This year’s Croydon Night of Dance, a gathering of Morris dance groups, clogs, sticks and jangling bells from across south London, Surrey and Kent, will take place in Addiscombe on Tuesday, August 15.
Based around The Builder’s Arms on Leslie Park Road from 7pm and The Oval Tavern until (past) closing time, the annual event is a real highlight of the local calendar, with hundreds of Morris dancers and folk musicians gathering, and then parading, between the pub venues.
Records from the time of Henry VIII show a group of Morris dancers performed at the end of George Street as part of the May Day festivities. The North Wood Morris Men don’t go back quite that far, having been formed from a Purley scout group in 1975, but they maintain the traditions, and fun.
“We perform dances collected a hundred years ago by Cecil Sharp from the Cotswolds and others developed later,” they say.
“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.”
Before the Night of Dance, the only other opportunity to see the North Wood group perform will be at The Fox, Coulsdon Common, from around 7.45pm on Thursday, August 3.
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