Geoff Smith was introduced to Morris through Pete
Ambidge, and the late Brian
Cooper, who essentially got him drunk and press ganged
him into The Side. The catalyst for this proved to be
a group of visiting Austrian and Norwegian Folk dancers that
were performing at Dow Chemicals' research laboratory in Letcombe
Regis. Puzzled by the fact that they did not appear
to drink anything offered to them, he asked their leader for
an explanation. `We are here to dance, not to drink', was
the reply. Nevertheless, they invited him back for a post
dance party where he met Pete Ambidge and Brian Cooper who
introduced him to the Morris way.
After 2 months of practice, his debut was in Great Ash Forest
on the estate of Sir Julian Rose, to the background smells
of spit-roasted meat and the seemingly endless supplies of
flowing ale. Somehow reminiscent of the Wychwood Whit Hunt,
Forest Fairs and Ales.
Geoff has been both an active Bagman, for no less than 6 years,
and Squire. Whilst Bagman, Geoff was pro-active in arranging
week-ends away and raising the profile of The Side.
He has now turned his attention to The Mill at Burford, where he is engaged in running his own Holiday Apartments business in preparation for his retirement.