Return of the Morris Men

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Greensleeves men show a leg

More than 200 visitors to St Mary’s Church watched as Morris dancers from East Surrey, Wimbledon and Utrecht, Holland gave a lively performance. Hosted by the East Surrey Morris Men on their 58th return visit to Rye, they danced to the tune of the fiddles, accordions, concertina, pipes and tabor, following a tradition that goes back at least 600 years. It is an energetic occupation requiring frequent stops for refreshment. This weekend alone they gave 12 separate performances, in Battle, Bodiam and Appledore, then Peasmarsh, Rye and Winchelsea.

The East Surrey Morris Men were formed in 1926 and the dances they perform are mainly from the Cotswold tradition for sets of six to eight men. Amongst other groups, female dancers are beginning to feature in what has hitherto been a male preserve.

The sword dance performed by the Greensleeves men
The sword dance performed by the Greensleeves men
The Morris team of Utrecht, Holland, in action
The Morris team of Utrecht, Holland, in action
Ray Fuller on his hobbyhorse with Arnold Madderom from Utrecht
Ray Fuller on his hobbyhorse with Arnold Madderom from Utrecht

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Kenneth Bird

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