The Colchester Morris Men were founded in 1926, disbanded during World War II, re-
established in 1953, and have remained active ever since. We have been members of "The Morris Ring" since 1935. There are many traditions of Morris dancing throughout the country, and our repertoire is mainly Cotswold Morris.
Our summer season often starts with a dancing tour of Colchester town centre and then we dance regularly on Friday evenings in Colchester and the surrounding villages – usually at a pub. The shows normally last for about 30-
All our dancing is accompanied by traditional instruments, including accordion, concertina, fiddle, pipe & tabor, melodeon and whistle.
We are always happy to see new members, so if you are interested please contact our Recruitment Officer, Bagman or Squire for more details
About Morris dancing
Morris dancing or 'The Morris' is the name given to several forms English ritual dance of ancient origin. These were usually part of the celebration of a particular season or event by the community. Some special celebrations still occur, but many traditions have been lost over the years. Although the Morris is mostly performed for enjoyment nowadays, it remains a living part of our cultural heritage.
The form of dance most commonly seen in the southern part of England originates from the Cotswolds and this is the main part of the repertoire of the Colchester Morris Men. You may from time to time see North West Morris danced in this area by men and women - the dancers wear clogs and the form of dance differs from Cotswold quite considerably. Border Morris is also danced by some of the local sides, and you will notice that the dancers achieve anonymity by camouflaging their faces. The dancing tends to be rougher and more boisterous than Cotswold morris, probably because of the anonymity they enjoy! The East Anglian tradition of Molly dancing can also be seen during the winter months.
Further information about Morris dancing can be found at www.themorrisring.org
Fools & Animals
Many sides have a beast or animal used to entertain the crowd. Sometimes these can be quite scary, and our own beast 'Black Shuck' is no exception! He is a ghostly black dog who is said to roam and haunt the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. Be careful if you see him with his menacing red eyes!
Another person you might sometimes see with us is our 'Fool', whose name needs no further elaboartion. He'll keep you entertained, and is even known to dart in and out of the dancing. Our Fool for many years was Jim Appleby, seen here in action collecting from the spectators.