The Ferrette Tour
The Kennet Morris Men visit the Ferrette Morris Men
18th - 23rd June 2004

Kennet banner

The village of Ferrette is situated inconspicuously between the Jura and Vosges mountains in Alsace at a point where travellers from France made their way though a gorge, down a rocky ridge and out into the Rhine Valley. It has been popular with visitors since prehistoric times - whoever had the better army took it over - including the Swedish army. The present castle is in ruins even though its owner is the Prince of Monaco. In recent years the invaders have been foreigners who work in Basel but find it too expensive to live in Switzerland. Some of these invaders have included ex Morris men from England, who have formed the Ferrette Morris Men. The latest, and, judging by local press reports, most fearsome invaders of all were the Kennet Morris Men, their wives and friends who descended on Ferrette for a long weekend between 18th and 23rd June.

Kennet in Basel Ferrette in Basel

Saturday saw the two sides dancing in Basel. We danced in the vicinity of some very strange 'installations': a 50 foot high female nude, a public convenience made of one-way mirrors, and a caravan that appeared to have been dropped from a great height.

Caravan dropped

"Towers" of beer were ordered at the Fischerstube, our first morning break. If a large group turns up at the bar they order a "tower". Standing about 5 ft high the towers are unusual even by local standards. They are transparent columns are filled with five litres of beer. They are placed on a table and the beer is drawn off into glasses from a tap at the bottom.

Beer towers

Lunch for some consisted of the biggest sausages ever seen. They were definitely filling. Throughout the rest of the weekend, if anyone said they were still hungry someone else would bring out the remains of an uneaten sausage from a pocket and offer it to them.

Sausage

Shoes hurting? Simply dance barefoot as Peter Jones (Kennet and Cup Hill) did in Basel's Barfussplatz - literally "bare foot place" - a square outside a church once run by an order of bare footed monks.

Barefoot
Eguisheim Musicians

On Sunday we visited wine producers in Germany (Mullheim) and France (Eguisheim), where we danced in the town square and brought the rain down. To ensure that 2004 would be an excellent vintage we danced Monk's March in an old wine press.

Wine press

On monday we performed at the local infant/junior school. The children were intrigued by the Ferrette Morris Men's animal - a carp, which is the emblem of their village. It takes two men to mount the carp on its animator's shoulders, after which it is bolted into position. From inside the wearer can appreciate the view that a captain of a mini submarine would have.

Ferrette school
Kennet and Ferrette The end

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Last updated 22nd August 2005