About the Winterbourn Down Border Morris
Winterbourn Down Border Morris is a dance side for men and
women based just north-east of Bristol, UK.
We practise in All Saints Church Hall, Winterbourne Down on
Monday nights starting at 8.15 - see the local map page for
Summer evenings see us out and about, dancing at local pubs
- see the Calendar page for details.
Every Boxing Day the Mummers and Morris dancers perform around
the village and collect money in aid of charity.
Recently we have supported Paul's Place, a local day centre
for people with special needs.
There is no known history of Morris dancing in the area prior
to 1978. The side was originally formed as an all female side,
largely from the partners of the 'Christmas Boys', as a means
of providing more entertainment for the growing audiences, as
they felt that the play was getting more popular, with larger
Winterbourn Down Border Morris dancers
use music which is suited to their step-hop style, namely traditional
hornpipes, jigs and polkas, although there are times when these
are adapted to match a particular dance. The dances themselves
are put together using 3 or 4 different 'verses' separated by
a common 'chorus'.
All of the dancers are involved in their
creation and refinement. Movements and interaction may be invented
and tried out on practise nights or they may be patterns admired
and plagiarised from other sides which have been seen while
on dancing out days.
In most dances, the dancers carry long
sticks which are used in the 'choruses' to emphasise the rhythm
of the music by being clashed against one another or by hitting
the ground. They may also be carried high in the air at the
beginning or end of a dance as a salute to the audience. Bells
are worn on legs, arms and clothing to help define the rhythm
and pace of the proceedings, and they give off a cheery jingling
The side enjoys a mixture of regular events,
amongst those being a trip at dawn on May 1st to Brandon Hill
in Bristol to welcome in the summer.
The local village's May Day Fete is supported each year.
At the end of the year, some of the male members of the side
perform a Mummers' play being shown on Boxing Day to a large crowd in Winterbourn
Money collected from these events is donated to
local Charities, for the past few years to Paul's Place (
which helps to enhance the lives of physically disabled people.
Outings are shared with other local sides, visiting pubs and
sites in and around Bristol, and the side is often approached
to dance at schools, clubs and shopping centres.
|Putting together our 2020 timetable - we'll
update the website soon ....