Maundy Thursday and Good Friday will see Saddleworth Morris Men dance out for the first time in 2018 in local villages.
The traditional first event of the local Morris dancing calendar will include performances from the team at the historic Road End Fair, Greenfield, from 7.30pm on Thursday, March 29.
Four new recruits will take part in the customary ‘Greenfield’ dance to earn their own Saddleworth waistcoast which is awarded to members who successfully complete the routine.
Richard Shaw, 29, from Greenfield, Simon Haigh, 40, from Ossett, Pete Stevens, 29, from Clayton near Bradford, and Tim Hyde, 56, from Biddulph Moor near Stoke, will all attempt to gain the piece of traditional dress.
No strangers to Morris dancing, Simon is Squire of Wakefield Morris and Pete is also a member of the side. Both are dancing for a Saddleworth waistcoat with a view to balancing their responsibilities between the two teams throughout the year.
Tim has been a member of Sallyport Sword Dancers since 1980, and still dances on occasion with the side.
Squire of Saddleworth Morris Men and member for 38 years, David Biggs said: “We’re chuffed to have another four members join the team and play their part in keeping traditional British dancing alive.
“Having young chaps like Richard and Pete and lads like Simon and Tim join strengthens us further and bodes well for the future.
“We’ve got a busy calendar of events as usual including a trip to Helmond in the Netherlands in June and we’re pleased to be getting our season started.
“We’re hoping for some decent weather on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday and look forward to entertaining the local crowds.”
Good Friday, March 30 will see Saddleworth Morris Men joined by Earlsdon Morris Men from Coventry, who are considered to be one of the best teams in the world.
To join or find out more about Saddleworth Morris Men, view their website here: www.saddleworthmorrismen.co.uk
The proposed schedule is:
Maundy Thursday (March 29)
- 7.30pm: Road End (across from the ‘King Bill’, Greenfield)
- 8.30pm: Boarshurst Band Club (Greenfield)
Good Friday (March 30)
- 11am: Gartside Street (Delph)
- 12noon: The Diggle Hotel
- 1pm: The Swan (Dobcross)
- 3pm: The Commercial and Uppermill
- 4pm: Hare & Hounds
- 6.30pm: Church Inn
- 7.30pm: Cross Keys