Morris Waiting

Here is a photograph of the ‘Sidmouth Steppers’ who were present amongst lots of other Morris Dance sides at the Swanage Folk Festival last weekend. On the Saturday, the dancers take part in a procession which is a colourful feast for the eyes and attracts large crowds.

Usually we position ourselves further down the procession route but it’s quite difficult to get a clear shot of the dancers, so this year I sat on a boulder near the start where the dancers line up ready to go. I also decided to focus on the dancers’ feet. It was difficult deciding whether to post a B&W conversion or the full colour version which is very bright – the costumes are red, white and blue. The B&W won out today as it’s a bit less distracting than the colour and I wanted the focus on the legs and arms.

The Sidmouth Steppers – although wearing clogs – aren’t clog dancers but follow the North West Morris tradition. More information can be found on their website: Sidmouth Steppers.

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23 thoughts on “Morris Waiting

    • Thank you FM. The shoes are interesting – sort of tap clogs with bells on! Clog dancing is traditionally a North England activity with its origins in the textile industry. This particular Morris side’s dance was rather genteel – they sort of skipped along with arms raised shaking the ‘bobbins’ in the air. It was very pleasant to watch.

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    • Thank you Sheila! When I compared the colour to the B&W I found that my eyes went straight to the shoes in the B&W, whereas in the colour one, the eyes were mesmerised by the colour of the costume.

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  1. A great shot. Just focusing on the feet was a masterstroke.

    It takes me back to my days as a reporter in the mill towns of Mossley and Saddleworth.

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    • Thank you Calvin! I went for the feet in a big way that day – I did get some strange looks! Mossley and Saddleworth – traditional textile areas. I’ve just been reading about the Morris up there and the Rushcart tradition – really interesting and also the Yorkshire-Lancashire connection. I’m a ‘soft southerner’ but have a great interest in, and affinity with, Northern culture.

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