Around and Around
As part of my death cleaning initiative I am attempting to move on, or re-home some of the items that I no longer require (if indeed I ever did). So, I have given a book about wolves to the fellow who balances stones and I have sent an antique map of Cornwall to a friend who lives there. She's a local historian and - perfect timing - she called to say she's running a course and the next session is on maps.
These photographs are among a set taken by my parents in 1935. Every year they would travel from London, by train and bike, to the little Oxfordshire town of Bampton to watch the Morris dancers and participate in the merry making of the Whitsun holiday weekend. Bampton is one of the few places that boasts an unbroken tradition of Morris dancing; it faltered and died out after the Puritan crackdown in all but a few strongholds until its late 20th century revival. My parents, as rare outsiders, were welcomed and generously hosted by the people of Bampton each time they returned - few Londoners would make the trip if they even knew about the Morris (It's very popular now and the place is thronged with fans when the dancing's on.)
Via social media I connected with the current Morris supporters in Bampton and am now about to send the photos into the safekeeping of someone who thinks one of her relatives may be in the picture. It's a satisfying outcome and one less responsibility for me. (Not quite up to sending an Ethiopian painting back to Addis Ababa but that's another story and one I've already told.)