Over the years the Dark Gathering has gathered momentum and has been supported in its endeavours by generous donations from both the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic and Boscastle Chamber of Commerce. We feel it is time for us to start finding our own ways of funding the event through other means as well so we have begun to look at selling merchandise. This year we set that particular ball rolling by selling badges, and being rather theatrical types, we wanted to produce a specific character to sell them. Enter the Pedlar!
I chose one of our friends who had offered help, Michelle Elliot aka Selkie Shell to be the Pedlar and she was brilliant! She created a wonderful character who I believe met quite a few people over the afternoon as she had sold out in a couple of hours! However, if you wanted to buy some badges as mementos and were unable to, I have ordered a few more. Just contact me via the website: Dark Gathering Badges. There will be changes to some badges for next year so get this year’s designs while you can!
Now where were we… oh yes – the rain came down! Cwmni Gwerin Pontypwl had come all the way from Wales to perform and it appeared that they brought their own weather with them! Regardless of the foul weather they continued to perform for the more stoic members of the audience who remained. What troopers they were! However, even they had to abandon their demonstration of Welsh Dancing when it started to hail or risk concussion! Sadly I have no photos to show you of their brave performance but I do have some footage taken by our tenacious volunteer who was filming live. It also contains some charming dialogue between Gem who was filming and young Olivia who took pity on her and came over and sheltered Gem with her umbrella. Many thanks also to Simon Costin who did a similar thing for the Welsh musicians to keep them and their instruments dry. 🙂
Then 30 mins later when the Morris action was due to start again, the rain stopped. Obviously I’m glad it stopped, but I did feel a bit sorry for Cwmni Gwerin Pontypwl but when I voiced this to them they just laughed and said they were used to it as it happened all the time in Wales! In fact they enjoyed themselves so much they’re coming back next year! 🙂
I unexpectedly got to achieve an ambition of mine this Dark Gathering. Since I started to learn to play drum I’ve watched other good drummers avidly and learned from them. Chris Neno from Beltane has always been a drummer I have admired and I tentatively asked his Mum whether it was OK to join the drummers in the Beltane Fire Dance. She said that was fine and mentioned this to Chris who came over and said I could play with Beltane for the day anyway. I was thrilled and drummed with them from that point. It was awesome – like riding the crest of a wave – especially when it came to the Fire Dance!
The afternoon continued with superb performances from all the Morris sides.
Whilst I was drumming with Beltane I looked up into the sky to savour the moment, and I spotted a large ‘murder’ of crows circling and swooping overhead. It looked like they were showing great interest in Beltane’s dancing just below – and who can blame them? Magic! 🙂
Then the squire of Vixen came over and invited Laetitia to dance a Gemini reprise following their last dance. This is a great dance that involves precision and timing and it was nearly 20 years since Laetitia had last performed it. Sadly to date I have not found any footage of this performance (if anyone did film any part of this please let me know) – however, here is the dance Gemini prior to Laetitia’s input.
At least I got one photo of her in her moment of glory at the end of her performance. Well done Laetitia – proud of you! 😀
If you want to hear Laetitia’s thoughts on this go to this link:
What a brilliant way to end the afternoon session! So then it was time to take a break so we could prepare for the evening’s events which brought quite a few surprises to us all.
To be continued…