Phil's Morris Dancing Page
Welcome to Phil's Morris Dancing page.
I am a member of Everard's Old Original Anstey Morrismen (Anstey Morris), Sergeant Musgraves Dance (Musgraves), The Hinckley Plough Bullockers (Bullockers) and Anstey Royale Chalfont (Chalfont).
Anstey Morris are a men's cotswold morris side. The cotswold morris dances are each based upon dances originally collected from a number of small towns and villages mostly in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Each village has a distinct style. In my first season with Anstey I learned dances mainly from Adderbury and Bidford. In my second season, 2000, I learned Bampton, Bledington, Field Town and Lichfield dances. Since then we have also started learning some Bucknell and Sherborne dances. When I am not dancing, I sometimes join in with the musician(s) on tin whistle. I also play anglo concertina, but am not really good enough to play this for the morris. I was bagman (secretary/treasurer) for three years from 2000 to 2003.
Chalfont are a womens Northwest clog dancing team. Northwest Clog morris is the style originating from the Northwest of England, mainly Cheshire and Lancashire. I joined as a band member in 1998. I mainly played tin whistle, though I did occasionally join in with one or two tunes on the concertina. I also occasionally played the drum, when the regular drummer was not available. At the end of the 1999 season, the team decided to allow me to learn some of their dances, so that I could help to make up the numbers if they were short of a dancer. The first dance I learned was Poulton-Le-Fylde, which was taught to the whole group by Sergeant Musgrave's Dance. I have also written a new dance called High Sharpley. This was performed for the first time in public at The George in Markfield on St. George's Day 2001, but I don't think Chalfont dance this any more. I really enjoyed the dancing, but as they are a womens side I didn't get to dance with them as much as I would have liked, so in 2002 I joined Sergeant Musgraves Dance. Unfortunately Chalfont and Musgraves both practice and dance out on the same day of the week, so I don't do much with Chalfont anymore.
Sergeant Musgraves are a mixed Northwest clog morris dancing side. Mixed means that they have both men and women dancing together. I learned about 8 dances in the first year (half of the repetoire) and have now learned most of them. I have also now introduced Musgraves to my own dance, High Sharpley, and this was performed for the first time in public at the Sergeant Musgraves Ceilidh in March 2004.
The Hinckley Plough Bullockers dance in a style that has become known as 'Leicestershire Molly'. Unfortunately the original traditional dances of the area have been lost, so this is a reconstructed tradition based upon information in newspaper reports from the nineteenth and early twentieth century combined with observation and knowledge of surviving traditions from other areas. Note though that the bullockers is not just about the dance. There is a lot of knowledge and information about the other aspects of the plough monday traditions, which involved decorating the plough and processing this around the houses of local landowners (nowadays we tend to stick mainly to public houses). The bullockers was the first morris side I joined. They only dance out one day each year, and have only between 4 and 6 practices. I saw it as a great way to get involved in local traditions without having to commit a lot of time. As it happens I got hooked, and morris dancing is now my main hobby/leisure activity. The bullockers day of dance is on the Saturday nearest to Plough Monday (usually second week in January) in the villages of Sharnford, Stoney Stanton and Sapcote. This team is made up of a number of local men as well as musicians and dancers from a number of other morris sides in the area.
Here is a list of other morris dancing websites that I have created, or which I help to maintain.Anstey Morrismen