Pacific Party '98

14th August 1998 saw Betty Lupton's Ladle Laikers, Flag & Bone Gang and Carlisle Cloggies leaving soggy England (from Glasgow) for the party of a life time. During the following 2 weeks we were incredibly well looked after by teams from Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria.

Carlisle in Seatle The first Saturday saw us dancing at Granville Island in the heart of tourist Vancouver. The setting was spectacular as was the dancing from all six teams. Vancouver Morris Men danced North West in their giant flowered hats. Tiddley Cove danced Cotswold in red dresses and Brittania English Clog danced, er.. Clog. They organised a wonderful feast for us afterwards at the Billy Bishop which showed us their capacity for partying. Sunday saw us sailing to Bowen Island, another tourist trap. The scenery was as good as the weather. Two cracking dance spots, then another feast at Sarah's house.

The next three days we becaume tourists ourselves and explored Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Some of our hosts who were not at work became our guides, the scenery is spectacular. It is impossible to describe how big everything seems and how clean and tidy everywhere was and how friendly the Canadians are.

Thursday, and we took our hire cars to Squamish to dance for the steam train arriving and then again as it left. Then we went to dance at Shannon Falls to a very attentive audience.

Friday we drove accross the border to the Seattle InterNation'Ale. After the relative calm and order of Vancouver, Seattle seems to be on overdrive, the difference in the two cities was very interesting. The Morris teams looked after us incredibly well and we had a fantastic time. The Saturday morning dancing was split into different tours (and brew pubs) and we all met up again at Gasworks Park for much mass dancing. The mass dancing seemed quite alien to most of us as it was all Cotswold and none of our three teams dance Cotswold although we did have chance to learn it on the Friday get together. Whereas we would probably do a mass dance at the end of a weekend, in America they do it at every turn about!

Bettys in Seatle The feast was magnificent, what else is there to say, fantastic. The spots (er.. skits) were brilliant, even the spoof of Flag and Bone's history which can only have been written 10 minutes earlier. Sunday saw us dancing on the sea front overlooking the Puget Sound with sea planes taking off and landing in the bay. Lunch was in a Pizza house which we seemed to take over, even dancing round the tables. In the evening we had an impromptu party at Steve Galey's (squire of Seattle Morris) house to finish off the beer, that took 'till 1.30am!
Monday, we took two ferries to end up sailing into Victoria harbour. We felt a kind of calm flow over us as we left the hubbub of America behind to the 'Englishness' of Victoria. We were met by John Carver the squire of Island Thyme and taken to Dan's house. This amazing place has a hall built on to the side for the team to practice in, complete with mirrors. As in Seattle we were billeted out to team member's houses. Next day, after sight seeing, including whale watching, we met up to dance in front of the Legislative Building. This was a perfect spot as there were steps for the huge audience to sit on. One of the things we noticed in North America was that when people watched they stayed for the whole performance, that doesn't seem to happen so much over here. Bettys in Seatle

On Wednesday we had to leave Victoria to catch the ferry back to the mainland. It was our last night and the Vancouver folks had arranged for us to dance in Ladner outside a fish and chip shop owned by a lady from Bradford! It closed at 9.00pm. Good job we had the Billy Bishop to go back to for another mega session. This was followed by some very sad farewells.

Morris Dancing Teams in the Ripon & Harrogate District