Boxing Day 2012

Charity Duck Race, Forester Morris Men and the Greenwood Clog Dancers

By Neil Fortey and Catherine Pugh

The Foresters Morris Men, ready to go.
Morris dancing.
Morris dancing.
The excellent band of musicians that accompanied the dancing..
The ducks sweep away from the Washdyke Bridge, heading for the finish line.
Photographer Ted Rayson, caught in the thick of the action.
The winners approaching the chequered flag!
The sun shone, the spectators watched the morris men.
The fiddler and the crowd.
The Master of Ceremonies.
Start of another dance.
Getting a bit hectic.
The whistle and the fiddle.
You don't mess with these chaps!
A hot glass of mulled wine, sir? It slipped down well, I can tell you.
And the band played on.
Judge's verdict? Null point!
Their feet didn't touch the ground.
The winners enclosure.
The Greenwood Clog dancers.
The Pied Piper of Bottesford.
The bold fiddler.
The crowd gave a big round if applauds for this intrepid lady.

The annual Charity Duck Race, run by the Vale of Belvoir Lions

Christmas in 2012 will be remembered across Britain for the rains and floods that bedeviled people preparing to travel and celebrate. Bottesford was perhaps fortunate in escaping serious flooding, though the fords through the River Devon were submerged and the river itself was turned into a murky torrent for several days on end.

The weather eased over Christmas day itself, and the morning of Boxing Day dawned sunny and mild. Even so, the river was still flowing fast and the water was on the point of covering again the roadway at the ford on Rectory Lane. Would the annual charity duck race have to be called off? Fortunately, the intrepid members of the Vale of Belvoir Lions elected to go ahead. Despite the higher than usual water levels the annual race took place as usual, though at high-speed. It was followed by a large and enthusiastic audience, who afterwards enjoyed mulled wine and the display of morris and clog dancing.

In some recent years, river levels have been very low and the plastic ducks have had to be given some physical encouragement to complete their course. Not this year! This promised to be the fastest race for some time, perhaps the fastest ever (Guinness Book of Records take note!).

There was a good turn out of locals and old friends, including photographer Ted Rayson, who has been capturing village life and local scenes through his lens for many years, recording so much local history that otherwise would have been forgotten.

Spectators watching the launch of the plastic pioneers at the Wash Dyke Bridge had to rush to the ford to catch the final moments as the bold winner swept majestically beneath the winning tape.

The Foresters Morris Men & the Greenwood Clog

The Foresters Morris Men (full title “The Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club”) was formed in 1952, and was the first Morris Dancing club in Nottingham. The Greenwood Step Clog Dancers are based in Nottingham and were formed in 1974.

This page was added on 12/01/2013.

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