This year I took on extra responsibility in organizing the All Hallows Dark Gathering to assist Cassandra Latham Jones after the managers of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic informed us they were leaving. We also worked closely with Simon Costin informing him of all the arrangements being made.
Many people enjoy this event each year, but have no idea how much work goes into the organizing of it. As well as caring for the performers, Cassandra also goes the ‘extra mile’ in caring for the community, for example: where they will find accommodation, where they can get refreshments and became involved with the village residents concerning a park and ride scheme so that all could find spaces to park their cars and disabled folk would find it easier to make their way to Boscastle. She has been given huge support by the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, the Chamber of Commerce and other members of their local community.
When we entered 2018 I had a feeling there would be significant changes to our lives and this has proved to be so.
At the Dark Gathering this year our special guest was Wolfshead and Vixen Morris. It has been 15 years since I danced with this team and I was looking forward to seeing them once again.
Their first dance performed by Wolfshead is known as ‘Four Seasons’. A person is often chosen to stand in the middle while they dance around them and I was delighted they chose me, as it brought back fond memories of the previous time this happened outside the King Arthurs Arms in Tintagel back in 2001.
Later that afternoon, I was asked by the Squire of Vixen to join them in my favourite dance Gemini. It’s a dance I have not forgotten and I know that it is one Beltane Border Morris particularly like.
I had no time to practice it with them, but as soon as the dance began, the 15 years I had been away seemed to disappear and every move was performed as precisely as it had all those years ago.
Here is footage of their dance and the invitation for me to join them at the end of the footage to perform the same dance.
The members of Vixen were amazed that I remembered it so well and were so pleased with the performance, I received a hug from each of them when the dance was over.
The last time I performed in Boscastle with them outside the Museum was 17 years previously on the 12th June 2001.
Taking part in this has given me a wonderful and positive new memory as it is now the best and most satisfying Morris dance I have ever performed at the All Hallows Gathering with a fabulous team. I cannot thank them enough for this moment.
The Gathering goes from strength to strength and has a protective energy about it. Long may it continue.