Thursday, 14 April 2011

News - Join Rattlejag Morris to see in the first sunrise of the summer (Laxton)

IT may seem a little bit odd to be out at dawn on the top of an ancient rural castle mound singing and dancing, but Rattlejag Morris and their supporters will be doing just that at around 5.28am on Sunday, May 1.
The event takes place at Laxton village to welcome in the first summer sunrise – whatever the weather.
Their tradition continues the celebration of the start of the summer that originally goes back to the Celtic ceremony of Beltane – although the Laxton annual May Day event has only been happening for around 30 years.

It may be the joy of greeting the rising sun (which has appeared on more May Days than not!) or the promise of beer (or tea) and butties afterwards that brings others along to share the moment with Rattlejag – but everyone is welcome to come and join in with the team, for just a small donation towards their barbecued breakfast.

If you would like to experience the unique festivities, do don sturdy footwear and warm clothing, as you have to cross a field to get to the scenic castle site, and check out the Rattlejag Morris website (see below) for further details.

(Laxton castle can be accessed down Hall Lane, which is opposite the church on High Street, Laxton, NG22 ONX, or can be found at The Ordnance Survey Map Grid Reference SK 7200 6750).

For some, they will be stopping off again to join Rattlejag this year as part of the Dawn Chorus Walk around the nearby Saxon open field system, organised separately by Stuart Rose of Laxton, and this year accompanied by Lynda Milner, from Notts Wildlife Trust, to help identify the many bird species which sing over the boundaries, dykes and open fields.

For information and to book on this fascinating ramble see the website at or call 01777 871702 / 07939 228353.

Rattlejag Morris will be taking their unique Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire dances and music to various events around and about this year, including: St George's Day, Saturday, April 23, in Nottingham city centre, the Doll Museum in Cromwell on Sunday, May 8, Southwell Folk Festival from Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12, Lincoln BIG Morris Dance Festival on Saturday, September 3, and Retford Day of Dance on Saturday, September 17.

They will be back at Laxton for the village's Heritage Day on Sunday, July 3.

Rattlejag practise at Grove Street Methodist Hall, Retford, on Mondays from 8.30pm (September to April) and they welcome new dancers and musicians from across the region – no previous experience necessary.
If anyone is interested in knowing more, they can contact Jayne at or on 01522 703510 or visit their website at

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