The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

ARM delivers a new Squire, a new Constitution, a new full member side and a new set of candlesticks

ARM delivers a new Squire, a new Constitution, a new full member side and a new set of candlesticks

The Morris Ring held its Annual Representatives Meeting (ARM) yesterday (5th March 2022). This was our first physical meet up in 2 years as the 2021 meeting moved online to comply with lockdown restrictions. At the meeting, the representatives voted for Nigel Strudwick of Devil's Dyke Morris Men to succeed Simon Newman as the next Squire of the Morris Ring. Nigel has served as East of England area rep and Overseas Bagman for the Ring for several years and is looking forward to taking up his post next year.

Following several months of discussions, a new constitution and supporting documents for the running of the organisation were adopted by a majority vote. This is the end of many months of work put in by the Squire's commission to make these documents relevant and more accessible to the wider membership.

Following their application, the meeting voted to accept Big Jigs Morris (based in the Norwich area) as Full Members. Unfortunately, Big Jigs couldn't get a representative there but we look forward to arranging their dancing in in the near future. The day was rounded off with a workshop on the Ruardean Morris tradition by Oliver Simons of Peterborough Morris, and a feast in the evening.

At the feast, the officers were delighted to accept a new set of candlesticks donated by Joe Oldaker of Anker Morris Men. Joe made this kind gesture as a thank you for 40 years of enjoyment through dancing. Joe was given the honour of lighting the first candles in the new candlesticks, using a lighted candle from the Percy Sephton candlesticks. The Sephton candlesticks have been used by the Ring at their feasts for many years but will now be formally retired to the care of the Hartley Morris Men at their 70th Anniversary Meeting in September.

 Rob Chisman of Trigg Morris led those assembled at the feast in a rousing chorus of The Song of the Western Men (better known as Trelawny) in celebration of St Piran's day. A collection was taken for the charity Shelterbox for their assistance fund for the Ukrainian conflict, and some £300 was raised.

Thanks to all who attended, and we look forward to another year's dancing.

Peter Austin, Bagman