Bedford coat of arms 1 

 ~ Bedford Morris Men ~

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

Bedford coat of arms 2

  |  Home  | Bedford Morris - Practice Details  |   Bedford Morris - Winter Programme  |  Bedford Morris - Summer Programme  |  

  |  Christmas Newsletters - 2010  |   2011   |   2012   |  2013  2014Bedford Morris Archive  | 

   |  Bedford Morris - Visit to Ireland - 2010  |  Bedford Morris - Visit to Bamberg - 2011  |  Bedford - 80th Anniversary  |

  |  Our Dance Traditions  |  Cotswold  |  Border  |  North-West  |  Plough Play  |                                                 |   Press-Pack  |  


BMM dance in Ledbury


We are saddened to announce the passing of ROGER NICHOLLS, on 1st October 2016, after a long struggle.  He was an Honorary Member of Bedford Morris Men, and a former Squire, Musician and Foreman.  He was also the leader of the Orange and Blue Folk Dance Band, and holder of the EFDSS Gold Badge; a member and musical leader of Fine Companions, and a stalwart of the Bedford Town Band, part of which he recruited and conducted when it accompanied Bedford Morris Men's North-West Clog dances.


See Bedford Morris Men's Winter Programme for 2016-2017

Next event - Bedford Beer Festival - Saturday, 8th October at 1.00 and 2.00pm

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

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, or come along to our Practices at Ravenden Village Hall.  For archivist and webmaster matters, contact John Frearson at


Last Updated: 03/10/2016