St George’s Day Celebration – Newport

2023 dancing got off to a splendid start with the annual re-enaction of the ‘spat’ between the Dragon and St George which, legend has it, took place in Shropshire’s very own Newport. We were all relieved to see that St George was successful and the Dragon was very definitely slain!

We turned out in full regalia and were delighted to show a range from our repertoire of Mixed, Clog, Lasses and Men’s dances.

Despite prophecies of doom from the Met. Office the weather was kind to us and a wonderful (dry) time was had by all. Unbeknownst to those spectating, this was the first public dance out for two of our number so huge congratulations go to Jacqui and Rebecca for an excellent start to their Morris Dancing careers.

Credit is also due to our intrepid band of wonderful musicians for keeping us in time as well as to how light the men seem to have become over the winter in order to be able to float serenely in the air!!!

WHAT A FABULOUS RECRUITMENT EVENING!

Our brave and intrepid visitors contributed enthusiastically to an excellent evening of fun and instruction during which they were introduced to a ‘potted’ history of Shrewsbury Morris and its several parts following which they went on to learn, and perform, 3 dances – with great aplomb!! Well done to you all, please come back for more of the same!

It seemed only right that they should be rewarded with a generous offering of cake!!

Shrewsbury Flower Show

It had been a long time since Shrewsbury Morris Dancers had danced for The Shrewsbury Flower Show but the years were rolled (or should that be danced?) back on the 13th August, 2022 as the team, many of whom had been in that previous Morris incarnation, took their place in Quarry Park, just across the river from the Pengwern Rowing Clubhouse (a former training venue for the team).

On yet another hottest day of the century, Shrewsbury Lasses, Shrewsbury Bull and Pump Morris Men and Shrewsbury Clog danced their way through two 45 minute spots in front of enthusiastic and appreciative audiences, interspersed with copious water swigging, liberal applications of sun cream and much towelling down!

A large part of the team repertoire was danced, giving the crowd a good and interesting example of what we can do. A great deal of interest was generated and many very positive comments were heard. All in all a super day, a fabulous effort by all team members in very hot circumstances and, most importantly, a sense of humour was maintained by everyone.

Now, where did I put that sunburn treatment?…….

Revs, Rain and Rants


In the midst of a record-breaking month for hot weather here in the UK, there is always room for one, predictable, thoroughly wet and rainy day.

So it was on Sunday 24th July 2022 when Shrewsbury Morris turned up at the delightful Abbey Station in Shrewsbury, opposite Shrewsbury Abbey, to dance for the Motorcycling Heritage Exhibition and Meet. We didn’t quite know what to expect but as the smell of engine oil, exhausts and motorbike fumes mixed with the aroma of burgers and coffee we could tell we were amongst friends!

It was but a short, 30 minute dance spot with a small team but sometimes less is more and our dancers did really well, dancing in a smallish area against a colourful and sometimes noisy backdrop of biking enthusiasts.

An endless supply of tea and coffee was a great help and………as per usual with Shrewsbury Morris…….the rain stopped, just as the first musical notes issued forth from Rays’ melodeon!

A mini dance break ensued after this event as many of the team made their way to Sidmouth Folk Festival.  Thanks to Amanda Mullins and her biker crew for inviting us and keeping us supplied with much needed fluids.

The Queen’s Baton Relay – 18th July, 2022

SUNSHINE, SEPTIMUS AND SPORT IN SHREWSBURY

All three came together on the hottest day of the year, Monday 18th July in Quarry Park, Shrewsbury as Shrewsbury Morris Dancers fulfilled a commitment to support the passing of The Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games through the Town of Shrewsbury.

Careful planning and not a little hanging around in the heat over a long period by the Giant-builders saw Septimus the Cobbler put together in all his glory by the late afternoon as other team members arrived by the Hercules statue on a VERY warm night.

Thankfully there was a lot of shade from the trees as the team commenced their mixed dance programme. Enthusiastic, but carefully measured, dancing saw no casualties and a very well performed series from our repertoire.

After a short wait (and some pretty nifty flag putting together in between) the baton was seen progressing down The Severn by boat and the baton parade began to perform by the river landing stage. Thanks to our super musicians there was a very musical element to the parade as it wended its way through The Quarry, the baton carried proudly by people chosen for having performed good community/charity work.

Richard (expert giant carrier) was carefully inserted into Septimus and joined the parade where the team had danced, before leading it up to the Quarry gates and down across the park paths until it reached the Main Stage where the baton was fixed into position and numerous stories of good works were heard by the very substantial crowd that had gathered.

All in all, a really lovely evening of dance, fun, cooperation, music and community togetherness……and all in the middle of a record heatwave.

Well done Ray and Bev, well done Richard and well done Shrewsbury Morris Dancers!

