Saddleworth Morris Men return for first dance of the year

SADDLEWORTH MORRIS Men will dance out for the first time in 2016 on the evening of Maundy Thursday then around the villages of Saddleworth on Good Friday.  

SMM
Picture thanks to Saddleworth Morris Men

Traditionally the first public performance of the Morris dancing calendar year for the local side, Maundy Thursday’s event on March 24 at the historic Road End Fair will see David Biggs officially become Squire of the team.

David, 44, affectionately known as ‘Biggsy’, joined the side in 1981 and became Foreman in 1996 before handing over responsibility to Paul Hankinson on Maundy Thursday 2015.

Now in his 36th year, Biggsy takes over the role of Squire from Eddie Worrall who is set to become Squire of the Morris Ring, the national association of men’s Morris and Sword Dance clubs, later this year.

Dances-and-kit-1
Picture thanks to Saddleworth Morris Men

After the ceremonial handover of the Saddleworth Morris Men’s ‘Squire’ role, the public will also see new recruit David Harrison take part in the traditional ‘Greenfield dance’ to earn the instantly recognisable waistcoat, worn with pride by each member of the side.

David has big footsteps to follow as he is brother in-law to the Foreman and also son-in-law of ex-Squire Richard Hankinson.

Then Good Friday, March 25, will see the team joined by Earlsdon Morris Men from Coventry, who are considered to be one of the best in the world.

The proposed schedule is:

Maundy Thursday (March 24)

  • 7pm: Road End (across from the ‘King Bill’, Greenfield)
  • 8pm: Boarshurst Band Club (Greenfield)

Good Friday (March 25)

  • 10.45am: The Clarence (Greenfield)
  • 11.45am: procession through Delph
  • 12pm: Gartside Street, Delph
  • 1pm: The Swan (Dobcross)
  • 2pm: The Diggle Hotel
  • 3pm: The Navigation (Dobcross)
  • 4pm: The Commercial and Uppermill Centre
  • 6.30pm: Cross Keys (Uppermill)
  • 7.30pm: Church Inn

Later in the year, the historic Saddleworth Rushcart will be held for the 42nd time on August 20 and 21 (not the Bank Holiday as in previous years).

Find out more about the Saddleworth Morris Men on their website: www.saddleworthmorrismen.co.uk

 

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