:29 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jul 01 - 01:03 AM
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Subject: Traditional activities and the law
From: bobby's girl
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:41 PM

(Actually Bobby's Girl's husband)

The law is evolving and in the modern world several traditional activities do not neatly fall into place with it and the law has not granted an exemption to participants in these traditional activities.

Singing in pubs is one as we have already seen and Morris dancing in the street is another. When younger I regularly danced long-sword with Ebor Morris and we used to go to Millington in East Yorkshire two or three times a year and dance in the narrow village street, blocking it. Traffic stopped, the dance finished and on went the cars. No high-viz vests in sight, or street closures, or traffic control. All of these would now be required of persons working in the highway, and of course rightly so under Health and Safety law intended to protect workers.

However this safe situation does not always apply and I also recall an incident a few years ago on a Glory of the West/ Great Western tour in Devon when dancing was taking place outside a pub and a car drove up at high speed, didn't stop and the dancers had to jump for it - luckily no one was hurt but it was close.

My wife still dances and this season (on one of the evenings I went out to watch) the dancing was in the street on a country lane and then on the narrow forecourt of a pub on a very busy main A road; still no high viz jackets, protective barriers or advance warning signs etc. At least one of the dancers there would if working that close to the highway in his paid employment have instinctively got out his hi-viz jacket - but this is dancing so we don't.

There are issues here including dancers being hit, cars swerving/crashing, children watching running into the road etc and the questions to be asked in court or by your public liability insurers after such an incident would be "Where was your risk assessment?", "Were you keeping a lookout?", "Where there warning signs", etc etc. To just say "We have danced here every New Years Day for fifty years so it must be OK" would not be a suitable answer. Also dancers pay subs to a side so does Health and Safety Law apply with all the inbuilt penalties that could bring to a Squire or Bag as the official person in charge if a side were deemed to be negligent if a dancer were to be injured by a passing car?

Our hobby activities, whatever they are, increasingly fall within the bounds of modern legislation and also the changing world impacts upon them in a way that may mean they have to adapt and perhaps dancing in the road is one of those cases. This is not a don't do it statement but is certainly a think it through before you do it statement and make sure you are legal / not at risk rather than just doing the activity where we are because we always have done.

Laws do apply to traditional activities and we must bear this in mind or face the legal consequences.


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: sian, west wales
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 04:33 AM

I'm involved with a group which is trying to set up and umbrella organisation for traditional musics of Wales (and associated practices). The group has had quite a large-ish National Lottery grant, and with it comes layers and layers of requirements for complying with regulations. We've just adopted a Child Protection policy to comply with the CP Act - it ain't gonna be easy to put singers in schools or any kind of youth work!

We're also about to advertise two part time jobs and there are certain issue re: compliance with both the Welsh Language Act and Equal Opportunities which few people seem to understand.

(((( sigh ))))

All necessary, but puts a big administrative burden on volunteers.

sian


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 06:05 AM

See also Council Bans Morris


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: InOBU
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 08:35 AM

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves the value of being rooted in our traditions. I, for one, (as you may know from the busker posts) refuse to give up my families traditions to the "modern" world. Traditional values and practices are as modern as the cold hand of tyrany, and sometimes we have to fight for our place in the modern world. Keep singing, Keep dancing, RESIST! It is our world as well as theirs. We built it.
Cheers
Larry


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 08:48 AM

Somehow I do not think that the original poster is in favour of resisting the law?

The simple choice when the law prevents your activity is to accept the law and stop, or to try and change the law or find ways to enable it to continue?

There are many laws that use public safety as their justification, sometimes this is not supportable.

Others, may be in our best interest?


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 08:52 AM

If Morris dancing on the safe private property of a pub is illegal without a Public Entertainment Licence and busking on the street is dangerous, the future for Morris does not look too bright?


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: GUEST,Dave the cookileess
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:23 AM

I'm with Larry here. Dunno what the legal position is but in my book if a car knocks down someone on foot it is more likely to be the car drivers negligence than the pedestrians. I know there are exceptions (Kids, bikes, drunkards 'leaping out in front of me') but I think, at least hope, that the law would take the side of the luckless morris dancer. Doesn't help reduce the injury I know but at least we should not need to put up with insult as well!

I noticed, this year in particular, while performing with Abram Morris, that car drivers are getting more reluctant to wait until the dance has finished and try to squeeze past, even driving on the pavement sometimes. What is the matter with people? Why can they not wait 2 minutes?

I guess we do have to move on sometimes but it is not always for the better.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: GUEST,Dave again
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:26 AM

Was also going to say that members of EFDSS get good deals on public liability insurance I believe. In case we cannot halt 'progress' at least we can insure cheaply!

DtG


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 06:04 PM

Would this public liability insurance be valid if one were dancing on pub land without a PEL?


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: hesperis
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 06:41 PM

Interesting. Especially about the people who can't wait 2 minutes for something to be over before they try to keep going. Very sad.

So much has been lost.


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: InOBU
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 10:35 AM

Different folks have different view of the law and of law per se. I find, like Ghandi and Dr. King, that the minority have more than a right, they have an obligation to resist laws which remove from them rights which define themselves as a people. Certainly Morris Dancing, Busking, Ballads in pubs, define us as Britons (For my Irish sisters and Brothers - I use that term as an Anglo Irishman, and in it's ancient menaing - not to start a drift but to define that term in a way to avoid controversy off the point of the statement... Oh boy, here it comes... )Anyway, when we who cling to our ancient traditions become a minority in our own lands, we have a right to passively resist change, in the same way other minorities have a right to assert their place in a growing community. In this we join with new members of the society demanding right to be who they are in England, in Wales, in Cornwall, in Scotland. The real enimy to tradition is not the immagrant population, but the old established ruleing class.They are the ones turning English villages into shopping malls!!! while banning ancient traditions
So, don't throw bricks, DANCE!
Larry


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:29 PM

Day of action 19th July. A good place to start dancing......


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Subject: RE: Traditional activities and the law
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:03 AM

A lot of teams have trouble getting a side together at all to dance, let alone finding someone to act as traffic cop!!! Funny though, mention a subsidised/free trip abroad to a country with lots of beer and old members are crawling out of the woodwork to join.....

And yes, as a pedestrian, the dancer has right of way, and will not be charged with obstruction or jaywalking, unless there are police controls in force. Any accident would be the driver's fault unless the dancers were doing it in a silly place, like, oooh, say, the bottom of the hairpin hill, by the harbour at Robin Hood's Bay, where visibility is about 6 feet round the corner for a good 50 - 75 yards. Then there would need to be someone on point duty, for everyone's safety!

Every team that dances in public should have public liability insurance. Even sitting on the side, accidents can happen, especially if the dancers 'drift' - a phenomenon that usually only happens where there is a big space to dance in..... I had my glasses broken by a long sword that got swung too vigourously, by a team that were about 15feet away from me when they started, but drifted over and I had nowhere to back off to. Lucky I was wearing the glasses, because the sword could have broken my nose or smashed that delicate bit just above the cheekbone, on the temple.....

LTS


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