Rochester Sweeps Festival - 4 May 2002

Rochester Sweeps is a favourite of ours, though its location by the Medway and its date in early May often mean there's a biting wind. But the atmosphere - and the tea at Hannah's afterwards - more than make up for this. Rochester's old main street buzzes with dozens' of sides dancing within its narrow confines. The narrow street means that the music doesn't drift away on the breeze, and the crowds are packed in close to the dancers. While this is not always an advantage - dancing close to a Northwestern side or trying to perform a large figure - it adds an intensity to the proceedings.

We all arrived in good time, but Sylvia suffered an injury before we started dancing - slipping off a kerb. Alan found the frozen peas, and our new tool box was put to good use as a seat.

But we're here to dance, so dance we will...

Of course, the Street Dance is the ideal in a street

We're not the only dancers of course...

or the only musicians

The Cathedral tea shop's garden is the ideal retreat from the bustle of the street

But we're soon back for a another display.