We are pleased to Announce this years Morris Sides that will be “Dancing for your Delight” at this years Wessex Folk Festival.
New Forest Meddlars
New Forest Meddlars were formed in 1990 and are a mixed morris side dancing mainly in the Border and Cotswold traditions. They have a few dances that they have also choreographed in these styles. Their kit is purple and white.
Red Stags are a lively, energetic border morris side from Southampton. They perform a variety of dances ranging from the traditional to the self-penned.
Enigma Morris – A Mixed Border side from Stoke Sub Hamdon in South Somerset. Formed in 2014 & completely all inclusive. All welcome.
Holly Copse Molly
Holly Copse Molly are based in Bournemouth, we are a Molly side, we dress in Yellow, Black and Magenta colours. We have been going since 2008, we practise during the winter and dance out at Plough Monday and during the summer. Molly dancing originated in the English Midlands and East Anglia.
Frome Valley Morris (FVM)
Frome Valley Morris (FVM) have danced in Dorset and beyond since 1978. Practices are held in the Old Town Hall, Weymouth DT4 8JH every Thursday evening from September to April.
FVM dance Cotswold and Dorset stave dances. Since Covid we have adapted Cotswold dances for three people as well as performing well established dances for six plus.
Wyld Morris are a mixed side of Morris . We dance mainly Cotswold with a seasoning of Border and our own Bridport Rope Dance. Dancers are tutored throughout the winter and burst upon the public scene at Mayday dawn. Founded at Monkton Wyld and established at Bridport we dance festivals , Country Shows ,fetes and the odd pub…. Our lovely band of musicians may include anything from violin to double bass, from accordion to guitar or whistle.
West Somerset Morris
West Somerset Morris are a Mixed side mostly Cotswold but a bit of Border.
The Quayside Cloggies
The Quayside Cloggies, a mixed Clog-Morris side, are based in Bournemouth, Dorset. They dance in the North-West Tradition. Their dances mainly originate in Cheshire and Lancashire but include some garland dances from all over the country and some they have arranged themselves. The team wear colourful handmade costumes and clogs styled on traditional wear for the mill workers in the North of England during the nineteenth century.
Hobo’s Morris was formed in 1993 – female border dancers with a great band, based in Poole, Dorset. Our first season coincided with the 50th anniversary of D-Day. Our colours; red, black and mustard and our badge, the Raging Bull, are taken from the 79th Armoured division, commanded by Major-General Percy Hobart, a local hero. He was known for constructing and commanding unusual tanks and army vehicles used in the war, affectionately known as Hobo’s Funnies! For festivals we paint our faces as tigers, for no real reason other than we prefer it to the traditional black.
Festus Derriman. A Mixed Cotswold Side founded in the late 1980s at Upwey Village nr Weymouth. Uwey Mill is featured in Hardy’s “The Trumpet Major”, hence the Side’s name of one of the characters from the book. We dance in whites with yellow and green tatter jackets, mixed socks and hankies. Top hats and bowlers are preferred by the men and straw hats for the ladies.
Beetlecrushers Clog and Step Dance Group
Beetlecrushers Clog and Step Dance Group. The group was started in Wells in 1982: they now practice in Gurney Slade. Their repertoire contains traditional or choreographed dances from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland plus steps from Quebec and Cape Breton Island and step dances from Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Scotland. Their costume is based on Mendip wear in the early 1900s.
Zdravets is a Bulgarian folk dance group founded by Tihomir Todorov in 2014 in Portsmouth and Southampton. The group preserve the Bulgarian culture heritage and share the traditional dances with the public across the world. The members of the group are full of enthusiasm and passion for Bulgarian folklore. Zdravets have participated in different folk festivals in England as well as International Folk Festivals. Through our dances we bring the spirit of Bulgaria to different places of the world.
