The Sheringham Potty Morris & Folk Festival 2017

One of the joys of being back in North Norfolk is discovering all the local events I avoided as a teenager. As you have read from some of my previous posts- I am making more of an effort to discover and write about what is on my doorstep- and I think this one has been my favourite so far!
The Potty Festival  was started by the Lobster Potties Morris dancers in 1993, by Reg Grimes the then Squire (Chairman), Clive Rayment Foreman (Dance teacher) and Penny Shepherd Bagman (Treasurer), as a way of saying thank you to the sides that had invited the Potties to visit them for a weekend of dance. 

This first weekend was such a success that it has been going on for 24 years! And from what I have heard it’s got bigger each year! This year it ran for two days, with the main event on the Saturday.

The morning the Potty Festival Started I was actually working. But that wasn’t a bad thing… as the opening procession through the town went right past the front door.

The weather was glorious and the town was full of music and bells. The Shantymen were performing down by the sea and wee were super busy so my shift flew by. I was soon able to get out amongst the crowds and really explore.

(warning – this is going to be a super photo heavy post)

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I first stopped at the dance spot outside my work and watched what *my* idea of Morris Dancing is. White shirts, bells and sticks. This is what I did for a year when I started high school and it’s what I have associated with Morris ever since. 

I would soon be proven very wrong.

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As I slowly made my way down towards the seafront the outfits got wilder and wilder. I walked past what seemed like a biker gang of dancers, and some ladies all in shades of purple and black.

Painted faces, masks and feathers galore.

It was such a brilliant clash of colours and noise that I spent a good four hours wandering the side streets of Sheringham watching all the Sides perform and talking to the spectators when I could. Everyone I passed has massive grins on their faces. 

The happiness was contagious. 

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The age range of people taking part was the thing that amazed me the most. It was something that I had just imagined as a past time for the my parents and their parents generation, but was I was surrounded by all ages.

 All having the time of their lives.

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As lovely as it was to see the (what I thought was) traditional side of Morris dancing, the dancers that brought the biggest smiles to my face were the ones with the more outrageous costumes.

Are they called costumes, outfits??? I am probably insulting so many people with the generalisations in this post – but that is what these festivals are for I suppose, to show people there are more than one way to keep traditions alive.

 

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Two of the sides I enjoyed watching the most were (I THINK -and I am sorry if I have got this the wrong way round- please correct me in the comments below) Black Pig Border Morris…

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 This side was the most energetic and colourful side. Each member really got in to the spirit of each dance performed. I don’t suppose there are many instances in life where you can charge at someone yelling at the top of your lungs waving a stick- so they were doing this with great enthusiasm. 

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Each outfit was completely different and really enhanced the personality of the dancer. And although each outfit was different when it came to the dance it all blended seemlessly together. 

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The other side was Sutton Masque.

For me their colours reminded me more of the folk side of this festival. Of history and tradition with nature. 

Combined with the energy and enthusiasm of the Black Pig Border Side. 

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Now I couldn’t tell you much about the dances. I may have seen the same one more that once, but the personalities injected into the dances made it so I could have probably watched the same sequence more than once and not noticed. 

Each dance had a story to it. Could I follow it- not really. Did that matter? Not at all. 

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 So yes. I went to a Morris festival and enjoyed it. If I told my teen self this I don’t know what I would have thought. 

The festival celebrates its 25th anniversary next year- and if you want a fun day out, that’s loud, colourful and fun to entertain you, children AND has many a beer garden for the grown ups – this is the festival for you. 

It was lovely to see Sheringham SO busy and has made me look forward to carnival week even more. When the town is busy it really gives it the chance to shine and show what it can really do!

www.pottyfestival.com

Were you in the crowds in Sheringham this weekend? Or where you one of the dancers? Have I got something massively wrong ๐Ÿ˜‚ let me know in the comments below!

-Amanda. 

Ps this blog took a week to sort out because I took about 400 picture that I had to go through ๐Ÿ˜‚

Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival 2017

Cromer and Sheringham basked in the sunshine this weekend – Perfect weather for the 2017 Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival.

It took place from Friday 19th through till Sunday 21st May, Starting in Cromer and taking over Sheringham’s historic sea front on the Sunday.

