"Our 40th Birthday Year "

Events Repertoire History 2019 Home


Persephone New Year Ceilidh 13th January

Another New Year, another Persephone ceilidh! Once again Barry Evans led us through some devilish and delightful dances, with Mally’s melodious musicians providing the tunes (including one with 28 bars, a musician’s nightmare!). We were pleased to greet old friends and new, and despite clashing with a few other January events, we had our usual good numbers. Once more enjoyed by all – and thanks to all those who came.Rose

Ranting and Rhubarb – Wakefield, February 2018

A cold but sunny day in Wakefield for the Rhubarb Festival. The hosts, Rhubarb Tarts, invited local sides Wakefield Morris, Briggate and Persephone to join them in celebration of the Rhubarb Festival.

To start the day, we received a warm welcome from the Tarts with an abundance of tea and homemade cakes.

There were several dance spots around the city, accompanied by large pigeons and cooks on stilts. Persephone danced to the full peal of the cathedral bells adding an extra dimension to the Morris tunes. The many local food and drinks stalls offered samples aplenty, between dance spots and much rhubarb was bought in various forms; au natural, cake, gin.... A well supported day was rounded off with a massed stand by all sides, including dancing a multi-team Celebration.

A lovely way to start the season.Hannah and Sadie

Amounderness Day of Dance in Chorley - 28th April

Persephone had a lovely day out Saturday 28th April at the Amounderness Day of Dance in Chorley, our hosts Amounderness Ladies. There were 14 dance sides from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria providing a colourful spectacle with a variety of traditional dance styles and music.

We were greeted with tea and coffee at the Parish Centre before dancing began around the town. The weather was pleasant dry and sunny but a chilly breeze.

A leisurely, sunny lunch break was followed by more dancing, ending with a mass dance with all sides doing a final dance in front of the Flat Iron. We ended on a high dancing a favourite, Whitby Shindig.
The Day of Dance ended with tea, cakes and conversations with friends then farewells. It was a very enjoyable day of dance.


May Day Bank Holiday at Shibden Hall, Halifax
Getting up to greet May Day morning at 5.30 am isn’t really our thing, so we decided to dance out at Shibden Hall’s May Day Craft event, along with stonemasons, pyrogaphers, jam makers, rag rugmakers and the like. Summer had seemingly suddenly arrived after the long hard winter, and we sweated our way through our dances fortunately mostly in the shade of the old house. (Slightly different temperatures to our November dance out!

It was a relaxed afternoon, and we shared the courtyard with a rather wobbly maypole which was used for demonstration rather than display – maybe we should learn maypole dancing next!
Although the audiences weren’t huge they were very appreciative and interested, and it was also a good opportunity for our latest recruit to take part in her first dance out. Another lovely day out!


Holmfirth Festival of Folk, May 2018
We were delighted to be able to dance at Holmfirth again this year – a lovely friendly festival in a beautiful setting, made all the much better by the continued glorious sunshine
We started off outside the church, just by the famous Sid’s Café, moving on to Hollowgate by the bus stop (not sure if it’s still a bus stop, but that’s how it’s known!), then on to The Old Bridge Inn. We met a great selection of sides, including Grimsby Morris, Herring Gals, Slubbing Billys, Rhubarb Tarts, Pateley Bridge Longswords, Briggate, Rivington, Saddleworth Morris and the world renowned Britannia Coconut Dancers.

The afternoon finished with the procession from the Memorial Gardens by the 20 sides who were there, many of whom performed a display dance in the park.

19th May Harrogate
Betty Lupton’s Day of Dance

On the day that Harry and Megan got hitched, Persephone turned out in the sunshine to celebrate Betty Lupton’s Day of Dance alongside Feet First, Knaresborough Mummers, Flag and Bone Gang, Briggate, Bettys, Cricket on the Hearth, Fiddle n’ Feet and White Rose Garland.

The teams congregated to start the day with a massed dance in the Victoria Piazza before moving on to various dance spots around the town. A leisurely lunch was enjoyed in the Valley Gardens accompanied by birds and squirrels. Not quite enough time for afternoon tea at Betty’s (the café)on this occasion!

There were more dance spots to appreciative audiences in the afternoon in the lovely North Yorkshire sunshine which lead to the team seeking shade and sorbets. A massed dance finished off a beautiful spring day.

Queen’s Oak/Rose and Castle weekend, July 2018
Back again to meet lots of old friends near Towcester, with Rose and Castle celebrating their 40th year. The weather was splendid throughout the weekend, though perhaps a touch too hot!

On Saturday we visited the market town of Olney (which we know quite well), then we were taken to Milton Keynes old village where we danced in the heat outside an old looking thatched pub and also had our lunch in the garden. Later, with the sun still blazing, we visited another pub where a lot of people were sitting enjoying the sunshine, leaving only a fringe of shade for us!
In the evening, time to relax, a good meal and a ceilidh with Simon Care’s Banter band – excellent.

Sunday, as usual was at the Canal Museum at Stoke with all the surviving teams. We got together with Stockport Morris Men and Mutineers to dance a joint “Hindley Street” – great fun, appreciated by a fairly large audience.
A great collection of teams made the weekend really enjoyable. Thanks go specially to the hosts.

