As the sap begins to rise and spring is in the air (well, was promising to be in the air until this frosty weekend), so the local team of Morris dancers emerge from their winter hibernation.
The North Wood Morris Men, formed in 1975, give a whole new meaning to “baldrick” and cunning plan.
“Our baldricks,” they say, referring to the cross belts each dancer wears, “bear a badge that has the image of an acorn to celebrate the Great North Wood, that was an oak forest that grew around Croydon, south of Norwood.
“We perform dances collected a hundred years ago by Cecil Sharp from the Cotswolds and others developed later. The different styles are named after the names of the villages and towns where the dances were collected and include Bampton, Bledington and Fieldtown. We have dances from other remarkable sources like Addington Quarry and more recently from Brockley, found during a refurbishment at a local pub.”
With the approach of the old English celebrations of the May, so the North Wood team will be embarking on their programme of performances at a broad range of community and charity events, school fairs and carnivals in and around Croydon, including the Northwood Day of Dance on May 7, in which the dancers tour around a selection of some of their favourite hostelries to show off their dances.
Sat Apr 30 1.45pm May Queen Crowning, Warlingham Green, Warlingham
Sun May 1 5.45am Crown Hill, Croydon
6.45am Queens Gardens, Fell Road, Croydon
Mon May 2 2pm John Fisher School Fete, Purley
Sat May 7 Northwood Day of Dance. Details to follow.
Sun May 15 1pm Dorset Road Allotments Open Day, Elmers End, Beckenham, BR3 4EA.
Sun May 29 Addiscombe Carnival
Thu Jun 23 7.45pm An Evening with Marlings Morris at the Plough, 11 Church Road, St Johns, Redhill. RH1 6QE.
Sat Jul 2 Merstham Village
Sun Jul 3 1pm Westerham Brewery Beer Festival. The Carpenters Arms, 12 Tally Road, Limpsfield Chart, RH8 0TG
Sat Jul 9 1.30pm Mickleham Fete Mickleham Rectory, Old London Road, Mickleham, Surrey.
Sun Jul 17 Warlingham Classic Car Show
Thu Jul 21 Two Roosters Morris evening
Tue Aug 16 7pm Croydon Night of Dance
Sun Sep 18 1pm Banstead Fayre
Sun Oct 2 12.45pm The Wheatsheaf, Hever Road, Bough Beach, Edenbridge, TN8 7NU. See
1.45pm The Castle Inn, Chiddingstone, Kent TN8 7AH.
Mon Dec 26 12.45pm Boxing Day Tour at The Harrow Inn, Farleigh Road, Warlingham CR6 9EL
- For more on the North Wood Morris Men, their events and uopdates to the listings here, visit their website here
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