A Perfect Day (with apologies to Lou Reed)

An Open Morris letter to Shrewsbury and all visiting Morris sides

Sat 28th Sep 2013

Just a perfect day / met The Mayor in the Square / and then later, when we’re all there / we just danced
Just a perfect day / Morris sides quite a few / schools there for us and you / they all danced

Kids 22-1

Oh it was a perfect day
We’re glad we spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You won’t hear me banging on
You won’t hear me banging on…..any more

Just a perfect day / the weather left us alone / no-one had a chance to moan / it was fun!
Just a perfect day / wouldn’t have been anywhere else / we hope you enjoyed yourselves / you were great!

Oh it was a perfect day
We’re glad we spent it with you
Oh such a perfect day
You won’t hear me banging on
You won’t hear me banging on…..any more


We’re hoping to reap just what we sowed

……by enough people being inspired by the last fabulous weekend of Morris Dancing in Shrewsbury to come along to our Try Outs/Open Evenings at Sundorne School, from 8pm on both Thursday 10th and 17th October. It’s a very informal, fun evening where you get a chance to meet us, chat to us, have a drink and some nibbles with us (there’s cake!!), see what we do, look at our rich history and tradition, see us in action and generally have a good time.
Who knows, you might even feel so good about it that you want to join us! We are always looking for new members. So, men and women of hereabouts, if you want to have a peek into the wonderful world of Morris and find out what’s so great about it and why we love doing it, now you know what to do.

Pssst…….I think there are people coming already so you’ll have company……

Hope to see lots of you there.

Check out our website www.shrewsburymorris.co.uk for more information and find links there to our huge Twitter account @shrewsmorris, our FB page and our Flickr page, bursting with photos of last weekend and of….well, us really….

It’s always fun dancing with Shrewsbury Morris!

Morris On

Folk, Trains, Flax Mills and Churches

After a brief dance hiatus and a much needed practice this Thursday at The Red Barn in Longden (for which a huge thank you to Theresa) we’re back with a bang this weekend as we join many great sides for a weekend of brilliant music, fun, dance and probably, sore heads as The Shrewsbury Folk Festival swings into action once more. From our point of view we are really looking forward to it as it’s been quite a while since Shrewsbury Morris have danced there so it’s great for us to be at our own Festival again. Do come up and say hello to us if you see us about.

We’re dancing on the country stage at 11am with our friends from Ironbridge the superb Ironmen Severn Gilders Morris. From there we travel into town to St Alkmonds for a lunchtime dance spot (12.15 to 1pm) with the brilliant Seven Champions Morris before returning to the Showground to finish the day dancing with Noa’s Danish Chilts and JD and Folk (what great names Morris sides have!!)

Other Morris sides will be all over the town on Saturday and Sunday too, at The Castle, St Mary’s Church, St Alkmonds and The Square so do go and have a look at them and enjoy what they do.

The following Thursday evening (Aug 29th) we renew our acquaintance with Bridgnorth when we meet up with other local dancing buddies Bedcote Morris to dance at the very picturesque and unique Severn Valley Railway which we are really pleased about.

Then a very busy period ensues for us as we dance at The Flaxmill in town from 1130am on Sunday 8th September and then travel out later that same day to the lovely little village of Shrawardine, near Montford to join in the celebrations of the village church’s 800th anniversary from 2pm onwards.

That will be followed by our high point of the year. You’ll read about it in the local papers soon but we believe some 400 Morris Dancers are going to invade Shrewsbury (in a good way) on Sat 28th September to celebrate this glorious tradition with us as we host the Morris Federation Day of Dance. It’s going to be a superb day for Shrewsbury and for us as the town and The Quarry will be filled with colour, fabulous music, some pretty strange sights and most importantly wonderful dancing from 10am – 4pm.

The team has been working towards this for nearly a year now and we recommend that if you want to see and hear something truly unique, traditional and just plain gorgeous then come to Shrewsbury that day and join with us in a fantastic celebration of Morris.

In addition, we and (hopefully) some other teams will be dancing at the Battlefield1403 site on the morning of Sunday 29th September to blow away the cobwebs of the night before! As well as kindly hosting us they have their Harvest and Heritage food festival the same weekend so, even more reason to come out and watch us all.

Finally, here’s an early invitation to all local men and women to our “come and have a go” open evenings on Thursdays 10th and 17th October at Sundorne School from 8pm until 10pm. Come and join us for some fun, drinks and nibbles, see what we do, chat to the team and have a go with the bells, sticks and hankies. Who knows, you might like it so much you join us – lots of people came last time and we acquired quite a few new members who are doing really well and (we think) really enjoying the great dance, music, friendship, fun, fitness and well-being that this amazing traditional activity gives us. More about this event as time goes on.

In the meantime, why not follow us on Twitter @shrewsmorris (well over 6,000 people already do) on Facebook or via our website www.shrewsburymorris.co.uk

Bank Holiday at Attingham Park

The sun always shines on the…………well, we’d like to think so anyway! The forecast today was rain but it only arrived as we drove from the car park at the end of the day as is so often the case when we dance out.

