Saddleworth Morris Men sign off 2019 in traditional style

SADDLEWORTH Morris Men gave it plenty of clog for their final appearance of 2019.

Starting at the Wellington in Greenfield and finishing at the Cross Keys in Uppermill, the group entertained hundreds of onlookers with their annually performed Lordsmere Longsword dance.

The dance is performed just at Christmas and is believed to originate from those wishing to enable a fruitful harvest. 

This form of dancing was banned under the reign of Oliver Cromwell but revived under Charles II. But it has been part of Saddleworth Morris Men’s repotoire since the 1970s.

The climax of the performance sees swords interlocked and held aloft after performing intertwining figures at a fast pace.

After leaving the Welly, the group moved on to the Diggle Hotel, the Swan, Dobcross (3pm) the Commercial, Albion Tap, the Church Inn and the Cross Keys, all Uppermill.

The Lordsmere Longsword festivities concluded the side’s performances until they next dance in public in Saddleworth on Maundy Thursday, April 18, and Good Friday, April 19, to launch their 2020 season.

Practice sessions take place every Thursday throughout the year at the Church Inn, Uppermill, from 8.30pm. New members always welcome. 

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