Cleckheaton Folk Festival, July 2018

It's not often we get to Cleckheaton Folk Festival, only about a mile from where we practise weekly, but this year we made it. We danced on the Saturday only, beginning with a procession through the town, then at various spots around town during the afternoon.

The day finished with a "dance off" at The Wickham Arms, a competiton won by Jockey Morris Men from Birmingham.

In the middle of this year's heatwave, it was uncomfortably hot, but we managed to keep going all day. It's surprising how few shady areas there are in town centres! There was a wide spread of different dance styles this year in addition to the Morris which made for an interesting day. Amongst the teams we met were locals Spen Valley Longswords, Jockey Morris, Waters Green, Rhubarb Tarts and the Britannia Coconut Dancers.
Other miscellaneous highlights were the fire engine dashing off to an emergency as we were gathering for the procession, and a flypast of a Lancaster bomber making its way first to a local Wartime Experience weekend, then on to an airshow at Southport.

40th Birthday Party see separate page

White Rose Morris 65th anniversary, July 2018
Hot on the heels of our own 40th birthday weekend celebration came White Rose's even more impressive 65th birthday! This was based near Huddersfield, where some of us stayed for the weekend, others joining us on the Saturday to dance.
High up in the Pennines we visited Tunnel End at Marsden (the highest, deepest and longest canal tunnel in the country apparently

a brewery in Slaithwaite,

a pub (on a 1 in 4 hill) in Linthwaite and a pub high above Meltham, along with Southport Swords, Kemps Men and later on White Rose themselves.
At the end of the day we returned to base for tea and wonderful home made cakes, then later a meal for well over 150 people, followed by traditional "spots" by some of the participants.
Thanks White Rose, and congratulations on achieving so many years!

Hull Maritime Festival
Makara Morris organised the day of dance in the old town area of Hull – much redeveloped and improved over the last 40 years.
The spots were all close together which is always good, and all on level, smooth surfaces, which is even better. We danced alongside different teams in Victoria Square (disturbing a chess championship final in the City Hall), Princes Quay shopping centre (built over an old dock), then outside the wonderfully restored Hull Minster (known previously as Holy Trinity Church) and finally near the Spurn Lightship, moored in the marina. Part of the festival was taking place on a boat further along the marina.
Another delightful day out, and despite heavy rain driving to Hull along the M62, the sun came out, and with a lovely sea breeze made the dancing very pleasant.

Yorkshire Day, Hartshead Village near Brighouse.
We’ve danced here to celebrate Yorkshire Day several times now and always enjoy it. This year, along with the Grangemoor Brass Band, we met Thieving Magpies (also regular visitors) and, for the first time, Slubbing Billys who seemed to enjoy it immensely.

Fair weather yet again made for a lovely relaxed evening with friends, and an antidote to our frantic July. Thanks to Dic and Eileen for organising it.

Whitworth Rushcart, September 2018
On a hot sunny September day we travelled over the Pennines to this small community on the main road between Rochdale and Bacup for their annual Rushcart afternoon, last visited in 2009. The heather clad rushcart was pulled about half a mile along the road to the Riverside centre,

followed by a number of dance teams – quite similar to nearby Littleborough, but a much smaller village affair than the better known Saddleworth and Sowerby Bridge rushbearings.

At the Riverside, each group took their turn in the arena – brass band, samba dancing, belly dancing and morris amongst them, and there was a small fairground and various stalls around too. The fire brigade put in an appearance too after returning from a job – we met them going in the opposite direction during the procession!

Another pleasant, relaxed afternoon out in the sunshine with some lovely people keeping up their local tradition. Thanks for the invitation!

York Festival of Traditional Dance, September 2018
We last took part in this day 3 years ago – and it rained then too! Then it was short, sharp showers and bright sunshine in between, but this year it was – well, mainly rain. However, we managed the procession this time, most of the first and third spots but not the second and fourth ones. We completed the day with a somewhat soggy St. Sampson’s Square spot in the showcase in front of the local dignitaries to earn our 2018 badges before trudging back to the bus stop.

However, it was a good day out, meeting friends from hither and yon, gradually bringing a good summer nearer to its close. Thanks to Ebor Morris for organising this festival yet again, bringing the Morris Tradition to the notice of the many curious visitors to the city.

Southport Swords 50th Birthday
We were invited to share this weekend with our long time friends from Southport. Other local teams included Southport’s year old “offspring” sword team, Natty Jacks, comprising young people from their own families – and very well taught and disciplined too. Mersey Morris were there too, Forest of Dean, Leeds Morris, Rivington, White Rose and ourselves.

Saturday dawned rather damp for our tour to Ormskirk, but improved as the day went on to Formby Village, Crosby Beach (Iron Men – but the tide was in), Southport Pier and finally the Town Hall Gardens.

In the evening we had a good meal, with the drinks “on the house”, followed by dancing, fine entertainment and the obligatory cake cutting.
A great weekend almost closing the season. Many thanks to Southport Swords for inviting us, and congratulations on your 50 years, and for creating a new team too.

A Day Out with Rivington Morris - 13th October