Mathew Clayton looks back on this weekend’s event in Kingston near Lewes.
Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone that came along for the Caught by the River Day Out on Saturday and made it so special.
Jeff and Wendy came down to Kingston in Sussex back in depths of winter. The pub was being refurbished, so it was shut and looked like a building site. It was a rainy and muddy day. Everything looked miserable. But thankfully they could see the possibility. The idea was simple — take over the Parish Hall and the back room of the pub. Hear some interesting people talk, listen to some good music, have a few drinks — meet some old friends and make some new ones.
But these things are always slightly nerve-wracking. Will Barrie turn up with the spare microphone he promised three months ago? Why is the key to the AV equipment snapped in half? Will motorists get angry about us shutting the road for the Morris dancers? In the end there was nothing to worry about.
The weather was more than kind. The talks were fascinating. John Andrews presided in all senses of the word. Everyone brought their dogs. The Knots of May danced beautifully. People strolled up the Downs. The poets, however, set themselves up on a table outside the pub at midday and didn’t budge for the next 10 hours. 12 year old Stella, Poppy and Josie’s tea hatch sold out of all their cakes. Danny Hammond’s beautiful films provided a perfect ending for events in the Parish Hall. Beer was drunk. Then Danny Champ enchanted everyone with his guitar in a candlelit room. Later when DJing, he stretched his one last tune into ten. Demands were made that we do it again next weekend. With declarations of love people departed. I wandered home under a full moon, smiling all the way.
From Mathew Clayton and Julian Mash:
Heartfelt thanks to Andrew, Diva and Ben, Kev and Ruth, Kitty, Gudrun, Gemma, Laurie, Archie, Stella, Poppy, Josie, Dr Bramwell (for stepping in at the last minute), Maria and her fantastic team at the Juggs.
And all our talented performers: Justin Hopper (rocking a Crass polo shirt), Will Burns, Martha Sprackland, Olly Todd, Richard Norris, Danny Webb, Danny and Del from Union Music, Lucy Cooke, Matthew Herbert, Rupert Callender, John Higgs and Danny Hammond.