Thursday, 14 July 2016

Morris men

The Barrowford festival celebrating the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal was only a small event - a few stalls and refreshments, some (very interesting) displays about the canal, a tombola. (Surprise, surprise - I won a box of posh teabags from the famous 'Bettys of Harrogate'). There were also a couple of Morris dance sides - the men's Royal Preston Morris Dancers and a team of female clog dancers (whose name I have sadly forgotten).

As always at such events, there was plenty of dancing but also lots of sitting around chatting - and the occasional glass of beer was consumed (not by me!)

I really enjoy watching the dancing, though it's a complex subject and I don't know a huge amount about it. It's interesting to note the variations between the sides and the types of dances. Northern Morris is quite different from what you see further south (Cotswold). The dancers often wear clogs and many of the dances use sticks rather than hankies. I love that these old traditions are kept alive but the average age of the dancers tends to be 'mature' and one wonders if it will die out eventually.

It's all too easy to poke fun at - but then, some of the jokes are quite amusing:

'Our local Morris group has a team of men, a team of women and a team of children too. They call them Morris Minors.'

'Did you hear about the bus load of Morris dancers that was hijacked? The hijackers threatened to release one every hour until their demands were met.'

And the old adage: 'You should make a point of trying everything once -  except incest and Morris dancing.'


  1. Morris dancing is a new one to me. I like the traditional clothing.

  2. I've seen it here a couple of times and it looked like a lot of fun for the dancers. And there were some young ones!


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