This year the Festival returned to Gloucester and was arranged to coincide with Westgate Mediaeval Fayre which was held on Saturday 14th June.
Taborers gathered from lunchtime on Friday in the very welcoming Dick Whittington before heading just over the road to the Folk Museum to hear the four talks at the Symposium (Richard Sermon, Steve Turner, Gwilym Davies and Bill Tuck).
The Friday evening was then given over to a very informal social evening at the Conservative club, with ample food and drink, much chatting and a lot of playing.
On Saturday the taborers gathered early in St Nicholas’ church and had a quick run through of the festival’s official tune Edi beo thu – a medieval song known from a manuscript from Llanthony Secunda Priory in Gloucester. Just before ten, we processed to the Cross where the mediaeval fair was opened by the mayor. With Taborers providing the music, there was a procession from the Cross via Eastgate and Westgate Streets to the cathedral. Here we broke into small groups and spent the morning playing in the cloisters, by the cathedral gates and around the streets as the rest of the fair proceeded. The sunny weather was just what was needed, and the streets were populous.
At noon we all assembled in the cathedral choir for an informal concert, opened by Barbara Tuck’s dancers who were accompanied by Bill. A number of taborers played solos, including our Canadian visitor Mark Whitcombe who played and sang the Huron carol (in Huron). We had an appreciative audience of cathedral visitors.
The afternoon was spent like the morning, playing in small groups. Terry Carter played for the belly dancers…… We concluded at 4pm with a Big Dub by the cathedral gates.
Then it was back to the Conservative club where we held the AGM before enjoying the Taborers Feast. The evening concert was held in St Nicholas’ church where the wonderful acoustics enhanced the music of Taborers, the Gloucester Waits and the Newent-Scottish singers. It was a very successful concert with much variety, enjoyed by participants and audience alike and was followed by a relatively subdued session in the Dick Whittington.
After a long and tiring day on the Saturday, the Sunday was more relaxed. We met again in St Nicholas’ church for workshops on mediaeval music led by Bill Tuck, and taboring for Morris led by Steve Rowley, before repairing yet again to the Dick Whittington for lunch and yet more talking and playing before people had to leave for home.