Foresters Morris
and Sword Dancing Club
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Club Tradition (Constitution)



Foresters Morris as part of the Chatsworth House Spectacular.
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  1. Title. The Club shall be known as the Foresters Morris and Sword Dancing Club.
  2. Officers. The officers of the Club shall be the Squire, Bagman Secretary, and Bagman Treasurer who shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting to serve for a term of two years, after which they may offer themselves for further terms of office. A Foreman is to be elected, who shall be responsible for the main teaching of the team, but may call on others at his discretion. A Captain of Sword is to be elected who will be responsible for the teaching of Sword Dancing at the Club. These officers shall also serve for a period of two years.
    Nominations. Written nominations for any of the above offices, duly seconded, are to be given to the Bagman at least seven days before the Annual General Meeting.
  3. The Squire's duties.
    • The Squire shall be responsible for determining the traditions to be danced during his Term of Office, and the dances chosen to form the Club's repertoire from those traditions.
    • He shall supervise practices.
    • He shall be responsible for the Programme of Dances presented at any public show, and the dancers who dance them.
    • He shall maintain the standards of dancing and the behaviour of the men at the highest possible level.
    • He shall represent the Club as may be necessary.
    • He shall hold the staff of association of the Morris Ring.
    • He shall wear the Badge of Office of the Squire of the Foresters.
  4. The Bagman Secretary's duties. The Bagman Secretary shall be required:
    • To act as correspondent in all Club matters.
    • To keep a record of the Club activities, and the minutes of all business meetings of the Club.
    • To organise, in consultation with the Squire, the Annual Feast, the Ladies Evening, Days of Dancing, Ring Meetings and other Club activities with the help of such men as he may require.
    • To be responsible for the properties of the Club, and to maintain, replace or add to it as required.
    • To keep the men fully informed of all Ring and other correspondence, and book places for Ring Meetings which the team wish to attend.
    • To circulate all members with the lists of engagements throughout the season.
    • In the absence or incapacity of the Squire, the Bagman secretary to act as Deputy for the Squire until such time as the Squire becomes available, or a suitable replacement is elected.
  5. The Bagman Treasurer's duties. The Bagman Treasurer shall be required:
    • To hold the monies of the Club, make all necessary payments, keep an accurate account of the Club's finances, and present a statement of accounts duly audited to the Annual General Meeting.
    • To collect subscriptions.
  6. The Keeper of the Scrapbook's duties. There shall be an official Keeper of the Scrapbook and Logbook, who shall be chosen at the Annual General Meeting at the same time as the election of the Officers of the Club, and shall serve for two years. He may hold office for successive periods.
    He shall keep records of the Club's activities, photos, programmes, etc., and these shall be open for inspection at Feasts, Ladies Evenings and similar functions.
  7. The Objectives of the Club. The object of the Club shall be the study, practice and performance of the Men's English Traditional Dance. Public performances shall be given, and at these the standards of dancing shall be of the highest possible level.
    To this end, regular practices shall be held at such times and places as shall be determined by the Officers of the Club, and the Squire shall choose which men shall dance in the display to be given.
  8. Regalia. [See our photos for examples.] The Club regalia shall be
    • white shirt
    • black breeches
    • long white stockings
    • black shoes
    Straw hat decorated with orange and green shall be worn at the Squire's discretion. Men shall wear bell pads of red and blue only, with either baldrics or tabards as the Squire directs. Tabards shall be orange at the front, with a green Forester upon it, and green at the back with the City Arms thereon. The baldrics shall be orange with green rickrack braids parallel to the edges but inset from them, and running their entire length. There shall be knots of green and orange ribbon at the shoulders and hips attached to the baldrics.
    At the point where the baldrics cross there shall be badge, on the front a circle with the upper part of a bowman in green upon red, and on the back a Major Oak with a stag proper, on a red background.
    Whilst displaying Sword Dancing the members shall wear a white shirt, black breeches, long white socks and black shoes. A cummerbund will be worn around the waist.
    This regalia shall be worn by all men taking part in any public performance, and on official occasions such as Feasts, Ladies Evenings etc.
  9. New members. New members may not become full members of the Club until they have satisfied the Squire, Bagman Secretary and Foreman that they have attained a good standard of dancing and appreciations of the traditions of the Morris. Such apprentices shall not dance in public until they are proficient at such dances which they have learnt.
    At the discretion of the Squire, Bagman Secretary and Foreman an apprentice having attained a satisfactory level of dancing shall be made a full member of the Club, and awarded his baldric. Members gaining the standards required shall be able to purchase their own baldric.
  10. Day to day affairs. The day to day affairs of the Club shall be conducted by the officers, but decisions on attendance at Ring Meetings etc and major decisions regarding Club policy shall be decided by Club members.
  11. Entitlement for voting. Only paid-up full members who have received their baldrics shall be entitled to vote at meetings.
  12. Quorum for meeting. A Meeting shall be composed of seven full members of the Club including the Squire, Bagman Secretary or Bagman Treasurer. Any member not able to attend a Meeting of the Club may register his vote by post, or appoint in writing a proxy to vote for him, on specific issues stated before a Meeting. The Bagman Secretary shall be required to call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Club on the written request of a minimum of three members.
  13. Changing the tradition of the Club. Any decision affecting the conduct or tradition of the Club shall be settled by a simple majority vote.
  14. Annual General Meeting. The Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held during the month of February each year. Notice of this or any other meeting shall be given in writing together with an agenda, fourteen days in advance. An audit of accounts shall be taken up to the end of December each year.
  15. Invitations to Feast and Ladies Evenings. Member of other Clubs shall be eligible to attend the Feast and Ladies evenings to be held in the early part of the year, at the invitation of the Club. Invitations may be sent to the Squire and Bagman of the Ring, and to any others who have contributed to the welfare of the Club.
  16. Practice fees. Men attending practices shall pay a fee on each occasion they attend, the amount to be agreed on depending on the needs of the Club.
  17. Subsidies. The Club shall subsidise members attending Ring Meetings officially attended by the Club. The subsidy is to be decided at the Annual General Meeting each year.
  18. Winding up the Club. In the event of the Club ceasing to exist, the funds remaining in the bag shall be distributed as seen fit by a quorate meeting of the remaining members of the club.
  19. Boy's team. If a boy's team is run in the Club, any boy transferring to the full team must be aged 16 years or over.

As passed at the annual general meeting of the club held on 22nd February 1999.


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Updated Friday 02-Feb-2024 15:31
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