These ceilidhs are run by Mecki Testroet and Monty Crook, a couple who met at Sidmouth Folk Week and now live in Pymore near Bridport. Being keen dancers they wanted to encourage more dances in the area and particularly in Bridport itself.
It all started with a combined birthday party / public ceilidh in April 2011; since the date was three days after a significant anniversary, it was advertised as a ‘Three Days Late’ Ceilidh, and the name stuck.
To complement the monthly ceilidhs, a fortnightly ‘Three Days Late’ Ceilidh Club was inaugurated in October 2011, running every other Thursday; these evenings were undoubtedly a lot of fun, but numbers attending were very variable and after a year it was decided to discontinue the club.
It has sometimes been suggested that all our dances should be run as barn dances and publicised as with profits going to charity, but from the outset the decision was to promote ‘English ceilidhs’ run just ‘For the fun of it’. The name ceilidh (pronounced kaylee), whilst Gaelic in origin and originally being an Irish or Scottish event comprising a mix of music, song, dance and ‘craic’, is now well established in the English folk dance / festival world. But, what’s in a word ? – we are more than happy for you to come along to our barn dance, folk dance, English country dance, or whatever terminology suits you – as long as you come, enjoy yourselves – and come again!
The aim of ‘Three Days Late’ Ceilidhs, now Bridport Ceilidhs, was and is to attract experienced, keen and enthusiastic dancers with good local bands and callers, as well as to welcome all and everybody, whether experienced or not, single or partnered, and of any age*. Non-dancers are welcome as well, the bands being well worth listening too in their own right. Dances are run with Bring & Share (finger food) suppers; some soft drinks are provided, with attendees bringing their own wine or beer. So if you’re near Bridport and you enjoy dancing, come along, bring a friend or two and make a party of it; we’ll provide a good evening’s entertainment.
* (Under 16’s must be accompanied by a responsible adult).
Those newcomers wishing to learn about folk dancing terminology before dipping their toes into the water can find lots of help on-line. A good list is published by Eastbourne Folk Dance Club and several other sites also have similar, so that it seems redundant to try to copy the same here. Better still, just come along to a dance; we dancers are a friendly crowd and will be happy to guide the less experienced around the floor. You may also check out the long-established Bridport Folk Dance Club as a venue to learn or improve your dancing; the club meets throughout the year (with a summer break) at the WI Hall, North Street, 7.30-9.30 pm on Monday evenings. Call Jane on 01308 898 002 or Monty on 01308 423 442 for more info.
After six dances, ‘Three Days Late’ Ceilidhs were well established and since the inauguration of this website in November 2012 the events have been promoted as ‘Bridport Ceilidhs’; dances are now held 8 times a year – often still with the string ‘Three Days Late’ somewhere in the blurb to provide continuity.
With bands currently booked through to December 2018, the venture continues to attract a solid attendance and it is hoped it will go from strength to strength and continue to provide a good dancing experience in the town .
See the Next Event page for full details and information on the next band and caller; for further ahead see Future Events and check out Past Events pages to see the range of bands and callers we’ve had.
There are several other folk dance clubs and dances held in the wider area, and details can be found in the Links to Clubs page.
There are many ways to find folk dance and music events both regionally and nationally, and the main ones of these can be found in the Websites Listings page.
Your comments on this website and its content are welcome!
In 2014 we became part of a new committee to continue the running of the Friends of Halsway Maner 200 Club, which exists to support the work of Halsway Manor Society Ltd. HMSL runs its national residential centre near Crowcombe, Somerset as a venue for all things folk – song writing (and collections), music, dance, craft – and holds a wide variety of week and weekend courses, as well as one-off events. Go check it out!
And click Friends of Halsway Manor 200 Club for updates on progress of the Club, which we have now re-built to over 200 members.
(picture courtesy of Halsway Manor Society Ltd)
Acknowledgements and Thanks
For help and encouragement in our joining the modern age with the setting up of this website, big thanks are due to Doug Eunson and especially Sarah Matthews – friends, relatives, devoted folkies, stalwarts of the Derby folk scene and its festival, great musicians, talented singers and a ceilidh duo in their own right, and as part of groups such as Cross O’ the Hands, Cupola, Cupola:Ward and DanceCupola – their enthusiasm and dedication is much admired.
Finally, big thanks to all those dance/club/festival/workshop organisers who keep the folk dance world going and got us hooked in the first place, to the bands and callers who have supported us and to all those dancers out there who have come and come again to our events. Long may it continue!