Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Morris dancers fill town centre square

DOZENS of Morris dancers performed in Henley town centre.

The men and women danced in Falaise Square accompanied by musicians playing accordions, tin whistles, banjos, drums and fiddles.

A crowd gathered to watch the two-hour show and were invited to join in the final dance.

Participants came from five different teams including OBJ Morris, of Bracknell, which has organised the event for the past 16 years.

They wore black face paint, which dancers did centuries ago to hide their identities as it was illegal to raise money by dancing in public.

Between routines the dancers collected money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Afterwards, they spent an hour in the Victoria pub in Market Place and played traditional dancing tunes for customers.

Christine Charman, of OBJ, who organised the night with her husband Colin, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We had a nice big crowd and everyone was so welcoming.

“Lots of people were coming up afterwards and thanking us for a lovely evening. They were very generous as well as we managed to fill our collection tin all the way to the top.”

She added: “As long as the weather is nice, Henley is the perfect location for us. The market place a nice big area, there’s no traffic and the people are wonderful.”

Phoenix Morris, from Rickmansworth, the Taeppa’s Tump ladies’ team, from Maidenhead, and Aldbrickham Morris, of Reading, also took part.

Borderline Morris, from Arborfield, took part wearing modern neon-coloured clothes, instruments and facepaint. They also performed in Henley during the royal regatta last month.

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