Colour and joy at Adderbury’s Day of Dance


Spirits were high despite a cold and damp day

Adderbury’s Day of Dance brought colour and joy to the village’s streets on Saturday, despite cold and damp conditions.    The village’s two men’s Morris sides and a ladies’ side performed dances at a number of locations around Adderbury, including those of historical significance.

It’s 49 years since the revival of morris dancing in Adderbury in 1975.

In the nineteenth century many villages in Oxfordshire had their own team of Morris men.    However the tradition died out in most places, in part due to the loss of those who knew the dances during World War 1.

In Adderbury at the start of the twentieth century local resident, Janet Blunt, together with folklorist Cecil Sharp, wrote down the dances and tunes after speaking to retired dancers.   A blue plaque commemorating Ms Blunt can be found outside Le Hall Place in Adderbury’s Manor Road.

A young solider in the first World War, Charlie Coleman, also passed on details of the tradition to a local man, Bryan Sheppard.   Using this information and Janet Blunt’s notes Mr Sheppard had the idea of reviving the tradition in 1975.

Fairport Convention fiddler Chris Leslie accompanies the Adderbury Morris Men.   He said: “It’s just a celebration of community really.   People come from all over the place to be here and it’s lovely to have it.

“I think it’s what everybody needs where they live – some sense of being, sense of belonging and sense of friendship.”

Alongside the dancing the village’s pubs welcomed both the dancers and visitors and village organisations set up stalls to raise funds.

Mr Leslie added: “The tradition brings community, friendship, happiness and joy from daily problems, joy from world problems.   It’s a moment to just celebrate being together.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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