In 2015 Rhys moved away from the area to pursue his career. I took over the role as teacher for the Morris dances as well as Teazer dances, but was also needed as a dancer. I was unable to play music at this time, therefore most dances were done with percussion.
Chepstow Wassail 2015
Boekka acquired another ‘Oss rider who was the shortest we ever had, so Penkevyll did not tower above the other ‘Osses at this event. The rider was also a founder member of a local Morris team, so I danced with them on a few occasions.
St Pirans Day Redruth 2015
Trewellard Beer Festival
Wreckers Day of Dance
After Wreckers Day of Dance, I felt the Morris team was not progressing and decided to close it down. I had put in a huge amount of effort to keeping it going, however the difficulty of recruiting in Cornwall and maintaining a high standard of performance was not possible. We were then able to concentrate on Teazer and ‘Oss performances and become more involved with the local Morris team.
All Hallows Dark Gathering 2015
At this event I performed with the local Morris team while Cassandra was Teazer for Penkevyll.
2016 was a busier year, as well as performing with Boekka we attended many events with the local Morris team. It seemed to work well together as our ‘Oss rider also performed in both.
Chepstow Wassail 2016
Boekka was asked to perform at a Handfasting in Lamorna. Our other ‘Oss rider who lives locally volunteered for this one. The torrential rain outside, meant Penkevyll was well and truly soaked when she arrived for her performance that evening!
St Pirans 2016
All Hallows Dark Gathering 2016
It was a busy summer, Cassandra and I worked hard with the local Morris team, but as it was not the type of team that resonated with me. When we arrived on Friday evening at the Dark Gathering, certain incidents convinced me it was time to leave the team. In retaliation the founder member announced he would not ride Penkevyll at this event. Fortunately, another Morris dancer who attended but was not performing that weekend, kindly offered to stand in until we found another rider.
In 2017 when Cassandra handed on the role of Head Teazer to me, I was then able to concentrate solely on this performance without dividing my energies. Life with Boekka settled into a positive routine and the energies improved immensely.
Chepstow Wassail 2017
With me as main Teazer, Cassandra focused on her drumming and met excellent percussionists who assisted in her development.
St Pirans Day Redruth 2017
While I teazed Penkevyll at this event, Cassandra played percussion with Whippletree band.
It was decided at Beltane 2017 to give Penkevyll a total change of image, discarding unwanted residue from the past for a fresh beginning. Penkevyll had a new mane, new dress and her tatters are now Cornish colours of black, white and gold.
Although Cassandra had handed over the Teazer role, she could not resist posing in our new image and her ‘trusty’ snapper!
After completing Penkevyll’s new image, my creative juices were flowing, so I purchased a small ‘Obby ‘Oss of my own now known as Morvargh the Dark Sea ‘Oss. It is a good idea to own a smaller ‘Oss so that I can ride her if Penkevyll is unable to appear at an event. The foal is a welcome addition to our team and popular with Boekka fans.
Tintagel Carnival 2017
All Hallows Dark Gathering 2017
Morvargh made her debut at the Dark Gathering 2017 during the afternoon. I rode her with Wreckers Morris during their Song of the Sea dance.
2018 brought a surprising change to Boekka. A younger man contacted us with a desire to join a ‘dark and edgy’ team. We tried him out as rider for Penkevyll and he had good potential. He connected with the spiritual side of ‘Oss riding and treats Penkevyll with utmost care and respect. These aspects are extremely important. ‘Osses should not be treated merely as puppets for one’s convenience and/or ego which sadly occurs more frequently now that owning an ‘Oss is a fashionable ‘trend’. I have also acquired two apprentice Teazers that connect with Penkevyll in their own way. One of them also rides Morvargh on occasions.
Chepstow Wassail 2018
Penkevyll’s riders were unavailable for Chepstow, however I managed to find a young, tall, muscular Welshman to ride Penkevyll during the afternoon. In the evening, we had the freedom to enjoy the ceremony on the bridge without an ‘Oss to distract us.
We spent the summertime training our new ‘Oss rider and Teazers who made their official debut at the next event.
All Hallows Dark Gathering 2018
Cassandra joined the drummers of wonderful Beltane as she enjoys their wild rhythms which are second to none!
It was wonderful for me to re-connect with my former Morris team from nearly 20 years ago. This gave me the opportunity to come ‘full circle’; by performing my final Morris dance with Vixen at the All Hallows Dark Gathering… a place ‘between the worlds’ where magical things occur!
2019 had a wonderful start with the Chepstow Wassail as we invited Beorma Morris and they joined us at this event. It was fabulous to catch up with friends we had not seen in a while as we had missed them since they were no longer performing at the Dark Gathering with Wytchwood Morris.
This year the Maris had a Beauty Pageant where Boekka were interviewed. There were 33 Maris and ‘Osses so we were waiting behind the stage for quite a while!
My apprentice Teazer and I performed a choreographed dance on the bridge around Cassandra and Penkevyll.
St Pirans Day Redruth 2019
On St Pirans Day I had work commitments, so I left Penkevyll in the hands of my two Apprentice Teazers and they did a magnificent job!
Tintagel Carnival 2019
Boekka were joined by Mari Arianrhod visiting from Wales for the Carnival procession.
All Hallows Dark Gathering 2019
Morvargh took more of an active role this year, rode by one of our Teazers. I stepped in as co-organiser after the sudden departure of the managers from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.
The Chepstow Wassail was unfortunately cancelled this year, so we attended the Brecon Wassail. It is a smaller event; however we were keen to meet up with our Welsh friends who joined us with their Maris. Our Teazers also performed with the Welsh dancers, although the dancing in my opinion was better when we rehearsed the previous evening during our drinking session!
Cassandra’s wonderful 70th Birthday Party occurred in March 2020 with our special guests – the fabulous Beltane Border Morris. After that, it became one of the strangest years we have known where events were cancelled and the whole world changed beyond recognition! Let us hope that soon we can return to some sort of normality as there are many performers missing their music and dance which is an important part of our lives!
So there you have it….10 years of Boekka and what an incredible, eventful journey! I wonder what the next 10 years will bring…… we will see you soon!!