A FOLK festival lived up to its billing as a “right old song and dance” over the weekend.
The 25th Durham Folk Party attracted traditional musicians and dance troupes from across the North, making their now annual pilgrimage to the city for the last weekend in July.
It brought a contrast of colourful costumes, North country accents and dance styles in the main displays, from mid-day in the Market Place on both days.
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They were competing with the weekly outside market on Saturday, confining the dancing to a performing pitch in front of St Nicholas Church, but a larger surface area of the Market Place became their stage for Sunday’s performances.
Among the dancers were the familiar purple, white and red costumed mixed clog ensemble, the Scubbing Billy’s, from the Colne and Holme Valleys, near Huddersfield, the garishly clad Wayzgoose Morris, from Wharfedale, also West Yorkshire, the ladies of the Green Ginger Garlands, from Humberside, Hexham Morris, from Northumberland and the Carlisle Clog and Sword Dancers, from Cumbria.
The performances were not confined to the Market Place, as there were organised singing sessions in both the Dun Cow pub, in Old Elvet, and at Durham Amateur Rowing Club boathouse, in Green Lane, from Friday through to Sunday evenings.
But there were several impromptu performances, fuelled by the heady mix of the weekend’s hot weather and the real ale on offer at a number of taverns across the city.
Many of the visiting groups also set stayed over in tents, caravans and motor homes, making the area round the boathouse the official folk party camp site.