After driving about three hours north from London I arrived last night at my cousin’s home. I saw them recently in the south of France, when visiting the lovely villa they had rented there for a fortnight, but the whole family hadn’t been there, so wanted to call in on the way through.
“Do you have to rush off in the morning?” was one of the first things Christine asked me. Apparently today is Wakes Monday (no, I hadn’t heard of it either!) and the famous Abbots Bromley Horn Dance would be taking place. (I hadn’t heard of that either!)
Apparently this is a ceremony that has been performed since the year 1226. “How far away is Abbots Bromley?” I asked. How can I possibly miss the Horn Dance when its only about 5 miles away?
There are a couple of goals on my list involving English eccentricities (and there are plenty to choose from, believe me!) I just love this crazy historical sort of stuff. It’s quite fascinating.
So Eli and I drove this morning to scenic Blithfield Hall, owned by Lady Bagot. There we joined a growing crowd of assorted onlookers, many of whom looked as eccentric as the event they had come to see.
The dancers came along and danced their dance of fertility and re-birth, and were photographed by an impressively large group of photoraphers. Eli told me that it is a big event. She knew that it must be, as she had never seen so many police men and women in the area – there were five of them!
After the excitement of the dance we headed into Abbots Bromley itself, where the town is gearing itself up for an afternoon of dancing around the many pubs in the village. As usual, this sort of English village event always takes place in very close proximity to the local pub.
We had some lunch and headed home, but when the rest of the family came in from work we headed back to Abbots Bromley to join in with the culmination of the festivities.