Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Austrian Folk Dancing from the Easthope Postcard Collection

A couple of years ago I was given a huge collection of postcards and at intervals I have been digging them out and scanning them. So far I have scanned almost 600 of them and indexed them. Some have appeared already on this blog, notably the series about A. Edgar Pedley who served in the Somme and afterwards in World War One. I still have 160 to scan and then I can finally send the promised CD of scanned images! It's taken a while (blush).

Today I feature a postcard bought by or sent to Hayley Easthope's family from abroad. This has brought some of my own memories to the surface and - yes... I'm going to subject you to them!

This is an unsent postcard, bought as a souvenir in Austria and it shows one of those folk bands that are a feature of every week's stay in a hotel in the Tyrol. It's a night of knee, foot and hand slapping, bell ringing, wood chopping and iron bar hammering.

If you are drunk enough or daft enough to look them in the eye, this happens... Before you know it you are up on stage with your trouser legs rolled up, the butt of jokes delivered in German. There is only one thing to do...

You out-do the dancers, you yodel at the top of your voice, and you ham it up until the audience belong to you. This was 2001 and as I came off the stage it took ages to walk back to my seat and the hysterical laughter of Miss Franny because at every table I passed someone got up to shake my hand... The rest of our party (we were on a coach trip) were still mentioning the night on our way home at the end of the week...

The postcard was unsent because whoever bought it also must have had a great night and they got the group to autograph the reverse of the card.

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