Tuesday 17 October 2023

Michael Higgins talks to me today about his contributions to the latest LAA Anthology

'The Morris Dancers' Farewell' is about the Royton Morris Dancers, led by Jimmy Cheetham, dancing out of Royton on a Saturday Morning in 1900. The little boy centre dancer is Mark Irwin and his sisters await his return in the lamplight. It was a man's dance but a woman's artistic touch.story was told by Mark's sister Alice many years later. Alice was a grand old lady in her eighties when she told it . All the Irwin sisters helped to boil shirts, sashes, ribbons and stockings for the dancers and dressed them in the street before they danced off.  
'The Hour Ahead' echoes a visit to my friends James and Jill in Toronto and remarks on time and distance a comforting hour. 
I have a third piece in dialect prose which makes fun of the minefield of dialect spelling and pronunciation.

I write history - I edit the Royton Local Society Newsletter and write articles on local history and grander historical themes for other outlets. I write on literature from Old English to modern. I review books from time to time. 

I decided to enter the LAA  competition because I like writing and had not entered the competition before as I have not been a member long. The other side of the coin is that I have to size myself up to entering them. 

I have entered few other competitions before, though I have won a couple of awards in various categories for dialect societies.

I had heard of the LAA through general reading and already knew the LAA president through dialect and folk events.

I am currently writing a history of the Royton Morris Dancers. I am compiling a collection of poetry.

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