ATMD diary of 1952

Italic font like this is comment added at the time of typing this out (2017).  Unless otherwise marked, this is taken from Jack Hyde’s second notebook.  It is not always transcribed word for word as in some places it is not that legible and in others it is not a full account, just the financial details. 

Friday January 4th:  Albert Hall, London.  Arrived 3.30, rehearsal 3.45-4.30, tea at hotel 5.45, coach to AH 6.30, watched dancing until interval 8pm approx.  Gave a show (Squire’s Dance and Jockeys 8.30-9pm approx, watched remainder of dancing till 10pm.  Had drinks in bar of AH with squire and bagman Morris Ring, also the Copper Family, singers of old time folk songs.  Returned by bus to hotel 11pm.

Saturday January 5th: Albert Hall, London.  Tom Hemmings and Jack Hyde attended meeting of representative clubs’ squires and bagmen 10.30am to discuss Ring business.  Lunch at hotel 1.30, shopping in Kensington High Street 3-5pm, tea at hotel 5.45, coach to Albert Hall 6.20, then as Friday except that the Squire’s Dance was substituted by Princess Royal.  Presentation by Mrs Kennedy of EFDSS badges to all members of the Abingdon team.  Present at the ceremony: Jim Hemmings (Horn Bearer), Tom Hemmings (Mayor of Ock St), Major Fryer (musician), J.Hyde (bagman), C.Brett (lead dancer), R.Hemmings, F.Coxhead, R.Annetts, J.Grimsdale (dancers), W.Hackett (fool), L.Argyle, J.Gillett, B.Clark (spare dancers).  Arrived hotel 11.15, had drinks to celebrate the occasion (24/-).  Breakfast hotel 8.35, left hotel 9am, train Paddington 10.10, arrived Abingdon 12.40.  Expenses included 1s for bladders, 15s trimmings for hats, 9s81/2d braid, 4s armlets.

Practice January 16th: Boxhill school.  Maj Fryer only from Wargrave.

Practice January 29th: Boxhill school.  Practice with the juniors, 5 Abingdon men, Mr Furneaux music, no Wargrave men.

Practice February 12th: Boxhill school.  Maj Fryer, Tom & Ray, juniors.

Meeting February 20th: Cross Keys.

February 22nd: Attended folk dancing at council school.

Meeting March 12th: Cross Keys.  No practice, Maj Fryer indisposed, social evening in the bar.

Meeting for 26th March cancelled – Wargrave men engaged with the South Berks men at Reading.

Meeting April 9th: Cross Keys.  Practice.  Arrangements for Caversham Court, suggested tour with S. Berks.

Meeting April 23rd: Practice at Boxhill school.

Meeting May 14th: Practice at Boxhill school.

Saturday 24th May: met the Mayor in the Mayor’s Parlour re Ring Meeting 8th September with Councillor Faires, offered the use of the Corn Exchange and Abbey Grounds.

Saturday 24th May: Windsor.  Left Abingdon 1.30, arrived 3pm, commenced dancing in the Fairacre 3.30, other teams taking part were South Berks and Beaux of London City.  Collections handed to Miss Wilks at Alexandra Gardens.  Paid to us by Windsor EFDSS £3, expenses nil.

Wednesday 4th June: Practice at Boxhill school, drinks Horse & Jockey, expenses 15s9d.

Wednesday 18th June: Met at Boxhill school, boys practice only, (12 – two teams), progress good, boys giving a display at the Childrens’ Folk Dance Abbey Grounds Thursday 19th June.  Adults had drinks at Horse & Jockey, talked over arrangements for Saturday 21st June.

Saturday 21st June: Election for Mayor.  Tom Hemmings 126 votes, Raymond Hemmings 75 votes.  Result announced by Alderman Fred Stimpson.  Visiting teams South Berks, Mr Bardwell representing Oxford, Junior Team Boxhill School.  Dancing during the afternoon at Sanitorium Marcham Road, Dr Barnardo’s Home Caldecott Road. Tea HQ garden [Happy Dick] . Chairing 4.30 till 5pm.  All teams dancing in Ock Street from 6pm till 10pm, Crown & Thistle finishing point.  Russell Wortley, bagman of Ring, took part.

Saturday 28th June: Drayton Church Fete at the Grange, dancing with juniors started 5.45pm.  Left 6.30, £2 collected handed to vicar towards church funds.  Then evening tour of Wittenham, Appleford, Sutton Courtenay.

