Green Man's Morris and Sword Club

MORRIS DANCES FROM THE COTSWOLDS AND LICHFIELD AND SWORD DANCES FROM THE NORTH EAST OF ENGLAND

Green Man head

If you are young (of mind), male, fit, energetic, have a sense of rhythm and enjoy being part of a team, why not come along to a Tuesday practice night and have a go? You will be taught all you need to know! Dancers and musicians are welcome. We look forward to seeing you. During the Winter Season we practise at Highcroft Sports and Social Community Centre, Slade Road, Birmingham B23 7JG on a Tuesday evening from 8pm. The entrance is directly opposite the Stockland Green Methodist Church.

Green Man dancing at FradleyGreen Man's Morris was directly involved in the revival of the Lichfield dances, referenced in documents of the late 18th century, and was appointed "Custodian of the Lichfield Tradition" by The Morris Ring of England. The dances were unseen outside the City of Lichfield until 1954 and are different from the six-man dances of the Cotswolds morris traditions in that they are for 8 dancers.

Green Man at the Lichfield BowerWe have lead the Lichfield "Bower" Procession for the last 50 years. Held in May, the event dates back to the yearly inspection of military equipment as demanded by the Statute of Westminster in 1285. More >>

Our music is always played live. Our musicians play pipe and tabor, accordion, concertina and other instruments.

Music samples >>        More about the pipe and tabor >>

Green Man dancing at a weddingContact us to book us to dance at your wedding, corporate or social function.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) >>

Beer matsIt's often said that Morris Men like their beer. So we have had some beer mats printed with our contact information. If you would like one, talk to us at any of our performances.

 

A stick danceABOUT MORRIS DANCING - briefly!

Morris dancing is one of very few traditional English activities which survive from unknown origins way back in history, however, such ritual dancing was almost lost for ever during Victorian times when the industrial revolution disintegrated many communities and traditions lapsed. Were it not for the stone masons of Headington Quarry, near Oxford (having fallen on very hard times) visiting the local gentry on Boxing Day in 1899, to dance "for their supper," Morris dancing may not have survived. A Christmas guest at the hall, Cecil Sharp, saw the dancing, became very interested and spent the rest of his life finding out about and recording Morris dancing all over the country, particularly in the Cotswolds where many villages still had "sides" or memories of former dancers.

The revival of Morris dancing in England became assured by the formation of "The Morris Ring" in 1934 and many clubs have joined the organisation over the years, especially just after the Second World War. This coincided with a revival of and interest in "Folk" generally throughout the UK at that time.

Dancers' Feet


Events are subject to changes at any time. Please contact the Bagman for details.

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Contact us


If you want to enquire about us dancing at your event, please contact the Bagman (details below) or use the Enquiry Form.

Squire; Peter Taylor

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Bagman; Paul Oldhams

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Green Man TabardWe wear a decorated straw hat, green tabard over a white shirt, black breeches and white stockings (long socks).

The face (head) on the tabard is the Green Man character found in many churches and ancient buildings. Supposedly the 'spirit' of the woodland, it is an ancient fertility symbol. Our design of Green Man was taken from a carving in Holy Trinity church in Coventry.

MisericordThe following information has been taken from Colin Spencer's excellent book, A Short History of the Green Man's Morris and Sword Club, with photographs kindly provided by Su Oldhams and Peter Taylor. Su's husband, Paul, Colin and Peter are members of the side today.

Our tabard was initially plain green. Eventually, Roger Venables, who was a member of the side at the time, obtained a small book of misericords. He took sketches of a particular misericord in Holy Trinity Church in Coventry which had originated from White Friar's Monastery, Coventry.

Roger's brother, John, took the sketches to Moseley Modern School in Birmingham where he was teaching at the time and showed them to Norman Fryer who was Head of Art. Norman took the sketches and a tabard home and returned a few days later with a painted drawing of the Head and templates for cutting out the pieces in green, red or white felt, to be assembled on the tabard. Originally, after the templates were used to mark out the felt, it was up to each dancer to assemble the whole lot himself. Things are slightly easier today!

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