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Prague 2014

The Hambrook Broom Dance

                     This Broom Dance was introduced to us by Susie Davis, one of our dancers.

 Here is what she says about it:

"I first remember my grandmother, Iris Leaver, dancing the broom dance on Boxing Day 1960. She would be encouraged to perform her "party piece" only on this day when the family were all together for Christmas. Performing was quite out of character for her, yet the family accepted her dance without question, never asking anything about it. The high point was when we caught a glimpse of her bloomers, a tradition we intend to keep up as you can see in the photographs. The dance took place in the "front room" of her house in Downend. I don't recall any music but as she was a very accomplished whistler she may have accompanied herself. I have added a middle section to the dance where the broom is twirled; this may prove difficult indoors without breakages! Iris was born in 1906 into a family that had lived in Winterbourne Down for several generations. As a girl she lived in Hambrook and attended Whiteshill School, where she may have learnt the dance, we would be very interested to hear if anyone has any memories of this. There may be a connection between Iris's grandfather, Edward Biggs and Tom Biggs who was known to have performed with Winterbourn Mummers before WW1."

Music was arranged by Keith Davis to fit the dance, Susie taught Alan the steps, and the two of them performed the dance for the first time in public at the Staple Hill Christmas Carnival in early December 2004, and again on Boxing Day in Winterbourn Down.

Iris Leaver

Iris Leaver, with her mother and brothers, circa 1916

The first 21st century performance, at Staple Hill

Alan and Susie again (Note that only Susie is sponsored by Persil)

Finally, on Boxing Day in Winterbourn Down, they achieve simultaneous Yogic Broom Levitation

Boxing Day 2007, Susie was out of action, so Di performed with Alan

....and achieved a remarkable degree of synchronisation..

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Hambrook Broom Dance at Staple Hill 2010  Video