Morris dancers issue appeal for new blood

Rutland Morris members perform one of their traditional dances
Rutland Morris members perform one of their traditional dances
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A morris dancing group is looking for new members to help keep a decades-old tradition alive in the 

Rutland Morris was formed by a group of Uppingham folk dancers in 1974.

Since then the group has entertained thousands of people at events both in Rutland and further afield.

The dancers still get plenty of support from audiences wherever they go. But the group is desperate to recruit new members to keep the tradition going in the future.

Rutland Morris member and mayor of Uppingham, Dave Casewell, said: “Without new blood we will slowly dwindle away, and Rutland will not have a morris side.

“Rutland is the only ‘one club one county’ side left in the country, and have a national reputation for our quirkiness and welcoming atmosphere. It would be a disaster if this was to disappear.”

The group practises every Monday from 8.30pm at Preston Village Hall. Members take part in dances on average two or three times a month and there are regular social gatherings, often with other clubs.

Phil Hield has been a member of Rutland Morris for about 10 years.

He said: “Learning to morris dance was a challenge. There are so many different dances to learn. But it is great fun and it’s good to keep these traditional dances going.

“People are always very pleased to see us. You meet all sorts of people all over the country and we invite groups from all over to join us.

“Everyone can give it a go. You don’t need any specific background, you just need to be reasonably fit.”

The group also raises money for charity, supporting a different cause each year.For more information about the group call Phil on 01572 757089.