Boekka’s 10th Birthday – Memories

The year 2020 has many special dates and anniversaries but unfortunately the Covid Virus prevented people from celebrating in the way they had planned. August 8th marks our Cornish Guise team Boekka’s 10th birthday. So much has happened in this time.

The following photographs of Boekka in the days when our ‘Oss Penkevyll briefly performed as Penglaz the Penzance ‘Oss.

Mazey Eve 2009

Devon and Cornwall Pagan Conference 2010

We were in the developmental stages of creating a Guise team that could travel to other parts of Cornwall and the U.K., however we did not realize that Penglaz was not permitted to perform outside of Penzance (although this now seems to have changed).

2011

When Boekka and our ‘Oss were no longer required in Penzance this set us free to re-name our ‘Oss and perform anywhere we desired. It took a while to change our image and the following photograph was at her naming ceremony on 6th March 2011.

Boekka then made it’s debut with Penkevyll at Spring Equinox 2011 in Crean St Buryan. The Teazers were now working on choreographed dances with a band consisting of a hurdy-gurdy and drummers.

Creating and running a Guise team is hard work organizing practices, events etc. A few more members joined which inspired Rhys to teach a Morris team alongside the existing Guise team. Some of the community did not agree with this inclusion as they considered Morris dancing an English tradition rather than Cornish.

In 2011 we attended various events shown in the following photographs.

Cornwall Pride 2011

It also seemed to be a year for media work! We appeared with Sue Perkins on the Television program All Roads Lead Home and also Paul Merton’s Caravanning Adventures.

Rochester Sweeps Festival was our first weekend away to an event and Kent is 340 miles away. Penkevyll caused quite a stir as it seemed that no one in Kent had seen a skull ‘Oss before.

2012

In 2012 the Morris side connected to Boekka had 12 members. More dances and events were introduced and as we had no musician at this time, the teams performed with percussion only while I taught myself to play melodeon. We hired a minibus and travelled to Scotland in March to perform at the Scottish Pagan Conference.

Boekka performed at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic’s Charm Day event in Boscastle.

We also performed at Godolphin Fair

In Marazion on a hot summer day.

It did not take long for me to learn tunes for Boekka composed by Rhys our rider.

Rhys also played percussion on occasions for Teazer dances choreographed by Laetitia.

Teignmouth Folk Festival

Pasty Day Redruth

2013

By 2013 some of our members left for various reasons and then new ones joined us. Due to a lack of regular commitment in 2012, we were unable to reach a high standard of performance as we had a limited number of good dancers. Rhys then taught the new members Morris dances. A local man who was a Cotswold Morris dancer joined us and also rides Penkevyll on occasions. He is still a member of Boekka now.

Bodmin Riding Heritage Day

North Inn Pendeen

Lands End

May morning on Chapel Carn Brea

2014

In 2014 two more members left the Morris team and it was difficult to get new recruits as performers were more interested in Cornish performance. Rhys tried to maintain a high standard of performance that some had found difficult to cope with. We continued with the few dancers we had along with the Cornish Teazer and ‘Oss side of Boekka that remained intact.

Teignmouth Folk Festival

Wreckers Day of Dance

Lands End

Bodmin Riding Heritage Day

Marazion

Lands End

Chapel Carn Brea

St Pirans Day

St Pirans Day – we usually team up with the  Whippletree band in the processions

Chepstow Wassail

The first All Hallows Dark Gathering 2014

We continue this journey in Part 2!

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