I only managed to make it to Sheringham on the Sunday but followed all the fun from the first two days in Cromer on social media. I really missed out and will make sure I am free next year to take part in the entire weekend!

On the Friday night at Cromer Pier there was a concert at the Pavilion Theatre with Olly Day, Nigel Boy Syer, The Sheringham Shantymen and Marlene’s Dancers. 

The Festival really kicked off during the day on Saturday. They took over the Evington Lawns and held cooking demonstrations, crab dressing workshops, heritage displays and local produce stalls whilst live music and The Woodfords Beer Tent kept all hydrated.

On Sunday the festival continued in Cromer, but also spread down the coast to Sheringham, closing off the seafront to traffic and taking over The Crown Inn’s car park.

In Sheringham children were being entertained by Razz the Clown and Auntie Pearl and the Eastern IFCA’s amazing  giant fish tank that held (believe it or not) various types of crab and a couple of HUGE lobsters. The team running the tank were friendly and answered all sorts of questions. AND they were brave enough to stick their hands into the tank! This guy may have been safe, but there were smaller crabs in there wandering freely that could have a good nip if they so wished!

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Nine Months in Norfolk.

I just realised that I have been back in North Norfolk now for 9 months! I can’t believe how much time has flown by.

I am really enjoying being back. Work is brilliant, and I have more time to try and organise and sort my life out… which after 7 years in London, seriously needs to happen.

This post is just a round up of some of the photography that has happened whilst I have been back. Norfolk truly is beautiful and I carry my camera around with me all the time now.

Expect a lot more on this blog over the coming months as adventures are a foot and I have a few past trips to write about too! I will also be nosing around the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out for some blog posts about that!

But now- to the sea!

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Continue reading “Nine Months in Norfolk.”

BATFAs Throughout The Years-2014

And so we reach 2014. Warning… this one is a bit long!

2014 was a fairly uneventful year queue wise- we were in the in the queue super early and so had the joy of the music and drunk people from the night club opposite. At one point a *very* drunk man came and sat with us and chatted for ages about how he was Michael Balls son, telling us all about his life. We were soon left to sleep and by the time we woke up the queue was getting pretty impressive behind us. This year we didn’t get moved on, as we kept all the fire exits clear and rubbish to a minimum. They did come out and check on us every now and again throughout the day but for some reason this year they didn’t seem to mind. Saturday night passed with awful music and more drunk people; and by Sunday morning ย the queue was looping around the entire theatre.

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BAFTAs Throughout The Years -2013

Ahhh 2013, the year in which the weather decided that we had had it too good last year and gave us two years worth of weather in the space of 2 hours. RAIN AND SNOW!

Queueing was a little less dramatic this year, we arrived super early Saturday morning ( it was more still Friday night lol) and set up for the long wait. The queue was sent away at one point but as we were the front of it we were allowed to keep a list until we were allowed back, and people HAD to come back. If they weren’t there by the time we a settled in for the night they got crossed off – no sneaking in and pretending you’ve been there all night.

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BAFTAs Throughout The Years- 2012

We kick off this week with a look back at 2012’s Frozen Carpet… Oh sorry, I mean Red Carpet.

We all arrived early Saturday morning, this year we were joined by Beckie, another girl called Sam and our Sam’s cousin. We passed the time in the queue a lot quicker as my friend Bex was using this opportunity to film a documentary for her final university project. The weeks leading up to the BAFTA’s she had got all the correct permissions and had even gone to BAFTA to interview some of the people who organise the awards. On these two days she would be getting footage of the crowds and interviewing the fans. Continue reading “BAFTAs Throughout The Years- 2012”

BAFTAs Throughout The Years – 2009.

Having well and truly caught the Red Carpet bug last year, in 2009 we were a tad more prepared. As luck would have it I worked just around the corner at The Novello Theatre and ย on the night before the BAFTAs they were doing an overnight get out, which meant access to the toilets. Because of this we decided to do our first “camp out”-and by that I mean stay awake all night because we were still not *that* prepared for the cold. A work friend Emma had decided to join Bex and I. She was from America and was up for experiencing all that London had to offer, so we gave her the experience of putting ย your feet in a bag because you can’t quite feel your toes. Oh and meeting a few celebrities!

Continue reading “BAFTAs Throughout The Years – 2009.”