Friday 4th July: Denman College (Womens’ Institute), Marcham, 6pm, then evening tour of Fyfield (White Hart), Dog House (Frilford), Shippon.

Saturday 5th July: Abingdon Flower Club Fete.  3pm displays by the boys teams from Boxhill school and Caldecott House [Barnardo’s], 5.15 display by mens’ team.  Then evening tour of Almshouses, Hendred Eyston Arms and Plough.

Saturday 12th July: Didcot Church Fete, dancing on the vicarage lawn at 5.45, gave two displays. Then evening tour of Fleur de Lys Hagbourne, Kings Arms Steventon, Red Lion Drayton.

Saturday 19th July: Caversham Court. Arrived Wallingford 3.45, met the mayor at Bullcroft, gave 3/4 hour display, collection taken in aid of RSPCA handed to the mayor 28s. 6pm drinks and dance at Checkendon.  7.30pm gave display of 3 dances at Caversham Court (for EFDSS – £5 fee).

August 6th: meeting Cross Keys to discuss Ring Meeting business.

Saturday 9th August: Southall Park.  Picked up R.Annetts and two his children from Wargrave, F.Coxhead from Twyford on the way.  First performance at 3.45.  Fee £15, 33 seater coach cost £10.10s.

August 27th: meeting Cross Keys to discuss Ring Meeting business.

September 3rd: meeting Cross Keys to discuss final Ring Meeting arrangements.


Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September: Morris Ring Autumn Meeting, Abingdon

[Jack Hyde’s notebook has no entries for the actual Ring Meeting, presumably because this was not the actual business of the Abingdon morris team even though we know that a lot of hard organising work was done by Jack, Tom Hemmings and Len Bardwell amongst others.  Details here are taken from the meeting brochure, the ATMD scrapbook and various local press reports.  We do have the financial balance sheet for this Ring Meeting, which shows that it was bailed out financially by a loan from Major Fryer of over £17.]

Friday 5th September: 7.30-10.30pm Ale at the Corn Exchange

Saturday 6th September: 10am start of daytime tours, 4.30 tea at Roysse Room, 6-7.30pm display in Abbey Grounds, 8.15 Feast at Corn Exchange.

Sunday 7th September: 10.20 procession from Magistrates Room to St Helens Church for service, 12 noon dancing on Market Place, 1.15 lunch, 2.30 meeting of club representatives.

Teams and Saturday tours:

A: South Berks, Greensleeves & Abingdon Boys: Radley, Sunningwell, Wootton, lunch at the Dog House, Cothill, Dry Sandford

B: Beaux of London City, London Rodney: Dorchester, Benson, Wallingford, South Moreton, Long Wittenham, Clifton Hampden.

C: St Albans, East Surrey & Rugby: Sutton Courtenay, Appleford, Didcot, East Hagbourne, Blewbury, Harwell.

D: Northampton & White Horse (Wilts): Drayton, Steventon, East Hendred, Wantage, Grove, East Hanney.

E: Cambridge, Oxford, Oxford University & Ravensbourne: Cumnor, Eynsham, Witney, Stanton Harcourt, Standlake.

F: Exeter, Letchworth & Whitchurch: Longworth, Buckland, Bampton (joined here by Bampton morris men), Faringdon, Marcham.


October 1st: meeting Boxhill school, Major F(ryer), R(eg) Annetts, Fred (Coxhead?), J(ohn) Mooring, J. Hyde.  Practice with Juniors.

Saturday 14th October: visited Wallingford Michaelmas Fair in the Masonic Hall, organised by Rev Mason, vicar of Wallingford.  Team: Tom H(emmings), C(harlie) Brett, J(ohn) Grimsdale, Ray H(emmings), Fred C(oxhead), Reg A(nnetts), Bill H , Brian C(lark), Frank J(ordan).

Tuesday October 14th: practice at Boxhill school, music Mr Furneaux.  16 boys attended the meeting, no Abingdon men.

October 29th; meeting postponed due to bad weather.

November 11th: practice at Boxhill school, music Mr Furneaux.  13 boys attended the meeting, 3 Abingdon men.

November 19th: practice at Boxhill school, Major Fryer music, 12 Juniors, 5 Adults, plus Mr Harvey (headmaster).

By arrangement with Tom Hemmings, no further meetings to be held before the end of the year owing to the very bad weather.


[Expenses include ‘Drinks Jockey’ of 4s9d in October and 5s9d in November, suggesting that there would have been a round or two on the bag in the Horse & Jockey, Bath Street, on the way home from Boxhill school practices.]