2022 – And Beyond!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As Shrewsbury Morris collectively dance into 2022 we are (like many people) thankfully in a much better place than we were in 2020. It is important to say that our relatively healthy position is almost entirely due to the huge efforts put in by our leaders Ray and Bev Langton who, through sheer hard work and determination, have guided us through Zooming practice sessions, virtual fun and games, quizzes and all sorts of other distractions to ensure we have at least stayed together as a team.  They also cunningly devised a suite of socially distanced dances, enabling us to learn these at home via videos, music and instructions placed on our website so everyone could access them. 

From April 2021, after a change in Covid restrictions, we tentatively started back with outside practice, having found a super new home at Prestfelde School in Shrewsbury, where we are now regulars and it is important to thank the School for allowing us to be using their excellent facilities.

Slowly, but surely, we have now returned to indoor practice, albeit subject to all the current restrictions and rules laid down by the Government. But, more than this, we have actually danced out again, in public, in kit, our first time being on 3rd July 2021 in our spiritual home of Shrewsbury Square for a Stepping Out event. This was wonderful and most of the team turned out to dance our new distanced dance repertoire and, most importantly, to have fun and be Shrewsbury Morris Dancers again. We were even joined by Septimus, our very own Giant.

This was followed by us dancing for The Shrewsbury Mile of Smiles, again in July, an appearance at Battlefield 1403 in August for a harvest and heritage event, the reopening of the Mill Pub in Leighton near Ironbridge in the same month and dancing for the Newport Food Frenzy in September.

November saw us at long last perform our oft-cancelled Morris Show for the Cressage WI, which was very well received by the members….well they had waited long enough!

Our usual Christmas Ceilidh at Wattlesborough Village Hall had to be pared back to a Shrewsbury Morris Social Evening which, although much smaller and restricted mostly to team members and family, was still great fun. We sincerely hope to be back to some sort of normality by Christmas 2022. 

Our last event of 2021 was performing in December for the, always very special, Christmas Tree Festival held at St Chads Church. 

So, we hope we have made it through the worst of the pandemic, we have danced when we had early reservations whether we might ever dance again and we are a team again.

We look forward to 2022 with increasing optimism and we have events pencilled in already, some local and some not so. Either way we are looking forward to doing what we do best with renewed vigour and hope along with some fabulous, brand new sponsors to support us. All our events will be posted on our Diary page so please feel free to have a look and come and watch us.

Who knows, you might even want to join us? We’re always looking for new members….hint! 

Best Wishes from us all.

Septimus at St Mary’s

We are delighted to announce that we have moved Septimus, our giant puppet into the gorgeous St Mary’s Church in Dogpole, Shrewsbury. Open (and free) 10am-4pm except Sundays, why not pop along and have a look at our exhibition, see how he was built and, most importantly, who we are…

plus, of course, look round a very beautiful Shropshire church.

My, What a Year!

So in the year of the pandemic just what have Shrewsbury Morris been up to? Well we certainly haven’t been sitting around twiddling our thumbs – or our sticks!

A real mix of things from the very start of Lockdown No. 1 right though to now.  We have all kept in touch, had team fun, learned new dances, played music, sung songs and many more things too. Each week has seen the publication of the ‘Shrewsbury CoronaMorris Newsletter’ along with Thursday evenings being turned over to Zoom meets. We also managed five wonderful real live practices back in October.

We are now preparing to get back into our practice routine with serious thinking about risk assessments and team safety protocols along with developing and learning our new repertoire – ‘The Shrewsbury Morris Distanced Dancing Suite’. Catch us dancing out these dances sometime later in the summer.

Pretty Cute Leprechaun

As always there have been some fun social events on Zoom such as a Midsummer Ceilidh, Harvest Supper – featuring a Mr. Potato Head competition, St Patrick’s Celebration – seeking out the cutest leprechaun, and not forgetting the Pancake Party where real pancakes were tossed – socially distanced, of course! Our annual Christmas Ceilidh, with a black and white theme was also held on Zoom. Add to this a few other achievements including the first ever Shrewsbury Morris Cookbook – it has been a pretty busy pandemic year – phew!

Earlier this year the Morris Federation invited us to deliver two presentations to the wider Morris community. The first was about our very own ‘Septimus, the Giant Shrewsbury Cobbler’ project, and the other was on our Twitter account. Both were well received and have opened up links with other teams elsewhere in the country. Our Twitter account continues to grow and we are especially grateful for both new and long-standing sponsors.

Currently we are very much hoping that Covid restrictions will soon be lifted so that we can not only get back to weekly practice but also dust off our shoes & bells and dance out to celebrate a bit of normality.

COVID-19 Virus

Sadly, due to the Corona Virus pandemic, Shrewsbury Morris have suspended their practices and are not dancing out in the near future. We will resume practices and dance-outs as soon as it is safe to do so, and government guidelines permit.

2019 Malawi Marath-Own

WE DID IT!!! 4hrs and 42 dances, plus a few more. A huge thank you to everyone who supported us before, after and on the day.

In our collection tins on Saturday we collected an ASTOUNDING £453.72 which, when added to the online donations of £1,267.50 (including gift aid) makes it a grand total so far of £1,721.22.

THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED US

We are quite overwhelmed with the support for our Marath-Own fund raising event for The Friends of Sick Children in Malawi. Through your generosity Shrewsbury Morris have smashed their £500 target 16 days before even dancing a single step on the 8th June!

We know that more people have said they will donate and so we are taking the bold decision to now double our original target. Even if we don’t make £1,000 we still know that every penny donated goes towards making a difference in the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Malawi.

If you would like to add your support please visit our fundraising link virginmoneygiving.com/BevLangton to make a donation.

Our heartfelt thanks, to those who have already donated, and thank you too for those who are still supporting this cause.

One of our dancers, Joe, (see picture below) is a Consultant Paediatrician in Malawi and we are ‘dancing a marathon’ to help raise funds for her wonderful hospital. If you are able to help us with our mission, please follow this link: virginmoneygiving.com/BevLangton – your generosity is most gratefully received, thank you.

Joe Langton

Come along to support us on Saturday 8th June on the Lower Floor of the Darwin Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury from 10:00am. We need all the help we can get to dance for 26 miles!