Isca Morris Invitation Family Weekend 2002
Red Hart Inn at Llanfapley. The Isca Morris were delighted to welcome representatives from the following sides:-
The public dancing displays were as follows:-
Sat 7th September - Coach Tour around S.E.Wales:-
10.00 a.m. Abergavenny Town Centre - Hen & Chickens, Flannel Street
We danced in the centre of Abergavenny near to the Hen and Chickens - a local institution in Flannel Street now owned by Brains Brewers after a tasteful modernisation. The pub is just off the main shopping street with a strong local clientele and one of the largest real ale consumptions in Abergavenny. On the day the audience were as enthusiastic about our dancing!!
11.00 a.m. Star Inn, Llanfihangel Tor-y-mynydd
One of the few pubs that has been visited by the side every year since their formation back in 1976 and one where we are guaranteed a very warm welcome. The pub is an outstanding country inn reputed to have been 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 accommodation, it is an ideal base from which to perform. At around 12 noon the tour moved on to the lunch spot.
12.30 p.m. Fountain Inn, Trellech Grange
The tour now ventured a couple of miles into the woods to a small village, where nestling on a bend in the road is an ancient staging post inn situated just to the north of Tintern. After topping up the refreshments, Queens Oak were soon in action . . . . .
The Fountain Inn is one of a select group of pubs which has been on our 'A' list for many years and where the landlord continues the tradition of keeping a fine range of both real ale and food. As usual, the dancing took place on the road in front of the pub followed by a musical session inside.
The tour headed off at around 2.00 to Trellech which was larger than Chepstow in the 13th century. The original town of Trellech was largely destroyed in 1291 as a result of a raid following a dispute over alleged deer poaching. The Black Death in 1349 and the ravages of Owain Glyndwr in the 1400's further reduced it's prosperity and importance.
2.30 p.m. Lion Inn, Trellech
A church was endowed on this site by Kings Ffernwael and Meurig, rulers of Gwent in the 7th & 8th centuries. This was probably a wooden structure and the surviving preaching cross in the churchyard and the Saxon font may well date back to this time. The present building is well over 600 years old and records held by the Church go back to the year 1692; a complete list of Vicars and Churchwardens from the year 1359 hangs by the entrance to the south aisle.
The Lion is a split level pub with two real fires and a collection of model lions and sits opposite the church. It has been one of our regular performance spots over the last few years where we are always guaranteed a warm welcome. Trellech village is also justly famous for three stones, called the Harold Stones, which are in a field on the left of the road to Llanishen, to the south of the village. The date of the stones is much earlier than King Harold and like the ancient Morris Dancing, their real significance is unknown.
The village is also renowned for two other ancient attractions, apart from the Ripley Morrismen shown above. A Norman mote or tump, some 40 feet high, is situated in a farmyard to the south-west of the church and there is a local superstition that calamity will overtake anyone who attempts to excavate it. There is also a virtuous well, sometimes known as St Anne's Well, which can be found in a field on the left of the road to Tintern, a little way out of the village to the east. The water is impregnated with iron and has been thought to possess curative properties. After an excellent stop and a chance to enjoy the range of well kept real ales, the tour moved on at around 3.45.
4.15 p.m. Cripple Creek Inn, Bryngwyn
The tour finished at a large pub which lies alongside the main A40 dual carriageway, although set back from this busy road, and with a large bar with a range of real ales. Plenty of room to dance on the old road outside and you never know, perhaps one day we may entice our enthusiastic landlord to join in. After displaying a variety of dances the coach returned to the Red Hart Inn to allow the dancers to recover and enjoy a pleasant evening of food and drink.
Sun 8th September - Dancing at the Red Hart Inn, Llanfapley
12.00 noon until around 1.00 p.m
On the Sunday lunchtime, an hour of dancing at the Red Hart in Llanfapley rounded off a memorable weekend. The Red Hart, sadly now closed, was a very friendly pub that won a number of awards over the years and stocked a wide range of Cottage Ales.
After the dancing, including John O'Gaunt above, Jean served a buffet menu for the dancers with an excellent spread and a chance for fond farewells before all our visiting dancers moved off home.