Bedford coat of arms 1 

 ~ Bedford Morris Men ~

" Founded 1932....Part of England's living heritage "

Bedford coat of arms 2
 
 

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BMM dance in Ledbury
 
 
Latest News -

 See Bedford Morris Men's Summer Programme for 2016
 

Dancing for The Higgins, see Photographs and Movie and Interview on the Bedford on Sunday Website

    (see also: Our Facebook page, and  WWW.MYSPACE.COM/BEDFORDMORRISMEN)  
 
For bookings and general information contact the Bagman, Phil Nicholson at vegmanphil@live.com
 
 

We perform dances from a range of Cotswold Morris traditions, as well as dances from the North-West of England and the English-Welsh Borders. In addition, we have a side to dance the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance and have in the past had a Rapper Morris side, which may one day be resurrected! (links to follow...)

 In winter, we perform a traditional Plough Play from Leicestershire.

The Morris can be traced back to at least the 15th and 16th centuries and there have been many theories as to its origin.  One explanation for the use of the word "Morris" for describing dancing, mumming and other seasonal activities, is that men used to blacken their faces to maintain their anonymity, thereby resembling "Moorish" men.  There is still some doubt about whether these activities were associated with fertility rites or whether they were part of ceremonial or competitive parochial festivities. Maybe just honest-to-goodness busking for money or consumables!

Hard evidence, such as detailed descriptions of the dances, dates back only as far as the beginning of the 20th century.  There is no historical record of any dancing in Bedford, but there are references to morris dancers in Potton (1560), Woburn and Bletchley (1767), Silsoe (1789) and Stevington (1870). The last of these occurred on a Plough Monday and may refer to Mummers.

To navigate round this site, use either the hyperlinks in the text or click on the links at the top of the page to learn more about us, where we are performing and how to contact us.  We intend to build a gallery of pictures from the past years of our history, so visit again to see how the site is developing. We would also be grateful for any pictures you might have of Bedford Morris Men or their guests.

We need more Men to join us and keep the Tradition alive - contact the Bagman, Phil Nicholson at vegmanphil@live.com, or come along to our Practices at Ravenden Village Hall.  For archivist and webmaster matters, contact John Frearson at  johnphfrearson@btinternet.com.

 

 
Last Updated: 03/04/2016