Newton Bushel Morris
Newton Bushel Morris was formed in 1972 as a men only side. We dance traditional Cotswold Morris and can be found dancing around a pub, somewhere in the South Devon area, on a Thursday evening from early May to late September. In addition, we also attend festivals, country fetes and fairs and charity events. In 2009 it became obvious that the side would not survive with men only, and so invited ladies to join the side. The side has grown from strength to strength ever since and we now have great dancing, music and singing sessions. Most sides have an emblem on their baldrics and ours is of the clock tower in Newton Abbot, of which Newton Bushel was once a district. You can find out more about Newton Bushel on our web site www.newtonbushelmorris.uk
Full Moon Morris
Full Moon Morris are a mixed side from South Wales who can be seen at festivals and dance weekends around the country, with a preference for the seaside! We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2022 and since we began, we have performed dances from Cotswold traditions, in particular Headington, Lichfield, Fieldtown and Badby. We are easily spotted with our bright yellow and blue waistcoats festooned with members’ badges.
Wessex Morris Men
Wessex Morris Men were founded in 1957 by a group of young men out of The White Horse Morris Men. We are an all male side, dancing mainly in the Cotswold tradition. The side is an active member of the Morris Ring.We dance out, mainly in the late spring and summer months, around West Dorset and nearby. During summer we dance every Monday evening.
We are an international side and have in previous years visited Poland, Germany, France, Austria Channel Islands, Southern Ireland and even the darkest, remotest parts of Dorset (passport most essential). We also visit other sides within the UK and try where we can to attend their Ales and Ring meetings. Recent events we have been involved with include the Hartley Ale in Summer 2015, where a fantastic time was had by all. Working with the DOUZELAGE (a twinning group of Towns) we have visited a number of European towns, there being one town in each of most countries in the EEC. We generally make one or two foreign visits each year. In October 2015, this was to Bundoran in Southern Ireland.
During our closed season (September to April) we practise at Pulham Village Hall on Mondays between 8:00 pm and about 10:00 pm. We then cross the road to the Halsey Arms for a music and social session. Over the years, Wessex Morris Men have become associated with Cerne Abbas, in Dorset, and can be seen dancing on the old maypole site above the Giant’s head at sunrise on May Day each year. We also dance and perform a mummers play at our Christmas party (usually the Monday before Christmas), and at lunch time in Cerne Abbas on Boxing Day. New recruits welcome!Like many traditional morris sides we have a couple of ‘animals’ and a fool, whose purpose is to entertain the crowd and generally make a nuisance of themselves.
No Mean Feet
No Mean Feet perform a lively and exciting form of American folk dance which involves intricate routines and percussive steps. Dancers wear shoes with metal taps which accentuate the rhythm and all are dances are choreographed by team members. Apart from team dances, the style also lends itself to freestyling, where an individual dancer improvises steps, prompted by the accompanying music.
We have been together as a team for a number of years and have danced at most of the folk festivals in the South West, including Priddy, Sidmouth, Swanage and Dartmoor as well as local events such as South Petherton Green Fayre and Dillington House open day. We are accompanied by the Shoestring Band who play traditional, lively American folk tunes on various instruments including banjo, guitar and fiddle.
Treacle Eater Clog
Treacle Eater Clog is a North West Morris dancing team, based in Yeovil, Somerset, England. We were founded in 1983, largely by members of Queen’s Delight, a Cotswold Morris team, which has since folded. Although we’re based in the South West, our dances have their roots in the industrial North West of England – hence ‘North West’ Morris. As a reminder of this history, the dancers all wear red clogs with bells. However, one of the strongest elements of the tradition in the North West was having one’s own dances which no other team had. Treacle Eater have followed this and now perform some traditional dances alongside those written by current and former members of Treacle Eater Clog and other teams with which we have had links.
Our name, Treacle Eater also has some history behind it. Just south of Yeovil is Barwick Park, once the ‘big house’ round here. In its grounds are four follies. The largest and most ornate of these is Jack the Treacle Eater. Jack is supposed to have been the messenger for the family who owned the house and is said to have run to London with messages, sustaining himself on black treacle. The team’s colours of RED, BLACK and GOLD reflect those of a well-known brand of treacle!