Foresters Morris
and Sword Dancing Club
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A bit of history



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


The Foresters Morris (full title "The Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club") is based in Nottingham in the UK, near to Sherwood Forest, and so we have Robin Hood as our logo. The club was formed in January 1952, and was the first side in Nottingham. It was formed from the demise of other sides in nearby towns, which had been in existence in the 1930s, and had been kept going by ladies such as Frances Downing during the war years. I think the other sides included Derby and Ripley. In 1952 the only morris dancers in Nottingham were Wally Newall, Ted Ward and Nobby Clark. The (lady) pianist employed for the early practices was paid 7/6 (37p) per session, and they paid 2/0 (10p) for the school hall. The fortnightly practices were held alternately at Nottingham and Mansfield. Men from Leicester, Derby, Chesterfield and Worksop attended. The name "Foresters" was chosen as combining the Sherwood, Charnwood and Peak forests.

The first Squires were Wally Newall ('52 - '56), and then Ted Ward ('56 - '70). Ted was the driving force of the club for many years. Later squires have included Trevor Hull, Rex Wyer, Vic Martin, Cecil Laughlin, Frank Earp, Ken Bramman, Eric Foxley and Stewart Thompson.

In 1956 the side played an important part in the Southwell Minster Millennium Pageant, and was admitted to the Morris Ring of England at their meeting in September of that year at Abingdon. [Eric Foxley attended the Abingdon Ring Meeting with the Thames Valley Morris, and met up with the Foresters before coming to Nottingham later that month.]

The 124th Meeting of the Morris Ring was held in Nottingham on 24-26th July 1970, and was hosted by the Foresters. The visiting men were accommodated in Derby Hall, at the University of Nottingham. The meeting was attended by 96 men on the Saturday. The City of Nottingham had arranged a vast Festival to take place from the 11th-26th of July, to include all aspects of the arts, trade and sport; the Midland office of the EFDSS. (English Folk Dance & Song Society) arranged a folk concert for the evening of the 25th of July, with five invited morris teams.

I'm assembling some historic Foresters photos. We are on some of the Nottingham Post archives.

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.

More photos are always welcome, please email them to Eric..




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Updated Wednesday 01-May-2024 12:14
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