Rewind five hours and we were arriving at Attingham Park for our four-spot dance performance on Bank Holiday Monday. The omens were good as we were met and welcomed by the lovely staff who kindly allocated us their restroom for the day and offered us tea, biscuits and…….cake!
Now, as anyone who knows us will tell you we NEVER pass up the offer of cake so this was an excellent start to the day 🙂


The team was a little minimal due to various reasons but we had enough ladies and men to perform and everyone, from musicians to dancers gave their all and did a great job, entertaining good and appreciative crowds at all four spots throughout the day. We met lots of friends and supporters who kindly came over to say hello (we love meeting people).

One of our newest members brought her family to watch her Shrewsbury Morris debut and, if she felt nervous she didn’t show it as she piled in and did really well. We couldn’t clog as the surface didn’t lend itself so the Lasses and Men danced alternate slots and we were able to throw in several mixed dances too, finishing each time with our old favourite Steeple Claydon.

A lovely day, in a great place, with super people and gracious and pleasant holiday crowds.


Next stop Wellington Summer Fayre!!


A Foray into Wales

Scorchio! was how Mon 6th May dawned and it just got more Scorchio as the day progressed 🙂 After the slight chill at Upton two days previously we were able to slap on a bit of cream, buy some new shades and dance in the morning sun with our good friends at Coed-y-Dinas near Welshpool.

We received our usual warm welcome from everyone there and enjoyed entertaining the Bank Holiday crowds out in the sun for the first time in a while. The Lasses danced very well and Shrewsbury Clog got a good outing too on a really nice surface.

The cloggers at Coed-y-Dinas

Bull and Pump had six men to begin with which enabled us to widen the repertoire a bit although we gained an impromptu seventh member (sex unknown but we have our suspicions) when a giant Lego brick with legs took up station at the end of our Gallop perimeter.

The Lego Man may be joining us ;)

He looked (if bricks can look) really pleased to see us and we managed to incorporate him in the dance which he seemed to enjoy. He was a great sport…..a real brick!!

After a fab morning’s dancing we set off for our next spot, beautiful Powis Castle just over the road(ish). We weren’t due to be dancing until 2pm which was just as well as the whole of Powys seemed to be trying to get into the castle grounds! After finding some off road parking we settled down on a sunny slope for our customary group picnic and thoroughly enjoyed watching Ed down a bottle of red wine on his gingham table cloth….and table…..and chairs……the rest of us just slummed it on the grass 😉

From our elevated position we also had great fun telling the overworked parking men where spaces were so they could direct people to them. It was the busiest I have ever seen the castle.

Our afternoon of dance was really great, performing in front of many people although the heat was difficult (shouldn’t really complain) but everyone did splendidly. Our musicians played superbly, not easy as they had to compete all afternoon with some extremely noisy, and close peacocks who clearly were not folk or Morris fans!

Happy with this!

All in all a truly lovely day in gorgeous summer weather (where did THAT go?!) in lovely locations. A repeat of our Jubilee programme the year before and thoroughly enjoyed by us and appreciated by lovely crowds watching.

We love John...We love John....We love John

We also met lots of Twitter friends who came up and made themselves known which was brilliant!


Upton-upon-Severn Folk Festival

The Upton-upon-Severn Folk Festival, traditionally held over the May Day weekend, holds quite a special place for us. In the days when we would camp the whole weekend, usually on the local, soggy rugby pitch, the sometimes inclement weather for dancing would usually be forgotten by the evening with a group takeaway in Geoff and Amanda’s caravan over several bottles of “not lemonade”. This would often be while singing or hooting with laughter at Ralph’s hilarious version of Little Cottage in The Wood, which becomes more hilarious the more “not lemonade ” you have…..trust me, I’m a Morris Dancer!

Upton’s a place where Morris and Folk are wall to wall for four glorious days. It’s where the traditional jingly bells and crossed Baldricks of Cotswold Morris meets the heavy drum, tatters and verbal whooping of Border.

Stone The Crows!!

It’s where you can sit back with a pint of “not lemonade” and watch a Mummer’s play outside a pub while next door a group of pirate women are shimmying to a slinky bellydance, and down the road a Canadian Morris team (complete with their very own Moose) delight an appreciative crowd of agog tourists.

Pirate Dancer

This year was no exception although sadly we could only dance on the Saturday. Securing our usual place beside the Anchor Inn (funny old thing) early on meant that we had a lovely spot for the morning beside the river. This was shared with various other sides which meant everyone had regular rests while someone else danced. This always presents a great opportunity to meet other dancers, chat and learn about the different forms of this great, colourful tradition of ours. Although it was a cool day, the warmth of friendship between Morris people was clear and we had an excellent time. Our fabulous musicians kept all the dancers going throughout the day and our lunchtime public spot in the town centre went well with everyone having their “game face” well and truly on and doing the team proud.

Upton in full flow

The lovely (and lively) Lasses displayed some excellent lines as always, the men got through several vigorous versions of Bricklayers (one by special request of Fi from Foxes’ Border Morris!!) without becoming disemtrowelled and Shrewsbury Clog coped superbly on sometimes difficult surfaces. Margaret and Barbara also performed their own amazing clog dance to great acclaim from the watching public.

Bricklayers at Upton

We left Upton while still on a (legal) high from our performance and headed for home, tired but happy and looking forward to some “not lemonade” with our feet up!

Roll on next year….Upton, we salute you yet again!! :))