Our annual family weekend of dancing takes place every year on the second weekend after the August Bank Holiday weekend. The 1999 event ran from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th September and the following sides were in action over the weekend:-
1999 Weekend Tour 1
This started off at Abergavenny Castle and Museum where a massed display was given by teams from all three tours from around 9.40 a.m. to 10.40 a.m.
The castle remains were built in the 12th Century and witnessed much warfare between the Norman Lords and the Welsh. The site was the scene of a particularly gruesome massacre still remembered to this day. On Christmas Day 1177 the local lord William de Braose, being determined to rid himself of all Welsh opposition, invited Sitsyllt of Castle Arnallt near Usk plus his warriors and other Welsh Chiefs to a great banquet. There, when they were wined and weaponless, he slaughtered the lot and then topped it off by trekking off to Castle Arnallt where he killed Sitsyllt's young son still in his mothers arms and burnt the Castle to the ground. The performances given were rather more enlightening and the weather was fine. From Abergavenny the tour moved through the town centre, turned up Penypound onto the old Hereford Road and after a couple of miles arrived in the Pantygelli at:
The Crown Inn, Pantygelli 11.15 a.m. to 11.45 a.m
A lovely scenic old pub with a flower fringed patio at the front and a warm welcome, together with excellent real ale and home cooked food inside. The pub can also be reached by turning left off the A465 Abergavenny to Hereford Road about 1/4 ml before the slip road to Llanvihangel Crucorney and then travelling about 2 mls along a quiet lane to find this little gem of an inn. Around 12 noon the tour moved on to the lunch spot, travelling just under a mile back towards Abergavenny and then turning left down through Llantilio Pertholey and on along the B4233 to the village of Llanvapley.
Red Hart Inn, Llanvapley 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m
A very friendly pub that has won a number of awards over the last couple of years and which stocks a wide range of Cottage Ales. After the visit in 1998 when Jim, the landlord, put on some excellent Normans Conquest (a fine 7% ale) only for us to drink the lot, another treat was laid on with the real ale in 1999. Along with a strong beer, there was also some High Speed Train, Golden Arrow and Southern Ales plus the regular stock on tap. To accompany the ales, Jean laid on a special menu for the dancers. The dancers were on the move from around 2.00 p.m travelling down through Llanarth and then on the B4598 through Llanfair Kilgeddin, Chainbridge and Llancayo into Usk:
The Nags Head, Twyn Square, Usk 2.45 p.m. to 3.15 p.m
An old pub set on the main square which specialises in selling only excellent Welsh ales and food. After our performance here earlier in the year, the dancers had a large welcoming crowd, despite the draw of the Usk show which took place on the outskirts of this side of town.
1999 Weekend Tour 2
This started off at Abergavenny Castle and Museum where a massed display was given by teams from all three tours from around 9.40 a.m. to 10.40 a.m. before moving on to:
The Foxhunter Inn, Nantyderry 11.15 a.m. to 11.45 a.m
A new entry to the visiting itinerary in 1999 following a request from the landlord and a quick inspection. The pub is set back from the road with a large bar and a good range of real ales. It was originally opened in the nearby station as the Refreshment Rooms by an enterprising local vicar as a service to rail travellers on the Great Western Railway. The pub was renamed the Foxhunter Inn in 1962 by Sir Harry Llewellyn in honour of his famous horse Foxhunter which had won at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952. The horse itself was buried on the Blorenge near Blaenavon.
After a lively dance spot, at around 12 noon the tour moved on to the lunch spot, travelling back to the A4042 and then down through the edge of Pontypool and Cwmbran to the village of Christchurch, situated on the eastern outskirts of Newport.
The Greyhound Inn, Christchurch 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m
A popular pub set on the hill next to the war memorial cross and church and which is our local used after weekly practices during the winter season. Initially added to our touring programme in 1998, the pub provided a very warm welcome and along with a good range of beers, the landlady will be laid on a special menu for the dancers. The dancers moved on at around 2.00 p.m travelling down through Caerleon and then on to Llanhennock:
The Wheatsheaf Inn, Llanhennock 2.45 p.m. to 3.15 p.m
An excellent pub set in rural surroundings a couple of miles outside of Caerleon. The unspoilt interior is lined with many old artifacts and the pub has been visited many times over the years. The Wheatsheaf also has a unique feature, at the back of the main building the area has been converted into a boules pitch regularly used by the local team.
1999 Weekend Tour 3
In 1999, Tour 3 started off at Abergavenny Castle and Museum where a massed display was given by teams from all three tours from around 9.40 a.m. to 10.40 a.m. Some of the buildings within this market town date from Tudor times and Abergavenny is set in a bowl surrounded by mountains called Sugar Loaf, Ysgyryd Fawr (try pronouncing that after a few beers!) and Blorenge, each of which rises to more than 1,500 feet. The dance spot in 1999 took place in the centre of the ruins. After a brief look round, the tour traveled back out onto the A465 and then on to the A40 towards Raglan, before turning back towards Clytha for a mile to Bryngwyn at:
The Cripple Creek Inn, Bryngwyn 11.15 a.m. to 11.45 a.m
Another new entry to our visiting itinerary in 1999 following a short entertainment spot in June when we danced before an enthusiastic crowd. The pub lies alongside the main A40 dual carriageway, although set back from this busy road and has a large bar with a range of real ales. Plenty of room for a variety of performances from our visiting guests.. After the dancing, at around 12 noon the tour moved on to the lunch spot, travelling back to the A40 and then on the A449 towards Monmouth before turning off onto the B4293 towards Trellech and reaching:
The Gockett Inn, Lydart 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m
An old coaching inn reputed to have been used by the infamous Judge Jeffries and now an excellent pub with a welcoming landlord and a good assortment of well kept real ales which change fairly regularly. The pub is a former staging post on the London to St. Davids coach route and still has the small ostler's window where the landlord used to watch out for approaching coaches. Just up the road from Trellech, it is an excellent location on a summer's evening and has been well visited by the side over the years. The dancers were on the move from around 2.00 p.m travelling down through Trellech and Llanishen before turning off towards Llansoy and arriving at:
The Star Inn, Llanfihangel Tor-y-mynydd 2.45 p.m. to 3.15 p.m
One of the few pubs that has been visited by the side most years since their formation back in 1976 and one where we are guaranteed a very warm welcome from Alan the landlord. The pub is an outstanding country inn once visited by John Wesley in 1798 and which still keeps a range of traditional real ales. Along with a couple of real fires, two large bars and accomodation, it is an ideal base from which to perform.
After performances from the visiting sides, the dancers moved on to a number of private functions before re-appearing around lunchtime on Sunday 12th in the village of Magor, a few miles to the South East. Performances were given by all the groups attending the weekend in the central square which was closed off to all traffic. The dancers enjoyed a lovely sunny day and entertained the crowds outside the Golden Lion