Wath Morris are the world's finest exponents of the Bledington tradition and one of the best border morris teams in England.
Formed in 1973 from members of Wath Folk Club, the side initially performed a wide variety of traditional and self-penned morris dances, but in 1975 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 1976 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.
The team still have a yearly weekend instructional from Bert, who is now approaching 80 years old, and who has now relocated from his former home in Wimbledon to Barnsley. Bert is now the lead musician on the team's weekly dance-outs or Tuesday practices and the team are now held in high regard nationally for their dancing skills and their standards 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.
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. Additionally, the team host a monthly song and music session on the first Wednesday of every month at the Woodman Inn, Swinton.
Constitution of Wath-upon-Dearne Morris Men
Constitution of Wath Morris.doc
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