Thursday, May 07, 2009

Black Prince 2009

For anyone who really can't be bothered to read my witterings but just wants to see some photos, there's quite a few of The Black Prince Flower Boat Procession on this link. There's lots of photos of all sorts of nonsense (many quite old now) on the Complete Photosets link on the right of these pages.

For anyone who wants some words and a video as well...


I think I've mentioned before that I have two favourite days each year. Strangely, both seem to involve drinking and celebrations.

I always seem to manage a great time on Bastille Day; Mrs The Millbrooker and I have made it to the Mael-Carhaix (Brittany) fireworks for most recent years, many in the company of your friends and ours Dong and Shazzerooneypoos.

My other favourite is Black Prince Day in Millbrook (and the bits in Kingsand and Cawsand, too).
This year's event turned out to be a cracker.

The procession followed its usual route, with the re-addition from times of yore of a lunchtime break-cum-fete in the garden of Venton House.

Festivities began at 10 on The Quay, but Mrs The Millbrooker, Dozybean and I missed that bit because we spent too long the night before enjoying some jolly decent Bordeaux and got up too late.

We were waiting, pints in hand, at The Mark of Friendship in plenty of time for the arrival of the parade at its first stop around 1045. The 'Ark had been suitably dressed for the occasion, with garlands around the windows.

Soon enough the procession appeared around the corner and the dances got underway.
We followed the procession to the D&C, and thence up west Street towards The Heart and Hand, there was a dance on the way during which Mrs The Millbrooker spotted a young fellow called Finlay who had made a terrific model of The Black Prince itself.
The Heart & Hand provides a dice with death for dancers as holiday traffic attempts to make its way to Kingsand or Mount Edgcumbe. It was there that we spotted a chap from the troupe Cats Eye with a great instrument...

...I think he called it a gramophone violin. It's got two horns for the sound to emerge from, the smaller one to allow the player to hear what he's doing.

'Ere long, 'twas time to heave The Black Prince aloft once more (well done, Naval Ratings of HMS Raleigh) and bear her to Venton House.

In the (thankfully large) garden of Venton House more dancing and some shanty singing from a trio who call themselves Hanging Johnny kept us entertained over lunch of traditionally barbeque'd burgers (charred exterior, raw middle) - yummy.

Local jazz legend Tony Harris also put in an appearance and enjoyed a natter with our own Wizzers of Soz. And we got some maypole dancing as well.

This interlude dans le jardin came to an end and we trogged upwards and over the hill to Kingsand and Cawsand for the afternoon's dances and the grand finale of the annual launching of The Black Prince to symbolically take the winter away to sea and allow the summer in.

We caught the dancing and a lovely pint of Heligan Honey at The Rising Sun and then scampered down Fore Street to the Halfway Inn (missing out on the dancing at The Devonport Inn which was too crowded to get a decent view). Here are The Plymouth Maids in full swing outside the Halfway.Dong was most amused to discover that such a thing as a maid existed in Plymouth.

Finally the procession made its way along Garrett Street to The Square for the last session of dancing and the launch. We were at the back of the crowd for the dancing there, so no decent photos; here's Frankenkeith getting into the spirit of things instead.

And that was about it - we watched the launch from the balcony of The Galleon as winter sailed out with The Black Prince and as summer utterly failed to come in as the winds got chillier and the traditional Cornish drizzle began to gently dampen our bonces, but not our spirits.

Here's to next year. What a great day.

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