How the MM Kit has evolved

This web-page records the way MM dressed during the early years of the club, and how that kit evolved into what we wear today..

MM at Flowery Field, Hyde 1930
(photo : from The Reporter Pictorial Review for 1930)

1930 - the Manchester Men's Morris team

Before 1937, the team danced only Cotswold dances and the men wore kit that was similar to other EFDS teams of that era, as shown in the photo from 1930, dancing at Flowery Field, Hyde.

MM at Tideswell 1937
(photo : from The Morris Ring Photo Archive)

1937 - the first time a North-west dance is shown in public

In the spring of 1937, the notation for the Godley Hill danced was obtained from old Godley Hill MM dancers in the Hyde area. And three months later, a Manchester MM team, lead by Harper Crompton performed the dance at the Tideswell Ring Meeting.

In the photo, Harper Crompton (who was born in Hyde and was the prime collector of the dance) is dressed in kit similar to that of the Godley Hill MM.

And for comparison, a photo of the Godley Hill MM in their heyday is shown below.
The only noticable difference, is that the GHMM wore braces and ties.

Godley Hill MM in 1882
(photo ; Godley Hill MM in 1882 : from the MM Archives)

MM at Little Moreton Hall, 1954
(photo : MM Scrapbook)

1953/4 - the beginnings of the MM kit

The first recorded tour organised by the MM was in May 1953 when Manchester MM toured mid-Cheshire.

The 3 small photos from that 1953 tour are very blurred, but the following year's photo at Little Moreton Hall, shows the same kit, with flowered bowlers being worn for the cotswold dances.

The style of the MM kit is obviously based on that worn by Harper Crompton in 1937. With flowered bowlers worn for the cotswold dances too.

The report of the 1953 tour in the Manchester Guardian mentions that MM wore blue stockings, black breeches and white shirts. (Presumably based on Harper Crompton's research notes, dated March 1937 which state that the Godley Hill MM wore blue stockings.)

at the Royal Albert Hall, 1954
(photo : MM Scrapbook)

A possible anomaly - January 1954 ?

In January 1954 the MM danced at the Royal Albert Hall (RAH), and there are 3 photos from that event.
Sparsely flowered hats would indicate the photo was taken prior to 1955, but (as stated in the Bagman's report for 1955) clogs were not purchased until the summer of 1955, and double sashes only appeared in photos in 1957.

Having checked with the EFDSS, MM only appeared at the RAH in 1954 and subsequently in 1961. So this photo must be of the 1954 appearance. Perhaps, for this special show, the clogs were borrowed, cotswold bells were omitted and single sashes worn to more accurately reflect the North-west style of kit.

in Manchester, 1955
(photo : MM Scrapbook)

1955 - clogs are now worn for the North-west dances

In 1955, clogs were obtained and first worn on 3 September when MM danced the recently revived Mossley dance at Mossley. The photo shows us two weeks later, in the centre of the city, at the Manchester Ring Meeting.  The photo also shows that the hats now have many more flowers.

As can be seen, cotswold bells were still worn for the North-west dances.

in Stalybridge, Feb 1957
(photo : MM Scrapbook)

1957 - Sashes replace baldricks

All the photos from 1956 show baldricks being worn, for both cotswold and North-west. But by 1957, broad North-west style sashes have replaced baldricks, as shown in this photo from February 1957 at Stalybridge.

in Manchester, 1961
(photo : MM Scrapbook)

1961 - Gold braid on breeches, and the introduction of Lancashire Bell Pads

By the 1961 Manchester Ring Meeting, gold braid has been added to the sides of breeches, and a few men now wore the smaller, Lancashire Bell Pads for the North-west dances.  A photo of a North-west set in the city centre shows one man with LBPs and 8 with cotswold bells.

The following year, the wearing of cotswold bells for the North-west dances had ceased.

....... and apart from the short time that 'plain' red bowler hats were worn for the cotswold dances (first worn at the 1971 Manchester Ring Meeting), our kit has stayed the same since.


Notable Dates

  Early Years
EFDS Minutes

  The 1950s
Annual Reports
Kit changes

  Ring Meetings

  Club Officers