Binner LogoBinner Dateline: 25 May 2007
Binners Revisit the glory days in an all new trip out west

the Binners return to Avebury
the Binners operate a "leave no trace" policy

Click here for Aiden's Bash

Ageing Binners stirred their stumps for one last hoorah down old Avebury way, and dragged themselves away from the cosy fireside repose of the pipe smoking fortysomething gentleman's homestead vigil.

Shame fell upon a small number of Binner veterans, who will remain nameless, though Aidan and Chris know exactly who they are (their feeble protestations of unavailability will be duly recorded and added to the Binner Book of Excuses).

So at 9.00am on the morning of 25 May 2007, the Binner tally stood at eight, but by 6.00pm, the number was reduced to six, and the hope of an unstoppable convoy of Binners heading along the old Ridgeway road route was dwindling to the mere shadow of a past glory.

However, the hearts of that remaining six proved more steadfast than, possibly, even those individuals involved would have thought, and by 7.30pm, the Binners were all Avebury bound on antiquarian pleasure bent; though the number was well dispersed along the route, as the six travelled down in three seperate cars.

Wayne and Dave set out along the old Binner route to pick up Neil on the way, and got way laid at Tesco in Reading (having driven past a rather disgruntled Budgens of Wendover), picking various comestibles and beverages to enhance the Binning experience. Sadly, the amount of time spent at Tescos was not conducive to an old styled visit to the Blue Boar in Aldbourne, and a mad dash along the M4 became the only way that the chaps would get to the Red Lion in time for a pint before closing.

Mick and Watty made their way round the M25 and up the M4, overtaking the larger party as they shopped in Tesco, and made it to the Lion just before John, a virgin Binner who had followed a similar route. The trip had been designated as a celebration of John's fortieth birthday, which had taken place the previous Wednesday.

Some half hour later, Wayne, Neil and Dave rolled up, and John was presented with his Birthday present; an antique pewter tankard of some with some Morris history to it.

After a couple of pints (and some Black Russians for the Ale Intolerant) in the rather quiet bar of the Lion, we packed ourselves up and headed off to the Barrow, an air of gathering excitement at the thought that we were actually Binning good and proper for the first time in five or six years. John, however, never Binned before, was wondering what was in store for him, and Simon, who had never done the night time walk to the Barrow before, volunteered to carry the beers, assuming that it was only a couple of hundred yards to the Silbury View Hilton. Ha!

The way was punctuated by stops for photos, reminiscences of past Binning, and songs of the sea, which always seem rather popular on night time walks along the avenue for some reason (thanks probably to the fact that Neil knows all, or rather most, of the words).

On arrival at the Barrow, we tuck into our Tesco provisions, then turn to the beer, then turn to the serious subject of tackling "sins against Binning", which are identified as each sinner stands in the portal of sin, cleansed from the soul using the medium of vodka, and then assimilated into the Binner agenda. For instance, the use of pillows on this trip was a punishable sin, but has now become de rigur for the discerning Binner, and we will all be taking one next time.

Anyway, sins expunged, the Binners turned to Morris training, also a new concept for such trips, and Dave started squeezing his box in front of the lads, as they started singing songs of syphilis and clashing sticks together to the merry sound of Dave's organ. Wayne provided the instructional for the dance, and could only have felt a little bit let down by the fine display put on by the lads.

Exhausted in such a manner, we then retired to our reciprical rooms and settled down amid convivial chat and banter, then, Mick came round and tucked us all in, and we went off to sleep.

Dave, Watty and John shared a double air bed, but as good an idea as this seemed at the time, Watty's star shaped sleep formation proved a little too formidable challenge for the other two, and some peculiar positions were obtained by the other two as they slept.

Next day's early start saw us return the Barrow to it's original condition (well, not quite literally - but good enough to 'leave no trace') and then head to Devises for a Morrisons breakfast, before making tracks for Chippenham for the Folk Festival, where Wayne and Dave would be dancing with Woodside Morris Men.

Not the most traditional of Binner trips, but it was good to get back in the saddle again after so long.

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