Dances, Costume, Music

DANCES It is thought that the ”North-West” style of Morris dancing was started by workers in the textile mills of North-West England. Our dances often bear the name of the town or village where they originated, for example Knutsford (Cheshire), Shawforth (Lancashire), Grenoside (Yorkshire). We dance with ribboned sticks, white hankies, or flowered garlands.

COSTUME Our costume is a suggestion of the clothing worn by 18th century working women (long heavy skirt, warm shawl, white blouse). We wear traditional clogs, as were worn by most of the working people in Lancashire. For work and everyday use clogs were hardwearing and protective (and they also make a percussive noise when dancing on a hard surface). Clogs are still hand-made by a small number of craftsmen.

MUSIC North-West Morris was often accompanied by the local brass band. Now we have any combination of melodeon, accordion, concertina, violin and drum. Some of the traditional tunes we dance to are familiar to many older British people, for example Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill, the British Grenadiers, Cock o‘the North.