This was our 11th birthday tour, so we invited another side to come on the tour with us i.e. East Saxon Sword.
Gerrard Street (to give East Saxon a chance to do a long sword dance)
De Hems, Macclesfield St
The Cambridge, Cambridge Circus
I missed these 3 due to being late. More precisely, just missed catching up with the others at the Cambridge, so did get to see a brief glimps at that one. Seemed quite cozy, with a good wooden floor.
Three Greyhounds, Old Compton Street
Nice pub with good wooden floor and a reasonable selection of beers. Had quite a reasonable dance space too (although we did block the door...).
LUNCH: Thai Buffet, Greek Street
Didn't dance here, but did have lunch
The Pillars of Hercules, Greek St
My rapper debut :-) Very long narrow pub, good floor and a good selection of beers. Tight space to dance in. This was the first time I'd experienced rapper in a tight space (as well as being my first dance out), which made it extra fun... Dance generally went well, not too much in the way of audience though unfortunately, but it was still quite early in the day.
The Admiral Duncan, Old Compton St
First thoughts on seeing the place for the first time - "erm, interesting shade of pink...". This has been a regular pub on the birthday tour for years apparently. When it was nail bombed in 99 Thrales went out on a tour and donated the money to the pub. There's a sculpture light fitting in there now as a memorial.
I didn't dance at this one, as it was an important one for a lot of the members of the side who have done this tour before. In previous years the landlord of the Admiral Duncan has followed us round on the rest of the tour, but he was killed in a homophobic attack about a year ago.
The dance generally went well. They attempted the double tumble and weren't quite able to pull it off, but other than that it was a good dance.
The White Horse, Archer St
A Sam Smith's pub. Seems odd to have a small ground floor area partitioned into quarters with the bar in the middle. I was in this dance again, which went ok, plenty of space this time. Good wooden floor too.
The Duke of Wellington, Wardour St
Wasn't originally on the tour, but the Admiral Duncan rang them up and told them to let us in :-). Nice wooden floor, plenty of space.
The Dog And Duck, Bateman St
Another long thin pub. Good beer, although tried a half of Adnam's fisherman ale, which tasted as if someone had overdone the toasting a bit...
Very tight spot to dance in. Right in the way of the food hatch too, so they couldn't serve while we were dancing. I was in this one. Was amazed to come out of it with any hair left as Pete and Dave kept scraping the sword over the top of my head (must get them to lift it higher...). Floor was generally good, although we did overlap onto the doormat, which we couldn't step properly on (but then again, it was me that ended up on the doormat and I can't step to save myself anyway...).
Forgot the chorus at one point too. Think Dave called the next figure slightly early, should have been able to cope with that, but it threw me into thinking it was time to go into that rather than my part of the chorus.
The Nellie Dean, Dean St
Opportunity for a rest here as we had to wait for the rugby to finish before we could go on. Good wooden floor and a nice space/atmosphere to dance in. Quite a large audience too as they were all in there for the rugby.
The John Snow, Broadwick St
Another Sam Smith's pub, looked strangely like a mirror image of the The White Horse inside, except the door between the bars was only about 5 foot tall (at least I wasn't the only one who had to duck). Actually only went in here for a quick drink before heading down to the Borough for Dinner and the evening tour, as they've never let us dance here before...
However, this time they did. Good floor and quite a receptive audience. Hopefully they'll let us dance here again.
Then off to the borough for dinner and the evening tour. Malcolm, Clive, Neil, Dave, Pete, Andrew Kennedy and myself all walked the others got the tube.