Foresters Morris
and Sword Dancing Club
Welcome to 2023

home : who we are : what we do : programme : photos : music : videos




Foresters Morris as part of the Chatsworth House Spectacular.
More here.

Foresters in 1910?

More ancient Foresters?
Pictures from the 1910 Esperence Morris Book. The Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club was founded with lady musicians, and morris was kept going in Nottingham in the 1930s and 1940s by ladies.
Vic Martin

Foresters ex- Squire, foreman, and bagman
and a real gentleman

Vic's funeral will be on Thursday 6th July 2023
Service 12pm at St Mary's Church, Bottesford, followed by a burial at 1pm at the Vale of Belvoir  Natural Burial Ground. 

The Wake is at Bottesford VC Village Hall, following the service / burial.


What are we doing?

When lockdown eased, we danced out at local pubs, and are now back to regular practices on Monday evening at Queen's Walk Community Centre. We did Zoom together during the pandemic

We would be happy to welcome anyone interested in joining us to come and watch, chat, and come to practices when we restart. Give us a call!

Who are we?

The Foresters Morris (full title "The Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club") was formed in 1952, and was the first morris dancing club in Nottingham. It is still the best! Since we are near to Sherwood Forest, we have Robin Hood as our logo. The club was formed from the demise of other sides in nearby towns, which had been in existence in the 1930s, and were kept going by ladies such as Frances Downing during the war years. More here. We welcome new members, anyone wanting to have a try!

What do we do?

We perform mainly English morris dances from the Cotswold and border regions, together with some dances from Lichfield. At appropriate times of year we perform a traditional local Plough Play (a type of mummer's play) and mummer's play. We also include rapper sword dancing in our repertoire. For more details about morris dancing, You can read some of our handouts of background information or more background information or still more on morris dancing. Or would you like the French versions of these documents? Or for a more sober and serious view of the whole thing you can look at a BBC programme transcript.

Where can we be seen and heard live?

In the summer on Monday evenings, we dance at pubs in the local area. At any time of year we perform by request (for a fee!) at larger events. We are currently taking bookings for the coming year.

Dance outs booked so far for this 2023 season include:

    Sunday 14th May: Dove Cottage Stathern, 2:15pm

    Monday 15th May: This booking is Off

    Monday 22nd May: Beeston Marina NG9 1NA, 8pm; The Commercial, 1 Wollaton Road, Beeston,NG9 2NG, , 9pm

    Monday 29th May (Bank Holiday): Woodlark, Church St, Lambley, Nottingham NG4 4QB, 8pm

    Monday 5th June: The Old Green Dragon, Blind Lane, Oxton NG25 0SS, 8pm

    Monday 19th June: Spanish Bar, South Street, Ilkeston DE7 5QJ, 8pm

    Monday 26th June: The Salutation, Hounds Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AA, 8pm; The Trip to Jerusalem, Brewhouse Yard, 1, Nottingham NG1 6AD, 8:45pm

    Monday 3th July: The Canal House, 48-52 Canal St, Nottingham NG1 7EH, 8pm

Where can we be seen in photos?

A selection of photos of us from our formation in the 1900s up to our latest show is arranged by year and available here for modern photos or here for ancient ones, most photos copyright © Eric Foxley. Over 2000 photos from 1967 onwards can be accessed from those pages. In addition there are many videos available on YouTube by searching for "Foresters Morris".

Where can we be heard on-line?

A selection of mp3 files of our dance music, singing and mumming are available here.

Why are we such good dancers?

Because we practise every week at the Queen's Walk Community Centre in the Meadows area of Nottingham on Monday nights in winter, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., then socialise over a drink! Visitors are always welcome to come and try it out, contact any member or phone Eric on 01159786858.

How do we spell our name?

We are the "Foresters Morris", not "Forresters" or "Forester's" or "Forrester's" or "Foresters' "!

How can you contact us?

If you are interested in finding out more, or in coming along for a taster session at one of our practices, or in booking us to appear at a function of some sort, phone our squire Stewart on 0115-914 1061 or Steve on 01159204981 or email Steve here

What do you think of us?

The following was found on the blog of a student who had seen us:

Last night, I watched a bunch of grown men dance around with handkerchiefs and sticks while wearing bells and flowers at the Sword Dancing/Clog dancing event, which was even more entertaining than I dreamed, even if it was a bit unexpected. When someone says "sword dancing" I usually imagine a bunch of muscular, shirtless men doing a bunch of dangerous stunts with pointy swords. Instead, we got hilarious scholarly men doing authentic, if a bit silly, old dances, complete with a jester of sorts who went around hitting girls in the head with a bladder, which he assured us will encourage pregnancy in the coming year (I should certainly hope not!).  Then we went out to the (cold) conservatory to watch clog dancing, which looked particularly challenging but also very entertaining, and was complete with background stories.

Litchfield Tradition

I have recently acquired copies of the notes for the first Morris Ring meeting at which the Litchfield tradition was shared. See two PDF files here and here.

Cecil Sharp

The revival of English Morris Dancing started when Cecil Sharp saw the Headington men dancing near Oxford on Boxing Day 1899. Eric is lucky enough to have been given Cecil Sharp's specially made 3-hole pipe. Full details and photos of Cecil Sharp's original 3-hole pipe are here.

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Updated Wednesday 02-Aug-2023 13:26 , visits Site Meter
Website content copyright © Eric Foxley who also runs the Dunkirk Arts Centre.

Eric manages web sites for
Chaturangan, Dunkirk Arts Centre, Greenwood, Grant Publisher, King Billy Sessions, Young Folk, Austrian tiler and Freds Folks.

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