What a fantastic weekend the Harfest was, so much so that next year’s is already being mentioned.
Held in the idylic surroundings of the gardens of the Crown public house on the village green in Hartest with the river Glem trickling along the bottom of the garden boundry and bordered by indiginous trees, folk music came to the village.
As always the performances were of the highest quality from Big Marc through David Cambridge, local boy Cam Brown on Saturday and the Emergers, Sam Inglis and Kelly and Woolley on Sunday.
All were stars but dare I say it they were slightly outshone by the open mike performers. Their ages ranged from three to fourteen. The enthusiasm of these youngsters to perform was wonderful. Macey, Amelia and Bo together with a little lad who just wanted to join in performed the songs ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Coronation’ and with a combined age of probably no more than thirteen they received a rapturous aplause.
A young girl came up, her face painted like a cartoon cat, my guess is she was five maybe six, and asked if she could sing a song in French. Which she did. A young lad who was first in the queue, yes they were queuing, sang a hymn. Sometimes one of those magic moments suddenly occur when a performer steps up to the mic and a hush decends on the audience. A young lady, probably just in her teens, gave the most powerful performance I have heard in years. To my shame I didn’t write down her name or the title of the song (I was a bit busy) and memory being what it is I have forgotten. Was it Bonny? If anyone reads this and knows what her name is please contact me and I will give her the recognition she deserved on the day.
Another star made a brief appearance on Sunday afternoon spotted by Alison O’Kane and circling just above the oaks, visible for no more than five seconds, a red kite. Why go to Rutland Water to see them when they are on our door step on the banks of the river Glem at Hartest. Fantastic.
L ast Friday, I enjoyed a leisurely morris dancing picnic in the lovely, lush green surroundings of Nowton Park.
One of the members of Bury Fair Women’s Morris had decided to celebrate a Big Birthday by inviting us all to a picnic with bells on. We didn’t have to wear our full morris kit, although some people did. Others, like myself, came in civvie clothes, adorned with an assortment of kit items – hats, baldrics or waistcoats.
We did a few dances before settling down to a sumptuous array of sandwiches, cakes and fruit, washed down with wine, beer and soft drinks.
The birthday girl was celebrating her 70th, and there were a number of lively young grandchildren on hand to enjoy the feast. The children were persuaded to join in a Bear Dance. They formed a follow-my-leader procession, imitating the extravagant actions of our foreman, Claire, who led them a merry dance.
Bury Fair would welcome new members. The group meets on a Wednesday evening, practicing during the winter months and dancing out at local pubs during the summer. They will be at The White Horse, in Beyton, with Green Dragons on Wednesday July 1 and The Gardners, in Tostock, on Wednesday July 15. In between, they will be going to weekend folk festivals (the Lobster Potties at Sheringham on July 4 and Ely Folk Festival on July 11) so there is no dancing out on Wednesday July 8.
If you can’t make those dates, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://sites.google.com/site/buryfair for more info.