Rochester Sweeps festival


One of the first major photo essays I did for this website was of the Rochester Sweeps Festival in 2006, here.

I used to write and photograph a lot about things I did and where I had been; celebrations of our culture. For some reason I have not posted so much of cheerful things this last 18 months. Maybe it is time to make the odd (very odd) cheery post.

Loose Women (that’s their name, not a description) outside the Guildhall

I didn’t catch the name of this side. But they started with one dancer, reminiscent of the woodcuts of Will Kemp, the Nine day wonder. He was then joined by the other dancers.

Make way for Jack-in-the-Green

The Fabulous Fez heads, a local band. Very competent Rock and Roll, comedy, a total lack of political correctness and dance, in the tradition of Wilson, Betty and Kepple and their sand dance. This song was entitled Space Cadet and featured a flying saucer (cymbal)

The Greenwich Morris Men, very traditional Cotswold side. Cotswold is the dance style; they come from Greenwich in south London. Where the meridian and the Royal Observatory are.

Because serious stuff will get in the way of fun.

Bishop Gundulph’s Longsword Morris. Bishop Gundulph, a norman monk, later Bishop of Rochester was a skilled architech and stone mason. He was responsible for the building of not just Rochester cathedral, but Rochester castle, the White Tower of the Tower of London and Colchester Castle. He is called the Father of the Royal Corps of Engineers and the cathedral maintains links with the current regiment to this day. The swords of the dance are more like masons cutting tools than the weapon of battle.

A chance to sit down.

Photographs E Weatherwax May 2015

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