Taking advantage of the fact that though most bits of England are quite close together and yet quite different, the Westminster Morris Men headed over to Gloucestershire for their inaugural Gloucestershire Tour. We based ourselves in the sleepy, quaint & amusingly named town of Minchinhampton and radiated out from there.

Thankfully I didn't suffer the same mystery illness as on the Cotswolds weekend, and was able to get a stack of dancing done. Lamentably, about the only photo of me actually dancing seems to feature my gargantuan arse quite prominently. Complete photoset found under this link.

We went to the 19th Century industrial centre of Stroud – a picturesque hillside town and visually quite striking as you drive in, I thought – as well as ducking and weaving through the hills to a bunch of other places with equally excellent names: Bisley, Miserden, Tetbury, Sapperton, and a stop in Cirencester.

(Note to Eldo, Dave, Kev & Winnie: unfortunately there wasn't anyone about to ask if we were on the right road…)

Gloucestershire was one of the areas of rural England that was quite affected by the copious August rainfall that took place, and so our Sunday program had to be amended from Rupert's original plans – due in main to the first pub being in 4 feet of water. Instead we danced in Chedworth (and didn't get time to see the Roman Villa), and then in Northleach.

As we were in the neighbourhood & had time to spare, Syd, Dave and I popped into the Museum of Mechanical Music in Northleach as well. I was gutted to visit such a splendid museum without The Puzzler's supervision, however it was quite interesting, covering the development of gramophones, phonographs, pianolas, and the other thing the name of which I can't remember but produced music by rotating a metal disc with holes cut in over the top of a series of pins which in turn sounded chimes. Awesome stuff.

Only other thing to report was that it was Roger's 60th birthday on the Saturday, so at the first dance stop we halted proceedings and presented him with a cream bun with a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday. He seemed less amused that we did it on the second stop as well. And the third. And so on, until the pack of 6 buns that we'd bought was exhausted. At the final spot in Minchinhampton though I managed to regain some credibility at least – as luck would have it there was a Welsh choir milling outside the pub in preparation for their concert on Saturday night, and I managed to convince them to sing the birthday song to Roger in 4 part harmony.

2007-09-09 : Gloucester – not as submersible as you’d think
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