Hanky waving, bell jangling - women Morris dancers keep the tradition alive

Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix
Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix

Hanky waving, bell-jangling Morris men - and women - brought dancing to Witney at the weekend.

The only mixed Cotswold Morris 'side' west of Oxford are searching for recruits to keep their distinctive tradition thriving.

Chairman of Ducklington Morris side and ‘squire’ Chris Howe said: “Morris dancing is fun and great exercise.

“We’re a friendly bunch and most people pick up the basic steps and moves fairly quickly.

“Come and give it a try.”

Oxford Mail: Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix
Oxford Mail: Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix

Ducklington Morris side was started four decades ago by the village folk club.

In its heyday it included almost 20 dancers and musicians but as members have retired or moved away, numbers have dwindled.

Mr Howe explained: “Most traditional Ducklington Morris dances are meant for six, but we’ve had to adapt them to work for four.

“We’d love to get back to sets of six plus a musician and have a few extra members spare, so we can take a well-earned breather now and then.”

If you are interested go to www.ducklingtonmorris.org.uk, or contact Chris Howe on 01993 775634.

Oxford Mail: Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix
Oxford Mail: Ducklington Morris dancers in Witney. Picture by Ed Nix

 

 

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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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