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A tale of two Dittys - Bletsoe Reunion 2

A tale of two Dittys - Bletsoe Reunion 2 magazine cover


I'm very much aware that ditty is not the correct word, but it allowed me a literary reference, just to remind me the following is just the usual Sunday morning wibble. If it helps sing the words as you read them, or hum if your vocal abilities resemble my own.
The title refers to 2 reviews of last night's outing. The first is for the busy, 'White Rabbit' types who undoubtedly have a huge list of chores to perform and every minute counts, in the interest of diversity, it also caters for those with a diagnosed short attention span.


I went to the Bletsoe reunion last night, it was bloody brilliant, I'm home now!!


This one is mainly written for me, and anyone who finds themself in a similar fugue state on completion of an all-nighter. I'm afraid I make no apologies for what will probably be a fairly long meandering ramble, it allows me to unwind, and cleanse my mind of words that are clogging up an already ailing thought process. Plus, you don't have to read it, that's what REVIEW 1 is for.
So I woke up Saturday morning, contemplating just why I hadn't gone to Bridlington, that is absolutely no reflection on Bletsoe, just one of those 'bugger I'm envious' moments after reading all the posts on events ''oop tha' way'' so far. RobWicks is that remotely Yorksherian, no worries if it isn't, I'm coming to Brid next year for definite, so you'll be able to correct any shortcomings, don't do it via punches to the arms though, linguistic correction will be fine you big bear 

Back to Bletsoe. I didn't go the first time around, so wasn't exactly sure what to expect, I've read and been told a lot about it, but obviously you have to experience it for yourself, or in this case, experience the closest thing to it, which was the reunion.


I got there pretty much as it was starting, parked the car in a field, noted, with a sigh of relief the lack of Massey Fergusons and stepped into the unknown. It was indeed a barn, bales of straw providing seating all around the stone dance floor, an area with seating and next to it a barbecue. There was already quite a few in, saw that Sandra Crawley had commandeered a table and a 'special seat', and made my way over. The bag was immediately plonked under someone's seat, I think Alison Smalley's and said some quick hellos. This is always quite a dangerous operation, but I'm going to try to recall who was there, because everyone of them was good company when I wasn't dancing, and made me smile, in a good way. Dave Crawley, who gave me a booklet on the sounds broken/played at Bletsoe from 1970, which I'm actually going to read.Steve Heinsen who's been floating about on the northern scene this time around from about the same time as I returned, so always good for a reminisce, his partner Linda Doe, Mick and Debbie Lewin, Mick just got to say at this point, you're a really top lad, and I like the way you no longer feel obliged to pummel me, when I get a bit cheeky, aren't we grown up these days  Alison's other half John 'the gentleman', Smalley, Clint andSteph Dennis. Interesting chat Steph, and although it might not have sounded like it, I understand completely where you're coming from, been there and done the same thing xx Maureen Walker Mc Farlane who's a pleasure to dance alongside, and who she says she's going to ''dance her ass off'', she's not kidding like emoticon Chris and Olly 'The lens' Pearson who must have taken 400 photographs at least, but along with the other photographers, Kevin Wood, Steph, Steve H and Dave C, will provide an indelible memory of a fantastic night for those of us in attendance. Steve Brown, the man behind the reunion, who should be duly proud of his efforts. Long time mate, and still top quality DJ Glenn Bellamy, who's another gentleman and answered all my questions even though they seemed incessant. His lovely wife Pia. Daryn Etherington who I actually got time to have a pleasant chat to, although she did warn me about crying wolf hahaha her friend Josie. It's at this point I wish I had a fucking dicta-phone, was chatting to a lad who I thought said his name was Col and that he was on my friends list. Clearly hearing isn't my strongpoint, so apologies buddy. He's a decent dancer and he was there with his sister also a very elegant dancer and her bloke (he was from Huddersfield).Julia and her husband, Corfu buddies like emoticon Esmond Morgan, Barry Lookerstill burning up the dance floor, Tony Adamson, and Phil Attley.

