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Posted: 23 July 2014
An open-top bus transported the Hartley Morris Men around Kent at the weekend for their annual Shepherd Neame Tour.
Twenty members of the group, based in Wrotham, travelled down to the Gate Inn at Chislet on Friday, where they entertained with an evening of folk singing in the bar, before enjoying complimentary accommodation. In the morning they set off on tour in an open-top bus, supported by a donation from Shepherd Neame. The group’s first stop was Faversham, dancing in Market Square then outside Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre.
They moved on to the Chequers Inn at Doddington, where they performed and enjoyed lunch, before travelling to Herne Bay, dancing by the historic Clock Tower then outside the Rose Inn. They travelled back to The Gate Inn for another evening of singing in the bar and complimentary overnight stay, before heading home on Sunday.
Bagman Tony Tomlin, who lives in Maidstone, said: “Our annual weekend of performance at different Shepherd Neame pubs has been going for 39 years. It started as one of our members used to work as a drayman for the brewery, and we still have links to Shepherd Neame as its Rose and Crown pub in Wrotham is what we call our spiritual home, with our own special corner featuring morris dancing memorabilia. “We really love the weekend as it is a great opportunity to get away as a group and perform in a different area, and, of course, have an excuse to drink some of Shepherd Neame’s beers!”