MORRIS IN SALISBURY SINCE 1982
Following a number of meetings in January 1982, by a small but rapidly growing group of friends, an attempt would be made to revive Morris dancing in Salisbury. The side would be known as "Sarum Morris"
Within a few weeks, every Thursday, after first meeting in The Pheasant Inn, practices were held in the Hale Hall. John Brookman was selected to be the first Foreman and the traditions he would try and teach would be Bampton and then later in the season, and to vary the dance style, Adderbury would be introduced. They soon found out, however, that it was better to meet in the Pheasant after practice rather than before!
The Picture on the right shows the fledgling
Morris Side practising in July 1982 at Homington
The first official dance-out took place on Thursday 19th August 1982 at the Black Horse, West Tytherley and the Red Lion, West Dean, under the leadership of Squire Nick Sherwood. The side danced as a joint side, namely men and women danced separately.Everyone wore traditional all white shirts and trousers with small blue and gold rosettes attached. The men also wore blue braces.
The first Sarum Morris A.G.M. took place on September 23rd 1982, and was quite eventful. Nick Sherwood was re-elected as Squire. Mike Griffiths took over as Foreman. Swagman (treasurer) was Colin McLaughlan. Katrina Ellis was elected Bagman, publicity officer was Stuart Fyfe. Paul Matthews became the side's archivist. It was decided that a further two traditions would be taught to the side with the intention that when dancing out, men would dance Oddington and the women would dance Ilmington.
Discussion also took place about the side's name. Old Sarum, New Sarum, Salisbury, Sarum St Edmunds, and Rotten Borough were all suggested, but in the end Sarum Morris was retained.
The side danced at Folk under Aries, Downton Cuckoo Fair, Chippenham and Laycock Folk Festival, and Pewsey Arts and Crafts show. The side organised its first weekend tour with Downes Morris. In addition a further nineteen dates saw Sarum Morris dance at thirty Public Houses. At the A.G.M. amongst other things, it was agreed that Rapper would be taught before main practice. Workshops to be organised on Jigs, music, and song. Also a survey would be carried out to get members views on how to improve our kit.
Later in the year as a result of the survey, major kit changes were introduced. These included blue and gold cumberbunds and single sash. The blue and gold rosettes were dropped from the men's kit. Larger white handkerchiefs would be made. The women would wear the same large style bell pad as the men. 1984 would start with a New Year's Day dance-out and there were six main dance-out dates already in the diary.