Wath Morris are the world's finest exponents of the Bledington tradition and one of the best Border Morris sides in England.
Formed in 1972 from members of Wath Folk Club, the side made their first public appearance in May 1973. The side initially performed a wide variety of traditional and self-penned dances, but in 1977 the team applied for membership of the Morris Ring, the national umbrella organisation for Morris dance, and were told that to be eligible for membership they would have to improve their standards. In early 1978 the team held an instructional weekend taught by Bert Cleaver, one of the country's foremost Morris dance teachers and musicians and through focusing on a single tradition, Bledington (a small Gloucestershire village where morris had traditionally been danced), they started to improve their personal skills, team cohesion and standards of performance.
After retiring from his teaching post in London, Bert relocated to Barnsley and became both mentor and lead musician to the team. Under his tutelage the team achieved high regard nationally for their dancing skills and standard of performance.
Some years ago, the team decided to add a winter dance tradition to their repertoire (Bledington being a summer tradition), and now dance "Border Morris" through the winter months.
The team have always performed mummers plays, though now restricting performance to the Christmas season, and have, over the years, performed many traditional plays collected from South Yorkshire. In recent years, Longsword dances have also been added to the repertoire.
With their roots in folk music it is no surprise that the team still sing and play folk music and most dance-outs culminate in a song and dance session in the pub after the dancing finishes.
Constitution of Wath-upon-Dearne Morris Men
Constitution of Wath Morris.doc
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