Masked dancers step out to help draw in more park users

The Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris, a slightly scary-looking Border Morris side, are dancing in Croydon next Tuesday evening to help to encourage local people to use the park again.

Making a song and a dance in the park next Tuesday

Making a song and a dance in King George’s Field  next Tuesday

Locals have been staying away from King George’s Field in Sydenham Road despite local charity, the Eleanor Shorter Fund, ploughing money into the park for the purchase of equipment. The problem is that many feel that the park is being used more for anti-social behaviour than for recreation.

The Eleanor Shorter Fund decided to provide a programme of free events in both its parks, King George’s Field and Haling Grove in South Croydon, to encourage local residents to use the parks more and keep anti-social users at bay.

The Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris will be dancing in King George’s Field on August 11 from 8pm. Their unique brand of energetic dancing and music will give residents good entertainment for a summer evening.

The Wild Hunt are a masked side, using fibre glass masks that are black and painted with celtic designs – animals and birds. Their dances are based on folk traditions from medieval England and earlier; the Wild Hunt is an ancient folk tale of the pagan god Herne, the hunter, and his hounds.

The costumes are black tatter coats with one dancer – the Green Man – wearing a green tatter coat and a green mask. All the masks have red lights over the eyes.

“We have performed at multicultural events such as the Croydon College cultural evening and have our performances have been enjoyed by all,” said Nuala O’Neill, one of the group.

John Cheetham, the vice-chair of the Eleanor Shorter Trust Fund, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris to kick off our programme of free events in our parks. This renowned Morris side will attract lots of visitors to the event. We want to see residents claiming back the parks from problem users.

“Looking at the Wild Hunt Morris, who knows? They may scare off a few troublemakers.”

As is traditional with Morris dancing, the evening will conclude at local community pub, the Two Brewers in Gloucester Road.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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