Well, it rained. But we still walked 962km in total! And thanks to so many of you kindly donating, we’ve raised £1422 on JustGiving, and we think another £1000 offline. 4 lovely people representing the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity walked with us too – thank you!
It was a lovely day, we saw bits of Shropshire & Cheshire that many of us had never seen (personally, I recommend checking out the stretch of canal by Chemistry Farm in Whitchurch). Kingfishers & herons. Beautiful!
We finished up in the Red Lion in Ellesmere where Janet and the team fed up soup & chips. A fantastic team day and a really worthy charity supported.
On October 1st, Shrewsbury Morris are walking 40K in aid of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity – part of our 40th anniversary celebrations. Quite a few hardy souls are walking the whole 40K, with the rest of the team walking stretches of 30, 20 and 10 or manning the refreshment stations along the way!
We would love you to support us – you can donate here on our Just Giving page
So, 2016 is our 40th Anniversary year and we’re looking forward to a twelve months packed with fun and lots of dancing.
We’ll be performing in and around Shrewsbury as always, as well as in Quatt, Whitchurch, Cardington, Bishop’s Castle, NT Dudmaston and Leicestershire.
We also have a few fun things in store such is “40 dances in 40 local locations” and a big birthday party in Shrewsbury Square on Sat 2nd July.
But we started our activities as always with our annual walking weekend, this time in Yorkshire. Kindly arranged as always by Sue and Steve Mulcock we all decanted North at the end of March and invaded the sleepy but lovely village of Malham for a weekend. We always stay in YHA accommodation and this was
very good as usual. The team combines socialising, music and some team “togetherness” with a bracing, challenging but fun walk on the Saturday of the weekend.
Ray had come up with another excellent walk which stretched the fitness of some of us but provided great views of the wonderful Yorkshire countryside. Most people (and children) managed the first half (from Malham to Settle) and we had a lovely team lunch in a super pub in Settle. The second half was undertaken by a few hardy souls and we returned to Malham via a different but equally superb route.
The Sat evening was a mixture of a fabulous team curry cooked as always by Steve followed by a great music and song session.
It is the last time that Sue and Steve will organise this kind of weekend, having decided to hand the baton on to someone else after nearly 20 years of organisation, negotiating with the YHA and attempting to keep everyone happy (not easy). They’ve done a magnificent team job for Shrewsbury Morris and we thank them very much for their efforts.
Our first dance outs are 2nd April for The Big Busk and 9th April in Bishops Castle for a gathering of local sides – needless to say we are really looking forward to getting the new season underway!! Come and see us :))) We’ll be posting from those events shortly.
In a bold festive move, in no way influenced by any Christmas Spirit, we have ventured onto Soundcloud!
We would love you to listen to our Ceilidh band playing I Saw Three Ships from our traditional Christmas Ceilidh on December 5th. This wonderful event pulls crowds in from miles around, with people coming back year after year and also featuring the famous running raffle…
We always have a theme for for the ceilidh, this year’s was Magic. Most of the side and a fair amount of the audience turn up in fancy dress – this year we had Gandalf, Maleficent and Freddie Mercury (well, it is a kind of magic…)
On the track, you can hear the dancers having a great time to the accomplished calling of Bev Langton.
We also always do a ‘spot’ in the interval. This year, we surprised the audience with a christmas medley from the Shrewsbury Morris Spoonchestra!
Since we last blogged a great deal has happened in Shrewsbury Morris World so by way of an update……..since the end of May we’ve danced at Chester Folk Festival (scene of the great rainbow neckerchief tussle), received, used and handed over the Shrewsbury Festivals Baton and organised and held an amazing, highly popular free music and dance event in town called Beat and Bells.
This saw Pateley Longsword Morris, us (naturally), the awesomely thunderous Kayobi Taiko and the stupendous Zulu Tradition who wowed the crowds that gathered in Shrewsbury Square on a sunny June day….a day to live long in the memory!
Prior to the event we had also raised enough money through a Crowdfunding project (we believe we’re the first Morris side ever to achieve this) to allow Zulu Tradition to visit six local schools in the week leading up to Beat and Bells and impart their own particular brand of education, fun, song and dance to completely captivated children of all ages. The photos of young beaming faces joining joyfully in all the activities were proof enough that the idea was a complete success.
The sunshine and heat of Sat June 6th was replaced by the cold and rain of Sat June 13th when we went to dance in Wellington for the annual Summer Fayre. This delightful event is a bit of a favourite of ours and we were really looking forward to it. Sadly the rain curtailed our dance programme but both our teams put in a stoic spot before the heavens really opened and the whole event was moved indoors. Our cloggers did manage a dance inside a packed school room which went down very well with the crafters there!
