Wyvern Welcome the the Web Site of the Icknield Way Morris Men; morris dancing in Wantage and the Vale of White Horse Vale of White Horse

Photo Album

- Yangtze Incident
Home Page of Icknield Way Morris Men The Vale The Side Traditions Events Diary Bookings Hot Links Whats New
Photo Album
arrow Folk Station
arrow Three Countries Tour
arrow Spires and Boden
arrow Squire's Wedding
arrow Shrivenham Fete
arrow Brightwalton Fete
arrow May Morning
arrow St George's Day
arrow Our Ale
arrow Oxford Folk Festival
arrow Future of the Morris
arrow Joe Marns
arrow Abingdon Arms 2008
arrow Minnesota Morris
arrow Westminster Tour
arrow May Morning

The Tudors
arrow 2000 Years of Oxon

arrow Rush Bearing
Kennet and Icknield – United in Marriage

Lads Team Debut
Wallingford BunkFest
Saddleworth Tour

Ring Meeting: Mendip
Grove Scouts
Newbury Festival
May Morning

St George's Day
New Year's Day

Lains Barn Ceilidh
Christmas Carols

Ladies Night

Yangtze Incident
Ben's Wedding
Daily Mail article
Our Ale
Jigs Tour, Leeds

Lains Barn
Crotals from the Deep

Geoff's Wedding

Stanton Harcourt Tour
Our Ale
Alfred Titchcombe
Unicorns Race Night
Dickensian Evening
Law Victory


Morris 18-30 Weekend
Our Ale
Somerset Tour
Michael McArdle Trophy
May Morning
Scouring the White Horse
Stanton Harcourt
Christmas Carols


Headington Instructional
Our Ale
May Morning
40th Anniversary
- Album 1

- Album 2
Betterton House
Millennium Party
The Lads Team
Crawford’s Wedding
On Tour
Dickensian Evening
Letter of Appreciation

Post Practice Sessions

Eyston Arms
The Abingdon Arms

The Kings Arms
The Volunteer
Musicians Corner

Revival Photos
arrow Old Boys


The Yangtze Incident
Pete Johnson of Leicester MM and Sem Seaborne
Pete Johnson of Leicester MM and Sem Seaborne

After a busy dancing season it's refreshing to take a week or so on vacation enjoying the traditional delights of another culture. However, Murphy's Law of Coincidence sometimes intervenes, as it did when Pete Johnson of Leicester MM found he was visiting all the same locations as Sem Seaborne of Icknield Way MM when they met in Beijing on the same extensive tour of China in September.

As Leicester and Icknield Way don't meet up that often (despite Dad (Ian Hubbard) being Squire of one side, and Son (Graham) being Bagman of the other), there were plenty of stories to swap in the bar after a day ogling the sights. However a great opportunity arose when after sailing down the Yangze River for three days, the prospect of a final party was announced with a request for guest participation. What could be better than upstaging the American Karaoke Elvis impersonators with some traditional English dancing to complement the excellent traditional Chinese dancing on display.


The problem was that as the meeting was entirely unexpected neither Pete nor Sem had kit or music. With the help of an outstanding Tour Leader (Liu "Mike" Nanhui), bits of silk, coloured paper, flowers and sun hats were rapidly cobbled together and multi striped luggage straps turned into baldricks using beer mats as crests. Two bell-pads were fashioned from the tops and bottoms of the local Tsingtao Beer cans with enthusiastic help from wives and fellow travellers in generating sufficient empty cans. A Yamaha keyboard was located and although all the voices were labelled in Mandarin careful panel removal revealed English titles underneath.

Pete is not a regular jig dancer for Leicester but had recently attended one of Bert Cleaver's excellent instuctionals, and after appropriate amounts of Tsingtao recalled sufficient information to get through Fool's Jig (Bampton) and Ladies Pleasure (Bledington) with only one rehearsal. The vital "breather" between jigs was provided by Sem teaching the assembled audience of British, American, Canadian, German and Chinese tourists the words and actions to "The Man who Watered the Worker's Beer". The Chinese government have already launched an enquiry.

It all went to great acclaim, and could signal further opportunities for joint Leicester - Icknield cultural initiatives (Ian and Graham please note!). If anyone else has danced the morris on a boat down the Yangze, please let us know, otherwise we'll note this as a "first", executed with great missionary zeal and Tsingtao beer. Cheers.

Sem Seaborne
Icknield Way Morris Men
October 2005

Copyright © Icknield Way Morris Men | Legal Notices | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Accessibility | Help | Contact Us
Comments?  Please complete a Feedback form