Sunday 17th July, 2022 – Severn Hospice Open Gardens Event

A heatwave and Covid were the would-be foilers of this lovely Shrewsbury event but, as usual, Shrewsbury Morris Dancers turned up trumps yet again, putting on a fine display of mixed dancing and clogging in the sun.

Severn Hospice had clearly gone to great lengths to put on a super event which ranged all over the estate and gardens with lots of visitors braving the heat to help raise money.

All the dancers came prepared with water, hats and sunscreen whilst ensuring sensible rest periods were the order of the day.

The music was super, the dancing enthusiastic (and good) and the idea of dancing right next to an ice cream van was a stroke of genius!

This was to be the first of a busy two days for us……as the next blog will show.

Beat and Bells – Saturday 2nd July 2022

A glance out of the window at around 6am on the morning of Beat and Bells 2022 did not bode well for the day ahead – far more moisture evident than required!  However, as we all know, the sun always shines on Shrewsbury Morris and we were not to be disappointed.

The festivities commenced at 10am with the parade of Septimus, the Giant Shrewsbury Cobbler with his flagbearers and attendants, accompanied by the massed ranks of Shrewsbury Morris performing his welcome dance, much to the delight of the gathering audience.

There followed the first of several wonderfully raucous and interactive demonstrations of Border Morris Dancing by our friends from Flintshire in North Wales, Clerical Error Morris Dancers (Y Clerigwyr).  Their stunning costumes and vociferous dancing style certainly attracted much attention throughout the day.

The programme continued with dancing spots featuring Shrewsbury Clog, Shrewsbury Lasses and Shrewsbury Bull & Pump Morris Dancers, demonstrating the broad variety of their respective repertoires, with the addition of the suite of mixed ‘socially distanced dances’ specially created during the Covid lockdown periods.

We were also delighted to welcome Thingumajig Theatre from Todmorden, West Yorkshire, who appealed to children and grown-ups alike with their interactive Dodos, Charles and Amelia, and who popped up throughout the day to see what was going on.

It is fair to state that all who took part thoroughly enjoyed themselves and contributed to a fabulously memorable day – and thanks once again to the weather gods for smiling on us. May we also take this opportunity to thank all those who stopped by to watch and support us during the day and also for the funds generously popped into our collecting tins?  See you all again next year!

Ditton Priors – Dancing and Dog Shows

It was a beautiful sunny day when we all pitched up to dance at Oak Farm for Oakfest 2022.                                            

Oak Farm, in the picturesque village of Ditton Priors, is a working farm run by Shropshire Council.  It is a day service for adults with learning disabilities who live in South Shropshire.  People who use the service travel from Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Church Stretton and the surrounding areas.

A 12 hectare (30 acres) smallholding, run on organic principles, producing high quality vegetables and fruit, some of which is made into jams and chutneys on site, Oak Farm also has livestock including sheep, pigs, alpacas, rabbits and a pony, as well as a flock of 150 free-range laying hens.  

Oak Farm sells its fruit, vegetables, eggs and preserves from its own farm shop, and through other local outlets and also provides training and work experience in horticulture and agriculture for people who may move on to permanent employment, and a supportive placement for others who, because of their disability, are unlikely to seek mainstream work.  

It was a delightful, friendly and rural setting to dance in. We had our own barn area cordoned off and, although it had its own interesting foibles (what dance area doesn’t?), the team managed splendidly and danced two 30 minute spots under the watchful eyes of two very pleasant PCSOs from West Mercia Police Force.  A really delightful English afternoon, with time to take in alpacas, the very well-entered dog show, ice cream, live music, and much more.

We even had the pleasure of the rarified company of local Twitter, YouTube and Insta legend Jimmy the Mower! 

Who says you can’t have everything?

Well done as always Shrewsbury Morris!

Annscroft Garden Party

Glorious sunshine greeted us on Saturday 14th May 2022 and it was, secretly, quite nice to be dancing a little closer to home, as we made our way to the Annscroft Garden Party, being held just outside Shrewsbury. Despite some false alarms, some accidental parking in the wrong fields and an eventual warm walk from the designated parking area, we were made most welcome by the organisers at their lovely house.

Fortunately our two dancing spots were short in the very hot weather, which allowed for some rehydration, chat and some lovely time spent looking round the stalls and the beautiful garden of our host.

All proceeds were going to Christian Aid and we were delighted, along with an enthusiastic ukulele band and lots of lovely visitors, to have helped in the raising of a very solid £1,282.26p.

A kind, appreciative audience and a slightly sloping space made for an interesting and happy afternoon, both teams relaxed and dancing well. Bull & Pump sang again (that’s taken a while!) and the Lasses and the band (to have lots of musicians is always a great sight and sound) were well and truly on form. A relaxed, fun and happy day dancing in the May sunshine for a good cause…….what could be better?