Morris Dancers

I read in the papers that there is a fear that Morris Dancing will die out because younger people aren't interested in it. This would be a pity: it's been a traditional part of country life for many years. I was actually involved with folk dancing for a time when I was about 18: I played the violin in a small folk dance band in the open air round Stratford-on-Avon and at a few dance halls. We actually broadcast once - one item in a pre-recorded program of folk music: I did manage to hear the transmission. It sounded pretty rough, to be honest.

Some of the band members were also in the Morris Dance troupe, so I saw it done quite a lot - dances with handkerchiefs, sticks, and 'swords' (flat metal with wooden handles) which would end up interlocked in the star shape which was the badge of the Folk Dance Society.

This photo shows a troupe - probably the same one, though I don't know whether any of my friends were still in it by then - some eight years later, in August 1968 outside Anne Hathaway's Cottage at Shottery, near Stratford.


Roger Wilmut