The 164th Meeting of The Morris Ring

Held in Manchester on 22<-24 April 1977

(text taken from the 7th Ring Log Book, courtesy of The Morris Ring)

The 164th Meeting of the Morris Ring was held in Manchester from Friday the 22nd to Sunday the24th 0f April, 1977. The host club was the Manchester Morris Men; the men were housed at Salford University, Oaklands Road, Salford; all meals except the Saturday's lunches were provided at Salford. Reception on the Friday evening was from 6.30 pm.: from 7.30 there was an Ale, with a buffet supper. The evening had heavy showers of rain. In the main hall the assembling men found a bar that supplied Robinson's Beer; so much to the liking of the men that the Manchester men acting as bar staff were worried that the supply would end before the bar closing time at 11.30 p.m.; and the Squire of the Ring found it difficult to get the visitors away from the bar to do some dancing.

However, dancing did begin, and gathered pace as the evening advanced, and lasted far into the night. One team, that had come by train, had danced in the carriage! One man had hurt his ankle; a break was suspected; and at the Ale a doctor and an ambulance man looked at the ankle; and then declined to do more, giving as a reason that they were incapable of sound judgment due to a surfeit of Robinson's beer!

Saturday began with sunshine and a blue sky. Men ate well - cornflakes, bacon, eggs, marmalade and toast. There was a practice for the musicians; and by 9.30 most tours had departed, in coaches. Only tour one coach was a little late leaving the halls of residence. The Escafeld men could not be found; a search of the campus was instituted; in the end it was discovered that the side had been sitting at the back of the coach the whole time! At lunch time black clouds appeared; but although there was occasional showers, most teams gave the scheduled shows; and all gathered at Spinningfields, in Deansgate, by 4.30 p.m. Two shows had been planned, one at each end of the large site. The Squire of the Ring took charge of one show; and the Past Squire of the Ring Colin Fleming took charge of the other. Within a few minuets of the opening of the display heavy rain began. Colin Fleming took his show under a large archway connecting buildings; but the clubs with the Squire got wet. Finally, he asked the Leyland men if they wanted to go off; they did want, and danced off processionally. Just when it seemed that the rain would stop all further dancing, the sun appeared - credit for that being taken by the teams that had danced in the rain.

The shows were completed, and the men returned to Salford for tea and biscuits at 6 o'clock. The men sat down to the Feast about 7.30. Food and drink were served by the Manchester Morris Men, wearing their full north-west morris dress. The Squire of the Ring proposed the Toasts to the Queen and to the Immortal Memory of Cecil Sharp; and then called upon Julian Eyre to propose the healh of the Manchester Morris Men. He thanked the host club for organizing the meeting so thoroughly. Steve Mitchell, Squire of the Manchester M.M., replied. The Squire of the Ring then presented staff of association in the Ring to Green Oak Morris Men, and to the Carlton Morris Men. Several songs were sung; and then the tables were cleared for the dancing to begin. Room could hardly be found for all the sides that wanted to dance. During the evening the First Bagman Treasurer of the Ring, Barry Care, of the Moulton Morris Men, danced himself into office with the Headington Quarry Baccapipes Jig. Dancing, and entertainment from clubs and individuals, went on late into the night.

Sunday morning's bright sunshine dispelled the Robinson's hangovers evident in a few pale faces. The host club had provided details of church services, for all denominations, for men who wanted to attend a service. It had organized, also, dancing at hospitals and old people's homes, beginning at 10.a.m. The dancing was well received by patients, residents and staff of the places visited. At noon teams were sent to the Sun Inn, The Priory, and the Kersal Hotel, all at Salford, for an hour's dancing; and ate their lunches there.

Appendix 1. The Saturday's Massed Shows, as proposed and as far as known: -

1A/ Squire of the Ring's Show:
Hoghton, rapper:
Mersey, a Fieldtown dance:
Wath on Dearne, William and Nancy Bled:
Leyland, the Leyland dance;
Green Oak, a Kirtlington dance:
Chapel, Not for Joe (trad?);
Handsworth Traditional Longsword:
Chanctonbury Ring, Constant Billy, Ilm., or Room for the Cuckoo, Bucknell:
Clifton Grove, Shooting, Brackley:
Wilsthorpe, Slights Longsword:
Lincoln, Brighton Camp, Eynsham:
Benfieldside ?:
Manchester, Medlock:
1B/ Past Squire of the Ring, Colin Fleming Show:
Chester, Chester N.W.
Ebor, Blue Eyed Stranger, H. Quarry:
Bradford, rapper:
Glabe, Gallant Hussar, Bled:
Boars Head, Dearest Dicky or Banks of the Dee:
Hartley ?:
John o' Gaunt Lancaster N.W:
Gifford, Princess Royal, Adderbury:
Leeds ?: Carlton, Country Gardens, Fieldtown:
Taunton Dean ?:
Manchester, Medlock or Mossley:
Escafeld, Constant Bill, H. Quarry.

Appendix 2. Clubs and tour:

Benfieldside, 8 men, Tour 8:
Boars Head, 12, T.2:
Bradford Rapper, 6, T. 1:
Carlton, 10, T.8:
Chanctonbury Ring, 16, T.6:
Chapel, 10, T.4;
Chester, 18, T.2:
Clifton Grove, ?, T.6:
Ebor, 12, T.1;
Escafeld, 15, T.1:
Giffard, 13, T.5:
Glabe, 8, T.2:
Green Oak, 13, T.4:
John o' Gaunt, ?, T. 5:
Hartley, 19, T.8: ?, T.3:
Leeds, 9, T.5:
Lincoln, 13, T.7:
Manchester, 30, T. all:
Mersey, 13, T.3:
Taunton Dean, 16, T. 7:
Wath on Dearne, 8, T.3:
Wilsthorpe, 10, T.7:
Approx. number attending, 300 men.

Appendix 3. The Sunday's 10 a.m. dancing:

1/ Hope Hospital, Eccles: - Ebor, Giffard, Taunton Dean.
2/ Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury: - Green Oak, Carlton, Escafeld.
3/ Salford Royal Hospital: - Lincoln, Glebe, Bradford.
4/ Ecclesholme (Old People's Home) Eccles: - Chester, Wath on Dearne.
5/ Sahal Court (O.P.H.) Broughton: - Leeds, Chanctonbury Ring.
6/ Redcliff Court (O.P.H.) Sedgely Park: - Hartley, Benfieldside.


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