Abbey Inn and The Owl in Rodley

The Abbey InnThis Thursday we were at the old haunts of the Abbey Inn and the Owl in Rodley (well…I’ve been there twice and remember going, and I’ve been there in my time outside Morris once, so it’s almost like I’m there every week…well…almost).

As I’m sure anyone in England will have noticed this week, the weather has been absolutely stunning.  There’s lots of sun, and barely a cloud in the sky.  That’s meant that there are hundreds of people out and about lounging and having fun, and spending time in pubs.  That’s great!  It’s not only a great social activity, as well as great to support good pubs, but mainly, it means that we had a fairly large audience.  A fairly encouraging audience as well.  While at the bar in the Abbey Inn a lovely woman commented on how we’d made her day turning up, because she’d only come for one drink, and now she was onto paying for drinks with her card because she’d ran out of paper money.  She mentioned about really looking forward to watching us dance.

The Abbey Inn is quite secluded.  It’s not near any roads, and you have to drive over a narrow bridge just to get there.  It’s more for people walking along the canal, but since quite a lot of people do this it’s always been busy when I’ve been there.  It’s got quite a few beers on, but not much bar room, which is a bit of a shame when you need to get a drink, and then go and dance.

Alun Davies after dancing up and down the hill at the Abbey Inn

The Abbey Inn is quite a strange dance spot, since it’s got quite a lot of people, it’s always quite fun to dance at.  It also doesn’t have a lot of dance room  other than on the road, which wouldn’t be a problem, except it’s quite a steep hill.  Last year we tried dancing Wheatley up and down it, but found that it was far far easier coming down the hill, than it was going back up, leading one couple always rushing to get back to their place.  Even still, Heys were quite difficult as there was a lot of weaving about, and the set often tended to get quite wide in some cases, mostly in trying to stop us getting to far down the hill.  We had a fantastic young lad dancing with us who seemed to pick up the sticking to constant billy (or was it young collins) quite quickly.

It was a pleasant trip to the Abbey, with a couple of dances, and the bright sunny day made it quite nice to just sit and have a beer, and enjoy the dance.  We finished up, and moved onto the next pub:  the owl in rodley.

Last year the owl set us up a lovely little space to dance just near the conservatory in the back.  Unfortunately this year, what with there being an absolutely radiant day (have I mentioned yet how nice the day was), they had decided to fit more stools outside, and we had to dance in the car park.  It took us a while to start dancing, as we had to do the bagging, and look into the Dales and other such things, and then we realised that we’d left the sticks back at the Abbey Inn.  It was getting a little dark when we ended up starting to dance.

Leeds Morris Men in set

Our fool Moss, ended up grabbing a fellow from the colonies.  Neil from Australia danced a few dances with us, with a loud broad australian accent and then we took a couple of team photos.  He seemed to get it better than most.  Later on we had a father and son join us for a dance, with Moss allowing them to dance up and down the set themselves.  With some great directions from our fool, most of the people in the set probably didn’t even notice.

We left the owl, with anticipation of the Dales.  This event is only a week away, and there’s quite a lot of preperation, and hard work to go, but it will all be worth it, when we get everything organised (which I believe it is 99% done) and we get there, all set up, and have a fantastic weekend.

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