About Peterborough Morris
The DancesPeterborough Morris perform in the styles of various villages in the south Midlands of England, a form known as Cotswold Morris. Most dances in our repertoire are traditional but a few are more recent. Most Cotswold Morris are performed with hankies or sticks and are probably what most people associate with the term "Morris Dancing". Cotswold dances are from Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire or nearby.
Our current repertoire includes dances in the style of Adderbury and Bampton in Oxfordshire, Bidford (Warwickshire) and the City of Lichfield (Staffordshire). Others originate from Badby, Brackley, and Hinton in Northamptonshire - not so far from Peterborough.
CharactersYou may see a figure dressed differently from the dancers - he is The Fool. He may dance in the set or he may interact with the audience.
Many Morris clubs are accompanied by an animal, or "beast" as we call it, who interacts with the dancers and audience. Ours is a large cockerel.
MeetingsWe meet each Tuesday throughout the year.
In summer (May to August) we usually visit a pub on a Tuesday evening to dance. This may be followed by a few tunes and songs inside the pub.
Regular events(see "Events" page for details)
We usually perform at such local events as Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival, World Conker Championships, John Clare Festival, and a Boxing Day short tour starting in Cathedral Square and then to a local pub.
Further afield, we usually appear at Hemingford Abbotts Flower Festival, Lobster Potties Morris Dance Festival in Sheringham, and the Joint Morris Organisations National Day of Dance.
OverseasWe have also performed in Peterborough's French twin city of Bourges, Spalding's German twin town of Speyer and Cambridgeshire's German twin Kreis Viersen.
Further informationThe Morris Ring website has a number of pages of information starting here:- The Morris Ring - About Morris
Local History1827: Helpston poet John Clare mentioned "The Morrice danse" in his epic poem "The Shepherds Calendar" but he was referring to Mummers Plays.
1927 The Grantham Journal reported that Female dancers from Peterborough Women’s Institute gained certificates at a jig competition with the headline ‘Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of Women’s Institutes: Grand Rally at Belvoir Castle, Pageantry and Pleasure for Thousands of Visitors’.
1920s: Morris dancing was taught in Adult Education classes at Brook Street, Peterborough but there were no public displays.
1979: Peterborough Morris formed in October, starting with 12 dancers; the first Morris club in the Peterborough area.
1980: We obtained permission from Peterborough City Council to base our badge on the city's coat of arms.
1980: Saturday May 3rd: The first public performances.
1983: June. Peterborough Morris dance in as a full member side of the Morris Ring at their 199th Meeting, which was hosted by Offley Morris Men.
2019: A celebratory year in honour of 40 years of Morris Dancing in Peterborough.