Morris dancing in the street - more folk dance memories in Days Gone By
PUBLISHED: 18:00 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 29 October 2020
Readers have been sharing their morris dancing memories, following our recent article about the much-loved folk tradition.
Mike Garland of the East Suffolk Morris Men sent in photos of the team in varied locations.
He said: “We are the oldest team in Suffolk, having been started in 1958, but there was an Ipswich team run by Leslie Ford for a few years before that, and there was a Suffolk team in the 1930s.
“Des Herring and Ivo Barne started ESMM. Two members of the team have held national office in The Morris Ring, one of the national organisations for the dance, and for many years the team travelled widely, not only across Europe, but to America, Jordan, Turkey and Pakistan.
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“Lockdown has obviously affected all Morris Sides, but dancers are trying hard to maintain fitness and the spirit of the dance during these exceptional times.”
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Graham Day, of Stowmarket, also wrote in about his love for the traditional dance. He said: “Watching Morris dancers perform on a warm day, usually outside a pub, is a wonderful part of any summer time.
“Over the years there have been many memories, notably morris dancers outside the Butt and Oyster at Pin Mill on New Year’s Day, morris men and ladies’ clog dancers in sunny Southwold streets.
“In 1978, a Morris Ring was held in Christchurch Park, Ipswich, organised by the East Suffolk Morris Men. There were teams from all over the country, and I watched transfixed as they performed their routines.
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“For my birthday one year, I paid a weekend trip to Sheringham to go the Potty Festival, which commences with a procession of dancers through the town, bringing happiness. A visit to Folk East at Glemham inevitably involves watching the morris dancing competition.”
Graham added: “Several years ago, we went to watch the Morris Ring in Thaxted in Essex. The highlight was the procession of teams of morris men, dancing their way down the ancient High Street.
“Because of the nature of Thaxted, buses could not be diverted, so at intervals the crowd and the dancers needed to part to allow a bus through!”
What are your memories of morris dancing and folk festivals? Email email@example.com or write to Judy Rimmer, Newsroom, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1RS. Order staff photos at archantsuffolk.newsprints.co.uk or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.
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