THE HORSE IN A BAG

The Suffolk Hobby Horse Billy was found in a dirty shed in Derby in 1968; it had survived the second world war, some of the Suffolk Morris Men had not. It was a real find for the young East Suffolk Morris club; a team formed from the Folk Dance club in Ipswich. How it was to fit the image of the side I did not know; but I took the offer and brought the beast back to Suffolk. I danced in it at outside the Bull at Woodbridge that Monday night; Irvine was the squire; a good squire but had never had to content with a beast. The local paper ran the story, the first of the many photographs of Billy that was to go into the ESDT files. I understand that now Constant Billy takes up more space in the newspaper photo files than most Mayors if Ipswich; a doubtful compliment.

I had always had some interest in dancing; I had proved myself unsuccessful as a musician at an early age, not that I objected to the noise that I made on the piano but others did; they said I had no sense of pitch possibly some rhythm. However even this was questioned as an adult when taking a group of very young Sunday school children (5-7 Year olds) who pleaded “please, please take us carol singing in your van but please don’t sing, you put us off” .

I enjoyed folk dancing and with Douglas Kennedy had started my morris dancing days at Stratford on Avon where after only a few days was in a set dancing “Getting Up Stairs” and for many years I liked this dance

Des Herring