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  • rjnelson03

Gorse Hill Morris Dancers - new information

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Since sending 'Carnivals, Contests and Coronations' to press, further information has come to light on Gorse Hill Morris from the report of Stretford Pageant in the Stretford and Urmston Journal, of 28 June, 1961, p.4.


'Two new additions to the festivities were the morris dancing contingents from Gorse Hill and Stretford Children's Theatre. These groups have only recently been formed. The Gorse Hill morris dancers appeared in their striking new outfits of black velvet, white and bright orange. The Stretford Children's Theatre Junior Morris Dancers were equally gaily dressed.'


The contents of this article are rather troublesome. Does it imply that Gorse Hill Morris Dancers had recently reformed after a period of inactivity? Or was it that the majority of members of the troupe, all female at this stage, had reached the age when they wished to retire from dancing?


Their 'striking new outfits' sound remarkably like those worn when the troupe had reappeared at Stretford Pageant after the cessation of hostilities in 1946, wearing costumes that match those described above, 'Making a brilliant patch of colour with white blouses, orange skirts and sashes and black waistcoats, the Gorse Hill Morris dancers gave an energetic display.' (Sale and Stretford Guardian, 12 July 1946, p.3). The Morris dancing competition was reinstated at Stretford Pageant in 1946 (Stretford Pageant Programme 1946, Trafford Local Studies, LHC 438), though the Gorse Hill troupe may not have competed at their own carnival as they were heavily occupied with ceremonial duties.


It appears from press reports of the Stretford Pageant that in the immediate post war period appearances by Gorse Hill Morris Dancers were, as might be expected, rather sporadic. Stretford Pageant programme for 1950 records 'A welcome revival of a pre-war attraction [Morris Dancing] which always gave great pleasure.' (Stretford Pageant Programme 1950, Trafford Local Studies, LHC 438).


Further research is needed to see exactly what was going on in the 1950s.

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