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Blog: The Welly Stomp

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A little while ago we got a flyer inviting us to go to something called "The Welly Stomp". This turned out NOT to be a 70's DANCE revival but instead an invitation to all local residents to join a procession through East Village, where we live, over to The Olympic Park (which we live near - have I mentioned that before?) following a pair of giant WELLIES to what was, basically, a harvest festival. How could we refuse?

So it was that on Saturday morning The Feets In My Shoes and I put our wellies on (the flyer suggested we all wear them) and heading over to nearby Victory Park where things were due to begin. We assumed that ALL residents had received the flyers and so expected a reasonable crowd, so were a bit surprised to find that, apart from the organisers and volunteers carrying the big green papier mache boots, we were the ONLY people there! A few more rolled up just before things got started, but NONE of them were wearing wellies.

And so it was that the two of us ended up at the front of the procession, just behind the giant boots, carrying a Welly Stomp BANNER through the village, across a road, and then into the Olympic Park. Does this make us COMMUNITY HEROES? I rather think it does. Our little procession got to the harvest festival area and the "march" (it did feel like that - I struggled inwardly to stop myself calling for an end to the badger cull throughout) ended in that traditional British activity: a group of adults trying, and largely failing, to remember how The Hokey Cokey goes and then carrying on doing it for a bit too long. The pair of us did our best to join in, but it's a bit difficult when you're holding a banner!
Rupert's Street Vegan Food Van.

Things were going DELIGHTFULLY well, so we went and sat on some hay bales to eat whilst on a nearby stage a "local singer songwriter" (according to the running order) performed a bunch of cover versions. It was all very pleasant and STANDARD, with stuff like "I'm A Believer" and "Here Comes The Sun" and nobody really paying any attention, but then it all went a bit WAYWARD. "Here's a song by the Velvet Underground" he said, and launched into a version of "Who Loves The Sun." It was GRATE! Clearly he had decided that nobody was listening so might as well do what he LIKED - as The Songs In My Set said, he had GONE ROGUE. He did a Smiths song to great acclaim (NB from us) and then an Elliot Smith song, three MORE Smiths songs in a row and finished with "Vegetables" by The Beach Boys (!) and Star Man. It was HILARIOUS and WONDERFUL - we sang along throughout, especially on the Smiths. I think more entertainers should cover The Smiths - most of the other people watching were joining in too, it's the same for people of OUR generation (who are largely the ones dragging kids around such events these days) as it was for our parents singing along to The Beatles when they took us as children. Jamies Whelligan, his name was, as I later found out. He was BRILL!

The sun was out and it felt like SUMMER - I even had a GRASSHOPPER land on me, an actual real-live Grasshopper - and all was well with the world. More of this sort of thing please!

posted 22/9/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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