The founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs

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I have been asked to write a note to all Sides in the Morris Federation, Morris Ring and Open Morris regarding the effect Covid19 has on Morris activity. The simple answer is almost none.

Perhaps I should have written this in March however it was not clear just how much disruption this virus would cause in our lives and, even more important, how long it would go on for.

Our Brokers remind us that the most important thing is that Sides, both at practice and whilst dancing out, should follow any Government or Council guidelines in force at the time.

Does Black Face Paint Matter?

We are sure all of our members will be well aware of the tragic murder of George Floyd and the breadth of the protests demanding that black lives are truly valued. They are a realisation not only of anger at was has gone wrong, but they also offer an opportunity for change to be made possible.

Social media has already evidenced the concern  that the vexed issue of blacking up is seen as a manifestation of part of the problem, and perhaps it is an appropriate time for us to ask again, “Does black face paint matter?”

Note to Morris Ring sides on the use of black face make-up in Morris (originally issued in March 2020)

As Squire of the Morris Ring you get to watch a lot of dancing. Most is of it is of a reasonable standard, but there are very few who ‘get it right’ as a matter of course and most clubs can improve their performances. When putting on a show involving several teams a whole new level of performance comes into play, you really are ‘putting on a show’

With this in mind, I asked Mike Garland to put together some thoughts and observations on the subject. Whether dancing on your own outside a country pub on a Tuesday night to one man and his dog or in front of several hundred people in the middle of a tourist city with 10 other teams, on a day of dance, I hope you find them of use.

Greetings All from the (current) Squire

The world of Morris Dancing is facing new and unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid-19. It has given me great joy to see the positive way in which the members of all three organisations have reacted to it.

Covid-19 and Lockdown have presented Simon  Newman and me with a new problem. It had always been my plan to dance out at the Plymouth Ring Meeting. Unfortunately, it has had to be, understandably, postponed along with it seems every other event. So how do we deal with the change of Squire of the Morris Ring?

Colin Andrews, our New Dance Coordinator, has asked we bring you up to date on some recent changes to the Morris Dance Database.


Digital Copies were made of most of the Morris Ring Film archive in 2016 by Garland Films from originals in the Essex Record Office. Many remain covered by copyright but we have now uploaded to YouTube those we have permission to make public. It is hoped more will be released for general viewing as we pursue copyright approvals.  We have created an new web page with direct links to each of the public videos and the full Morris Ring Film & Video Archive catalogue document.

25 May 2020 Bampton Whit Monday Morris Cancelled
The Bampton Morris sides regret to announce that the traditional Whit Monday dancing will not take place this year, and Morris enthusiasts should not travel to Bampton. If the opportunity arises to have a substitute day of dance later in the year we will put the word out.

Richard Broughton

A message from Dan Baker, Bagman, White Rose Morris Men.

A message from Mike Grant - Bagman of Peterborough Morris:

We have come to the conclusion that it won't be viable to hold our Ring Meeting feast this year on 26 Sep. I'm sure the number of sign-ups at your end is still low. Also, we don't think there'll be much appetite to sign up at this time, or indeed for us to promote it further.

We would like to postpone it to next year (Sat 25 Sep 2021), which will also coincide with our Day of Dance.


It looks like the next Bagman's Newsletter will be a while away, as we have no printing facilities for those not on email.

In the mean time, here's a short article from Colin Andrews, New Dance Co-Ordinator, for anyone struggling to keep busy in lockdown.


Today 16 Morris Rings sides should have been joining sides from the other Morris Organisations in Liverpool for the annual JMO DoD. As you know unfortunately, due to the coronavirus we can’t.


However, I am pleased to be able to announce that after more patient hardwork from our North West area rep, Dave Loughlin and his chief assistant Tony Foard The JMO DoD Liverpool is now rescheduled for the 17th of April 2021.  If you want go keep that date free in your diary., Instagram: cjtodd.illustrated

As many of you will have seen, further advice has been issued by the Government regarding the Coronavirus epidemic. We would urge all sides to take this Government advice seriously and act accordingly.


Just to remind you that there are only two weeks to go to effect Personal Accident Insurance if you missed the January date or if you have additional Side members between 16 and 74 to add to your existing cover.

31 July 2020 to 2 August 2020

St Albans have taken the decision to cancel the meeting.
They will probably just celebrate their 90th anniversary with their normal end of season day of dance - all being well!

Jack Brown passed away peacefully on the morning of March 5th after a long life lived to the full. He leaves a wonderful legacy and our thoughts go out to his family and to the many close friends in the Morris world.

There will now not be a wake following the cremation service, but a later celebration is planned.

18 April 2020

As a result of Covid 19 running The Liverpool JMO DoD as the high profile event it is meant to be has become impractical even if we are able to hold it at all.

As a result, with the kind agreement of our fellow Morris organisations, The Morris Federation and Open Morris the decision has been made to postpone the event until 17th April 2021.

We understand that many of you have already made plans and we can only apologise for the problems this may cause but I am sure you will understand.

What you missed! JMO Youtube Video

Simon Newman has been elected the next squire of the Morris ring at the Annual Representatives Meeting yesterday (14th March 2020).  It was a close run election with Nigel Strudwick of Devil’s Dyke Morris Men, who was the first to congratulate him after the announcement of the voting. 


You may recall we had advance notification of the new website earlier this month (see Cecil Sharp's – A valuable New resource)

The site has now has its official launch and has issued the following press release: