Adderbury Morris were revived in 1974 by Tim Radford and Brian Sheppherd
Once there were as many as three Morris sides in the village, and the names of more than two dozen of the 19th century dancers have been documented. During Whitsun week they performed in Adderbury and neighbouring villages.
Sides regularly used to dance at Banbury Fair and the well-known Banbury eccentric, William 'Old Mettle' Castle, was fool for the Adderbury team in the 19th century. During this period the village had two or possibly three sides performing although this had died out by the 1880s.
A revival side was established at the village school in the Edwardian era and some of the boys developed into a men's Morris side by about 1912. There are pictures of this side and the names of the members were established, through talking to older village residents, in 1974. One of the dancers in the photographs, Charlie Coleman, was still alive at that time. Of those in the pictures, only Coleman and one other returned from the war and that revival of Morris dancing in Adderbury therefore died with them. This account formed the basis of Tim Plester’s 2011 film, “Way of the Morris”.
The dances and tunes as listed in A Handbook of Morris Dances
- Sweet Jenny Jones (MDT)
- Constant Billy (MDT)
- Lads-a-Bunchum (MDT)
- Beaux of London City (News)
- Blue Bells of Scotland (RD ex Blunt MSS. Blunt tune in C)
- Washing Day (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Brighton Camp (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Happy Man (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Postman's Knock (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Roast Beef of Old England (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- The Flowing Bowl (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Haste to the Wedding (Rory O'More) (News)
- The Black Joke (MDT)
- Princess Royal (BC)
- The Buffoon (MDT)
- Shepherd's Hey (News - RKS)
- Jockey to the Fair (jig) (RD ex Blunt MSS)
- Princess Royal (jig)
Shepherd's Hey (jig) (CJS MSS)
Adderbury sang old songs and other popular town songs of the day, often executing some of their stick movements whilst they sang the choruses. They did this to keep the crowd quiet while they were resting themselves. Sometimes they danced as they sang.
Here are some of their present day Tunes played by Stephen Wass on a Castagnari 2-row G/D melodeon.
MBII (2nd Ed), and EDF Nov 1950. Also information from RD, derived from three sources, viz the MSS of Sharp, Miss Blunt and Miss Kennedy; informant in all three cases was William "Binx" Walton who had been foreman of the Adderbury side for 20 years in the mid 19th century. There were some discrepancies between MSS and Sharp's published versions, requiring "interpretation". Most of the Song words obtained by FH from Walton's grandchildren.
There are now three Morris dancing sides in Adderbury. The Adderbury Morris Men (in white, blue and red hatless kit), who take dancers from a wide area and who have created new dances to add to their repertoire, The Adderbury Village Morris Men (dressed in white and green with top hats), whose members come from the village or surrounding parishes and only dance traditional dances from Adderbury, and Sharp & Blunt, a ladies’ team favouring a top-hatted monochrome kit.