Personally I thought the atmosphere crackled along from start to finish, once the dancing started, which was pretty quickly, it continued throughout the night, there weren't loads of left at the end, but those that were, would happily have carried on, it was just that sort of night. Incredibly friendly vibe, it was clear that some of those there, probably only bring themselves out to the reunion, (just an observation, might not be correct) and just love meeting up with old friends. It was actually a pleasure to witness, and reminded me very much of the King's Hall, when my generation all seem to congregate and burble excitedly about the past, guess it's just an occupational hazard with northern soul  As mentioned earlier the dance floor was stone, but it didn't make any difference, a quick blast of talc made it very danceable, as did the stuff Esmond was throwing down, I didn't catch the name but it was basically some sort of slidefuckingquick that did exactly what it said on whatever it was contained in

I doubt there were many records I didn't know, but it was still very much back to school, for me. Years of associating certain records with venues, were dismissed as Bletsoe had already played them. It was very much an eye opener, and someone with a keener interest than my own in what was played where, would have been in their element, that said, I was actually enthralled at times, I'm easily pleased eh. The night really sped along, and I can't say anymore than it was an experience that I'm really glad I've had, and I'd definitely go back for more, the next time it's on like emoticon

You'd think this would really finish there, but there's an after story. Late arrival to the soiree Derek Smiley fancied a coffee, as did I, so he in his naivety suggested we find somewhere. He hadn't reckoned on 2 things, my ability to get lost (he has a little of the same talent) and my inability to shut up  I suggested McDonalds, which I know is nearby, but suddenly realised my directional capabilities were somewhat impaired, as I looked at the gate to the road, I had not a clue which way to go. Derek jumped in, said he knew a nearby services, so I said fine, I'll follow you. Blind leading the blind comes to mind, as we drove almost to Kettering, me following behind giggling, because I was suddenly aware of what it must be like to rely on me for a route. We finally got to the motorway where this fabled services was situated, only to find that the road had been closed for ''important roadworks''. This also made me chuckle, but I'd probably have found (thinking of putting this bit in brackets) funny at that point, so there was recognition that the thought processes had secretly slid down a very steep hill, and weren't about to reappear anytime soon... don't be so judgemental. So we decided to change direction, and headed back to McDonalds. I treated Derek to a spontaneous tour of Ringstead, as I managed to get utterly lost and turned the wrong way. Didn't really care at this point, but somehow found my way back to the main drag, and we duly arrived at Mcdonalds. We actually had a really useful chat, talked about the northern soul scene today, the impact of the internet on it and loads of other stuff. The description is clearly sketchy as I doubt either of us can recall the topics covered, but I think I've got away with it. I finally released Derek after 3 hours, and sped home to 'relax', by writing this. Soz. Derek you're good company bud, pleasure to spend time with you like emoticon

It would appear I have reached the relaxed unwound state I aspired to lol.


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Absolutely agree with this testament, such a pity this barn is being developed (if someone buys it we could have the reunion in the front room) however after congratulating Steve on another great success ,I can thankfully add that things are afoot for no 3       :-) 

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Were a good night and that certainly does it justice Winnie, any chance can you post the last pictures up, you know the ones of the last people to leave :yes:, is 'redevelopment' a euphemism for demolishing the barn ?.

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In a sense the barn is being demolished. It is making way for the stone barns to be converted to living accomodation. As a result the area that we were dancing on becomes the parking area/forecourt. That's assuming they do get sold. So many people want this event to live on so I'm sure someone will come up with the right venue. It is rare to find an event with such integrity these days where the music absolutely comes first. I feel honoured to have been involved at 'the birth' along with Glenn. Add to that the input of the likes of Dave Crawley and low and behold Bletsoe lives on! Let's all hope we will be talking just as positively after the night this time next year.

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can only concur with all the above Bletsoe reborn to me...love ya Winnie Steve and co really really hope it can happen again and next time i wont be late and Steve please let us know how we can help ref sorting a barn etc. now for mcdonalds with Win lol a real 70s memory in 2015 xxx

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