Morris Men (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 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, see photos and sound)
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.
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 not taking general bookings for 2015. We will be performing some of our regular and Monday bookings such at Harlaxton, MayDay and the Robin Hood Beer Festival as usual.
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".
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 Men", 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 Eric on 0115-978 6858 or email Eric.
What do you think of us?
The following was found on a Harlaxton Manor student blog:
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.
Full details and
photos of Cecil Sharp's original 3-hole pipe are here.