On a warm sunny weekend in July the Icknield Clan assembled around Havenstreet on the Isle of Wight for the Folk Station Festival now in its third year.
It’s a small but growing festival organised by Malcolm Hector (see IWMM Old Boys & archive) who was pleased to greet us, and not looking a bit as stressed out as a festival organiser should be.
The team stayed in various locations, some camping and some in pubs/B&B so the sessions were inconsistently supported. Members staying in Bembridge e.g. discovering that the distance indicated by a map to Havenstreet (ca. 5 miles) in fact took a fortnight to cover at donkey speed.
So the Friday night “dance in” was a bit short handed as we discovered that Harry had gone down with sunstroke and the entire Abel family were kneeling at his bedside getting him fit for Sunday.
However, come Saturday we were up to 12 men to dance at Havenstreet Station. This quickly reduced to 11 when a train appeared and Martin disappeared.
We went on to dance at The Dairyman’s Daughter, a pub stocked with a few thousand pounds worth of melodeons. Clearly the landlord was a music lover whose contribution to the world of music was to buy up all the melodeons so no-one could play the damn things.
We danced at the station again followed by a trip to find the sea at Ryde. Someone had stolen it, so we danced in a puddle on the beach. The evening held delights of concerts and sessions (Squeezy John & Jon again).
Next day we went up and down the line in a real steam train – see the delight of the artiste formally known as Squire.
We danced on Smallbrook station to the delight of a group of Indian tourists, who applauded and then upstaged us by doing their own thing. A circular dance with a bit of Hari Krishna accompanied by accordions/melodeons.
Further dancing followed around the station and festival site, to smallish but appreciative audiences in good weather with some fine island ales. We danced with other island teams at most spots, Men of Wight being the only other Ring (male) side.
A very pleasant weekend. Many thanks to Malcolm for inviting us.