Two weeks later we were back dancing at Holly Farm Nurseries near Prees for their open day. We weaved in and out of the vintage cars, plants and flowerpots to put on a pretty good display and the team all seemed to have great fun on another rainy day….but we danced under a lovely canopy so that was alright then!
July started with a social event…an unwedding….as two of our super team members, Cathy and John got unmarried at a very lovely unwedding reception…..a fab day where the team could enjoy being together and saying well done to the happy newly unweds! Needless to say there was a Lasses dance in there which Cathy had to join in with and an appearance by a secretive and previously unknown “boy” band who we believe will slip just as quickly back to well deserved obscurity.
The village of Llanrhaedr Ym Mochnant kindly invited us to process and dance at their very popular carnival on 11th July and a week later we found ourselves in Buxton as guests of the very hyphenated but extremely well organised and kind Chapel-en-le-Frith Morrismen who were celebrating a birthday by hosting 16 Morris sides from around the country for a Day of Dance. The weather was brilliant, the dance venues spectacular, the organisation impeccable and it was really nice to meet and dance with friends old and new.
Just before we broke up for our traditional August mini-break, local torn paper collage artist Lyn Evans came to give us a preview of her latest commission which is a beautiful collage of Shrewsbury Square. Known to only a few of us at the time she had very kindly included Shrewsbury Morris in her picture. Not just included but centre stage too! We are extremely grateful to her for “immortalising” us in such a beautiful way and for being so generous as to give each team member some gifts of cards and vouchers to buy full size prints. A great way to end the first part of our dance season.
Although August is a quiet month dance-wise for us, many of the team have been and are currently very busy helping and working at other folk festivals, principally Sidmouth and Towersey where a great deal of hard work and organisation is helping those two festivals enormously.
Whilst they’re doing that the rest of us move on to our own folk festival in Shrewsbury where we’ll be dancing on Sat 29th Aug at the following places:
Festival Site Garden Stage – 9:45-10:30
St Mary’s Church – 11:15-12:00
St Alkmond’s Church – 12:15-13:00
Procession through town – 13:13-14:00
Shrewsbury Square – 14:45-15:30
St Alkmond’s Church – 15:45-16:30
We are looking forward to it immensely.
Finally, practice resumes on Thursday 3rd September at Sundorne School, Shrewsbury from 8pm……..and we’re recruiting, especially men! So, if you’re even vaguely fit, like fun, feel like having a go at this wonderful thing that we all love and don’t mind committing some of your free time then why not just come to one of our practices, meet the team and see what you think? We’ll teach you everything so no previous dance experience is necessary.
You never know…….we could change your life for you…..:)))))
The rhythms of the world will be sounding in Shrewsbury this summer, when prizewinning local morris side, Shrewsbury Morris (that’s us!), host an exciting range of dancers and drummers from across the globe for a day of ‘Beat & Bells’.
Zulu Tradition will be coming all the way from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa to headline the event. This young group of Zulu singers and dancers will bring a heady mix of African harmonies and high-energy, athletic dance, all traditionally costumed and with exciting drum-rhythms. They have performed at Buckingham Palace and the British Museum for Mandela Day and are in demand for events around the world.
They will be joined by Kayobi Taiko, experts in the dynamic and ancient art of Japanese taiko drumming. Kayobi have performed in festivals around the country over the last few years, making a truly awesome sound.
Pateley Longsword are a stunning group of longsword morris folk dancers from Yorkshire. They are renowned for giving audiences tradition with attitude, bringing a real vitality and freshness to their dancing. Many of their dances feature longswords, as their name suggests, bringing a thrilling flash of steel to their daring performances.
The line up is completed by performances from Shrewsbury Bull and Pump Morris, Shrewsbury Cloggers and The Shrewsbury Lasses who, between them, bring an exceptional range of traditional dances from around Britain, as well as many newer dances they have choreographed themselves and taught around the country. A familiar sight around Shropshire, they have been performing for nearly 40 years and Shrewsbury Morris expect to carry on proudly dancing in Shrewsbury for plenty more years too.
This is the third annual free day of music and dance Shrewsbury Morris has organized for the town and this promises to be as lively and colourful as our previous events.
‘Beat & Bells’ is in The Square in Shrewsbury on 6 June from 10 until 4pm, and in the evening why not come along to our Summer Ceilidh, held jointly with Squeezing Shropshire – all the details are here!