Bedford Morris Men
send you Seasonal Greetings and a news update.
we were privileged to dance at the Fine Companions’
Christmas party and also for our honorary member, Roger
Nicholls, when he was presented with the Gold Badge of
the English Folk Dance and Song Society, for his
outstanding and life-long contribution to Morris and
Folk dance and music.
We carried out our traditional Christmas events: The
Bedford Victorian Fayre; the “Carols and Capers” tour to
the Turnpike; the Gate, Harrowden, then back to Bedford
to the Devonshire Arms, and the White Horse,
Boxing Day, we danced on Bedford Embankment and then at
the Swan Hotel, where we introduced the formal
proceedings by singing the Boar's Head Carol.
The New Year started with
our annual Plough Monday Plough Play tour, this year
again remaining in Bedford.
We started at the
Wellington Arms, before moving on to the Cricketers in
and then to the Castle, followed by the Three Cups, both
in Newnham Street.
Day was celebrated with Border dances at the White
Horse, and then a show for a Tempsford village event,
where we performed the Plough Play and danced more
The Summer Season started at
6.30am on the First of May.
Bedford, Offley and Letchworth Morris Men sang
the May Carol and the Northill May Song.
A selection of Morris dances followed and then
there were Folk Dances for all.
At the Ickwell May Festival on May Holiday Monday, we were again joined by Letchworth Morris
Men to dance at the Crown, Northill.
The Morris led the Procession from Northill to
After a reviving beer in the Pavilion, we moved on to
dance again at the White Horse in Bedford, this time for
their beer and food festival.
danced a full Wednesday evening summer programme.
the first Wednesday in May, we made our traditional
first outing to the Fox and Hounds at Riseley.
The weather was chilly, but
the Men were refreshed and invigorated by the barrel of
beer so very kindly provided by our host, Jan Zielinski,
who later joined us for some favourite songs until
the next May Wednesdays, we visited the Swan at Elstow;
the Horse and Groom at Clapham and the Sun at Felmersham.
On the first June Wednesday we visited the John o’Gaunt,
Sutton and the next week the Polhill Arms, Renhold.
We danced a Cotswold Morris Tour in Bedford, visiting the Ship
in St Cuthberts; the Castle
Newnham Street and finishing
with dances outside, and jigs inside, the Cricketers in
Later in the month we danced at the Pavilion,
addition, representatives danced for the inauguration of
a “Domesday” Plaque at Beeston; John Frearson and Les
Skinner ran a Morris “teach-in” at
Cauldwell Lower School,
so the children could provide a massed Morris dance to
represent England at their International Festival; and we
also supported Armed Forces Day by dancing at the event
at the Wellington,
again with five Wednesdays, we visited the
Stone Jug at Clophill [on a
Thursday - as guests of Letchworth Morris];
the Red Lion, Stevington; the
and the Bedford Arms,
Souldrop; before our final
Wednesday evening of the season at the Bell, Odell,
where we included a performance of the
Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance.
We also performed at a Fete
September, we had an invitation from the
Aughakillymaude Community Mummers and the Mummers
Foundation, based near
to visit them and show them the Abbotts Bromley Horn
Dance as well as Cotswold and Border Morris, and our
Plough Play. [see
There was a photo-shoot at
Crom Castle; dinner, dance and song at the organic
Orchard Acre Farm; performances and “teach ins” at local
Primary Schools: Maguiresbridge C of E Controlled School
and the Kinawley (Catholic) Primary School; dancing in
the "Diamond" in Enniskillen and then dancing the Horn
Dance at a bonfire event in the Irish Republic. On
the final day we danced at a threshing event and then at
evening event at
Aughakillymaude Mummers hall, when the Horn Dance was
danced for a final time to the light of braziers.
We had a busy but very enjoyable few days.
At the AGM,
Clive Haste was re-elected as Squire; Ian Daye took over
as Bagman from Angus Darling; and Richard Bird continued
We danced two lively spots at the Bedford Beer Festival,
together with two Letchworth Morris "volunteers".
The following weekend, we were out in great
strength for the Apple Day event at Bromham Mill, again
dancing two shows.
practice season is now in full swing, with some of
the more ambitious dances being revived, now that some
of our newer men are improving and continuing their
training. We can
though still do with some more recruits.
We have now moved from Goldington Church Hall [we
had been practicing since 1978] and can now be found at
Ravensden Village Hall on Wednesday evenings [at a cost
more easily funded by our audiences’ contributions in
these belt-tightening times!].
In November, we
also visited Anker Morris Men for their evening Ale at
Chilvers Coton - an excellent evening with great music
and dance, fine food and a choice of five real ales.
We will be dancing at various events
in and around Bedford in December: the Bedford Victorian
Fayre; on our Border tour just before Christmas; and on
Boxing Day, when we will be in Bedford as usual on the
Embankment and at the Swan Hotel.
In the New Year we will perform our Plough Monday
Mummers’ play. These
events are listed elsewhere on this site.
We thank our
“hosts” for their generosity, tolerance and friendship
through the year, and hope to see friends old and new,
this Winter season and during the year.
Wassail, and a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New
Year, from the
of how to join
Morris Men; information on our
events; or to check our programme - contact:
Daye - Tel: