Health and Safety - Friend or Foe ?

With the Christmas Season almost upon us, in fact many may argue it’s here already, in towns and villages across the UK Winter Carnival Processions are planned.

I used to regularly attend one that was local to where we lived. When the children were young they would take part and thoroughly enjoy the occasion. Always dressing for the part and dressing warmly, as December could be very cold.

The procession would start and included bands, colourful floats, walking entries with people dressed up in the theme of the procession, some even on bikes. The atmosphere was great and all the families and friends who were taking part, or just simply watching, thoroughly enjoyed the day. The main highlight for the ‘kiddies’ was of course Father Christmas and his attendant elves or Snow Princesses.

One of the other highlights was a local Morris Dance Group - a great group of people who gave their time to dance with great energy and would have the crowd clapping and ‘jigging’ along. The streets used to be closed and the procession and dancing would take place on the road. These processions always raised money for Charity, and people were always generous, wanting to help those not as fortunate as themselves. One year the Charity was a local children’s hospice, another year it was ‘Hearing Dogs For the Deaf’ 

In recent years the number of Christmas Carnivals has dwindled. Probably for many reasons, lack of money to pay for stewards, lack of people wanting to put the effort in, that word apathy comes to mind. But I think the main one is the huge increase in ‘Health and Safety’ red tape. Of course we have to keep people safe but common sense does also need to prevail and many times this isn’t the case.

You may have already read this article, or a similar one.

Health and Safety gone too far - well have a read and see what you think.

For those of you who may not know what Morris Dance is, I’ve put a short piece below about it. However you enjoy your dance it can help keep you fit.

Morris Dance - Details Taken From Wikipedia

Morris Dance is a form of English Folk Dance usually accompanied by music. It is based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers, usually wearing bell pads on their shins. Implements such as sticks, swords and handkerchiefs may also be wielded by the dancers. 

The earliest known and surviving English written mention of Morris dance is dated to 1448, and records the payment of seven shillings to Morris dancers by the Goldsmiths' Company in London. There are further mentions of Morris dancing in the late 15th century and beyond.

The earliest records mention ‘Morys’ in a court setting, and a little later, in the Lord Mayors’ Processions in London, The Morris Dance had adopted the nature of a folk dance and was performed in the parishes.

Outside of England, there are around 150 Morris sides or teams. In the United States, Australia, New Zealand plus other countries there are isolated groups who continue the tradition and keep Morris Dancing alive and kicking ….....

I can hear those bells now.

All the best Jan

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