The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

A Cheesy introduction from the new Bagman of the Morris Ring

A Cheesy introduction from the new Bagman of the Morris Ring

Peter Austin, the new Bagman of the Morris Ring,  introduces himself - in case you're in a side he hasn't danced with:

"Born and raised close to Oxford, I first learnt folk songs from cassette tapes of The Yetties, The Spinners, The Dubliners, Tim Hart and Friends and a host of others on long car journeys and holidays. 

My first reputed entanglement with Morris Dancers was at the age of 18 months on a family holiday in the Peak District, and I know for a fact the team concerned was Chapel-en-le-Frith MM, as I still have a painted clothes peg presented to me at the time in my collection of objects. There is then a gap of about 20 years, in which time I never really left folk music, while my friends all got into whichever chart toppers happened to be in fashion that week.  

Having completed my degree in engineering, I moved to Birmingham to work for Jaguar Land Rover as a manufacturing engineer. About a year after this came a time when I decided to treat myself to a beginner’s melodeon workshop run by Simon Care. From there I went to Jockey Morris and consequently put down the melodeon, much to the relief of most, and took up dancing. Since then I’ve thrown myself at the dancing heart and soul. I do hope to return to the melodeon someday… 

At present I serve as Squire of the Traditional Ilmington Morris Men, alongside officer roles in Jockey and Knightlow MM, as well as dancing with Shakespeare Morris. In addition, I am proud to hold memberships for Mersey, the Original Welsh Border MM, the Morris 18-30 and The One Day Wonders Travelling Morris, as well being a member of the Illustrious Order of Fools and Beasts with my occasional companion Shergar. As you may notice, I am very proud to be an active member of the Morris Tarts community. 

In 5 years of dancing, I’ve danced in many places across England, and also ventured overseas, with tours to Belgium and Australia in the last few years. My biggest claim to fame though is as ‘Morris Dancer no. 5’ in a scene of the BBC’s Father Brown TV series (Series 7, Episode 4 ‘Demise of a Debutant’). I was also part of the organising team for the 2019 Warwickshire Ring Meeting, and served as West Midlands Area Rep for from 2020-21. 

When not tarting myself across the land, I like to tinker with model railways in the winter, and tend to my garden in the summer months. 

One last detail. My nickname, in the world of Morris at least, is not because of my appreciation for cheese, but due an Autocorrect error when I first joined Jockey Morris. Since Peter is a frequently occurring name in the morris world, I’m known to many simply as ‘Cheesy’."

Welcome aboard Cheesy.