The
Famous Belfagan Sheep Designed And Copyrighted By Steve Marshall 1997
Belfagan Women's Morris
Giving it welly in Cumbria

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Secretary/joint squire: Jan Dickins    
email: jandickins230@gmail.com
Tel: 016973 21375

Website or music queries: Ally McGurk    
email: ally@belfagan.org.uk

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Taking A Well
Earned Rest After Some Serious Dancing

Taking a well-earned rest after some serious dancing

POETRY CORNER

This is the sort of thing that's likely to happen if you come and join Belfagan:

THE NEW GIRLS
by Ally McGurk

Jilly, Jenny, Joan and Joyce
Cried together with one voice,
'Do our lifestyles need enhancing?
Shall we take up morris dancing?
What we want is something pagan
Let's all go and join Belfagan!'

Jilly, Jenny, Joyce and Joan
Rushed towards the nearest phone
To learn the dances was their aim,
And on a Monday night they came,
Enthusiastic, every one
Keen to take part in the fun.

Jilly, Joan and Joyce and Jenny
Soon learned the steps - there aren't many!
Never girls to say, 'I can't',
They soon discovered how to rant.
Up and down the hall they prance,
Learning how to morris dance.

Jenny, Joyce and Joan and Jilly
Do not think that dancing's silly.
Now they're ordering their frocks
And blouses, clogs and little socks.
Soon dancing out will be their fate,
In summer nineteen ninety-eight.

Now in the troupe there's seven - they
All have names that start with 'J'
Jan and Jackie were before
And Jennifer - and Joan makes four;
With Joyce and Jilly, Jenny too -
I really think that that will do!



Belfagan Dancing At The Royal Oak At Braithwaite
Belfagan dancing at the Royal Oak, Braithwaite.
Belfagan At Bury
Belfagan dancing at Bury railway station.
THE RAIN

Here's a poem we found pinned to a door at Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre during one of the usual slight downpours.

In the last version of our website I enquired if anyone knew the author, and received several different versions of the poem from Jay Booker, Vancouver, BC, Canada, who seems to have put some research into the subject. I'm just including all the versions here, and leave it to you to decide which is best.

The poet may have been one Barry Crump (or Grump, or Gruimp) from New Zealand.

New information has now come to light thanks to Victoria Gregson of Cambridge University, and its origin has now been pushed back from 1984 to at least 1979, and possibly considerably earlier. If you know anything about it please email!

THE RAIN - version 1 (Whinlatter)

It rained and it rained and it rained and it rained;
the average fall was well maintained,
and when the tracks were simply bogs,
it started raining cats and dogs.

After a drought of half an hour
we had a most refreshing shower,
and then the most curious thing of all:
a gentle rain began to fall.

Next day was also fairly dry,
save for the deluge from the sky,
which wetted the party to the skin,
and after that the rain set in.

THE RAIN - version 3
Cambridge University Ramblers' Club

This version appeared in the 1979 edition of a songbook compiled by the Cambridge University Ramblers' Club. The songbook went through several editions, the first one being in 1930. My correspondent thinks it quite likely the poem appeared in the 1950 edition as well, but we don't have documentary evidence of this yet. She says it's unlikely to have been written by a club member, as most of the entries in the songbook were borrowed from other sources, sometimes with modifications.

Looking at the writing style here, it's pretty clear the final 3 verses come from a different hand from the first three, so I'd suspect a member of the club made these 'modifications', particularly as it refers specifically to the Ramblers' Club.

It rained and rained and rained and rained,
the average was well maintained,
and when the roads were simply bogs
it started raining cats and dogs.

After a drought of half an hour
we had a most refreshing shower,
which wet us to the very skin
and after that the rain set in.

It poured and poured and poured and poured
until the rain itself got bored,
then after a delightful lull
it recommenced in buckets-full.

The swans and geese and ducks don't frown
however much the rain comes down.
They do not say the clerk is mad
but vote the weather not half bad.

For after all the sky stops up
if that should fail then sorrow's cup
would fill to overflowing till
the rivers they would flow uphill.

So if next week should turn out wet
The Rambling Club won't fume or fre
for shirking clothes and sodden boots
They'll go for walks in bathing suits.

MULL WEATHER
version 2 (Isle of Mull, Scotland)

It rained and rained and rained and rained -
The average was well maintained
And when our fields were simply bogs
It started raining cats and dogs

After a drought of half and hour
There came the most refreshing shower
And then the queerest thing of all
A gentle rain began to fall.

Next day 'twas pretty fairly dry
Save for a deluge from the sky
This wetted people to the skin
But after that the rain set in

We wondered what's the next we'd get
As sure as fate we got more wet
But soon we'll have a change again
And we shall have a drop of rain.

THE RAIN
--found in Architect's Creek Hut, Westland Nat'l Park, New Zealand

It rained and rained and rained
The average fall was well maintained
And when the tracks were simple bogs,
it started raining cats & dogs

After a drought of half an hour
We had a most refreshing shower,
And then most curious thing of all,
A gently rain began to fall!

Next day but one was fairly dry
Save for one deluge from the sky
Which wetted the party to the skin
And then, at last, the rain set in.

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