Newark 2019

Celebrating our 3rd festival year on the banks of the River Trent

19th to 21st July 2019


Dance Teams 2018 - some of the teams that supported the festival in 2018

Jean Smith and

Ian Craigs

… started their clog dancing in the North East of England with the Newcastle Cloggies. They later became involved in the collection of dance steps with the Instep Research Team and also performed as members of the dance group Instep. Along with their regular musician, Heather Hazell, they have taught individually and jointly at events such as Whitby and Sidmouth Folk Festivals and the Lancashire Wallopers Weekend of dance. The black and white costume features the traditional Northumbrian tartan or shepherds plaid.

The Minster Strays

… were formed in 2003 as a mixed side, based amidst the Howardian hills between York and Pickering. Wearing green, burgundy and gold waistcoats, and colourful tatters, we perform the dances of Old England as well as our own unique creations in traditional style.  Our repertoire includes elegant dances from the Cotswolds with complex sequences of galleys and capers, together with wild, raucous frolics from the Welsh borders

Mortimer's Morris

… is a lively women's side based in Nottingham. They perform dances from the North West tradition with enthusiasm and style. Their kit often receives as much limelight as the dancing - black skirts with colourful inserts and ribbon appliqué waistcoats give a striking appearance. Mortimer's band contributes a unique sound with hurdy-gurdy, accordion, melodeon, concertina, fiddle, whistles, pipes and bouzouki. Many of the tunes have a distinctive French flavour, adding to the Mortimer's experience.

Lady Bay Revellers

… are a mixed Cotswold side formed in 1992 and based in West Bridgford Nottingham.  We try and dance far too many traditions including Fieldtown, Bledington, Ilmington, Kirtlington, Oddington, Bampton and Lichfield.  We used to dabble in Border and Molly until we saw the error of our ways. We are really looking forward to Newark Traditions Festival.

Kesteven Morris

… was founded in 1976 by Trevor Mayfield and Ray Worman, (ex. Albion Morris and the fool that danced the Bacca Pipe Jig on Morris On).  

Based in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, Kesteven Morris are two teams in one -  a Men's team, dancing mainly Cotswold Morris and Rapper Sword and a Women's team dancing Cotswold Morris, North West Processional and East Anglian Molly Dances.

Jerusalem Jammers

Described recently as 'Bunting with legs'… the Jerusalem Jammers have danced in the Midlands for 36 years. Formed as a side by the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of Women's Institutes,  their repertoire comprises North-West, Garland and original dances created for the group. Rumoured to have won 'Best of Breed' in the Peterborough Show 1987, the Jammers are a colourful side with a great sense of humour

Bishops Morris

… is a mixed, community side of all ages. They dance predominantly Longsword and Cotswold morris dances, some traditional and some which they have developed recently. They practise in Lincoln on Tuesday evenings.

Maltby Sword Dancers

… are based in South Yorkshire and specialize in the sword dances of North-Eastern England. We are a mixed team (both gender and age) and meet every Monday evening at the Maltby Progressive Club. We currently have four dances in the Yorkshire style and two North-Eastern style dances, plus a hybrid dance for four dancers in our repertoire. We can be recognized by our stripy socks, our ragged jackets, shiny white shirts and great dancing skill!

Poacher Morris

… are Lincoln's finest and original mixed Border Morris side, formed in 1995, and a successful and growing team renowned for our lively dances in the Welsh Border Morris style. As a Border Morris side, we carry on the tradition of disguise with distinctive black and yellow face paint; black to continue the Border tradition, and yellow for the Lincolnshire “Yellowbelly” (the name for a person born and bred within the county).

We maintain that dancing whilst waving big sticks around and yelling “Aaargh!” is a vital cultural activity...

Three Spires Morris

"Three Spires Morris is a women's North-West Morris side from Lichfield in Staffordshire.  The side was formed just over 35 years ago and takes its name from Lichfield’s three-spired Cathedral.  We dance with sticks, garlands, bobbins, slings and a smile.  Our repertoire includes both traditional dances and those we have written ourselves, and we are known for our high ranting steps, our noisy clogs and great band."

Tatterfoals                                                                                      …are a mixed North West Team in costumes of green, white and black who also perform ladies Garland dances and 'hankie dances' and we are based in Scunthorpe.Tatterfoals are named for a 'mythical ghost like horse' said to roam the lanes of Lincolnshire.We don't so much as 'roam the lanes' but we do like to get about local villages and towns and appear at fetes and dance with other local teams.

Newark Scottish Country Dance Society, founded over 40 years ago, runs weekly classes and welcomes beginners in September each year. Scottish Country Dancing is a wonderful pastime and is great exercise for mind and body.  It is very much a social activity and, unlike many other types of dancing, dancers are encouraged to dance with different people, so it is not necessary to come to a class with a partner.  New dancers will learn the various different dance formations needed to dance Reels, Jigs and Strathspeys

Black Annis

was formed some time around 1982 (if we had known how long we would be around, we might have been more careful to note the date!) We are an all-women team or “side”, named after Leicester's famous witch who used to live in a cave in the Dane Hills area.  You may be lucky enough to catch sight of her in one of the dances at the festival as it is rumoured she will be coming. We wear the purple, green and white of the Suffragette movement  - we are proudly feminist  and dance Cotswold Morris, putting our own indomitable style into traditional dances as well as dancing our own Humberstone Gate Tradition. ( After that well known (very North) Cotswold Leicester City Street!)

Old School Rapper

will be touring the pubs of the town on Friday night in the company of Maltby Sword.

Restless Soles

are a mixed Appalachian Dance Group who dance to Old Time American music. We practice on a Monday night Little Eaton village hall and perform at various events, including folk and morris events, throughout the year. We welcome new dancers and musicians to join us.

Rattlejag Morris

is a mixed dance side formed in January 2002 with the aim of reviving and developing a dance tradition based in our own local area. Using material collected by Paul Davenport from South Yorkshire as a starting point and also our own material from local research into dancing in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire we have set out to revive and then develop our own locally based dance tradition.

Our local research shows that Morris dancing survived in parts of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire till late in the C19th, lasting longest in association with the winter Plough Monday celebrations.

The dancing we do is very different from that usually associated with most 'morris dancing'. One feature is that we use a variety of rattles and shakers to give each dance its own distinctive sound. Other dances feature bellsticks to which long ribbons are attached. Our repertoire also now includes broom dances based on material from Lincolnshire and three dances developed by Retford's Broadstone Morris.

Anstey Morrismen

are a men's cotswold morris side, which means we perform traditional English morris dances in the style that mostly came originally from the 'cotswold' region of the South Midlands. We perform a number of dances from several traditions: Adderbury, Bidford-upon-Avon, Fieldtown, Bledington, Bucknell, Bampton, Ilmington and Lichfield. Anstey Morrismen are members of The Morris Ring.