The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

New lamps for old - and a case to fit!

New lamps for old - and a case to fit!

As featured at the ARM and in the Bagman's newsletter,  Joe Oldaker of Anker Morris (mainly)  generously donated a set of beautifully designed candlesticks for use at Morris Ring feasts and the like.  This is Joe's story:

"The Idea of providing the Ring with a new candlestick arrived at the ARM in 2020, when I looked at the top table and thought it would be good if there were a candlestick to match in style with the silver supports for the Squire’s  Staff of Office. As I have had 40 years of dancing Morris in various guises, and enjoyed it as a major part of my life, I decided to pay something back and donate a new candlestick with the style in mind.

            A search of 'off-the-shelf' designs turned up nothing suitable, so I went ahead to produce my own.  I mentioned the project to the Ring Officers, and consulted them  on matters of detail. The then Squire (Pete Simpson) was certain it should not be too tall as the Squire sits behind it at Feasts, and the then Bagman (Jon Melville) provided details of the use of candles. Jon also mentioned that the Ring had been presented with a magnificent new box to store and transport the regalia (see below) – the dimensions of this fitted the then current items, so it was obviously sensible to design the new candlestick to fit . The Ring Logo was incorporated into the design, to be engraved on the central cone

            Once the final design was agreed, I contacted Hart in Chipping Campden, the silversmiths who fettle the Ring regalia when needed – they have a history of connection with the Morris, and David Hart is a long-standing member of Chipping Campden MM, so they were an obvious choice.

They agreed to take the commission, and some technical details were ironed out to convert the drawing into practical silverware. It was agreed the candlestick could be manufactured most suitably in silver plate and William Hart said he would be doing the work.

            It was intended for the candlestick to be ready for presentation at the ARM 2021, and brought into use at the Feast at that meeting. In the event, the candlestick was ready, but sequestered in Chipping Campden. The pandemic scuppered the chances of a live presentation as the ARM moved online – the candlestick will come into use at a future Ring event."

A great big thank you Joe. I can't wait to see them for real !


Jon Melville recounts  that a couple of ARMs ago he admired a wooden concertina case Ray Fuller of East Surrey had made and was trying to find a buyer for. Given the difficulty in transporting all the Bagman's stuff to events (the Squiorial staff stands don't even have a handle on the box!) he asked if he could do something, and Ray took the entire Bagman's albatross away and built the case for it.

Ray has been a long-standing member of East Surrey Morris Men for over 35 years and has always been a bit of a craftsman with various boxes to his name, inlaid intricately for various people and instruments mainly concertinas. We weren't expecting the beautifully done Ring logo inlaid on the top!  He didn't want to take any money for materials or anything else, but  a bottle of whisky, his favourite tipple was accepted, together with our sincere thanks.