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PHOTO GALLERY: Morris men uphold festive tradition in Banningham

16:16 26 December 2012

Kemp

Kemp's Morris Men of Norwich entertain the Boxing Day crowds at The Banningham Crown pub. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2012

There was much music and merry-making in Banningham as the Kemp’s Men morris dancers descended on the village pub to uphold a Norfolk Boxing Day tradition.

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Around 20 dancers performed classic dances and their own version of a traditional English Mummers Play at The Crown. They were accompanied by musicians playing a squeeze box, violins and a cornet.

The all-male side has been performing on Boxing Day in Norfolk for 50 years - 25 of them at The Crown.

Tim Huggins, of Kemp’s Men, said: “It used to be May Day that was the main day for morris dancing but there are also quite a lot of traditional winter festivals as well. It is argued that Christmas is a winter festival of the Romans and it goes back even further than that. Morris dancing is as much a part of Christmas as a tree and Bible stories.”

Mummers Plays are seasonal folk plays performed by troupes of actors known as mummers or guisers. The Kemp’s Men performed a tale about St George and a Turkish night with a welsh nurse and smattering of bawdy humour thrown in.

Landlady of The Crown Jeanette Feneron said: “It has been the busiest year yet. We have been lucky with the weather and the morris men always create such a fantastic atmosphere. Everyone has had a wonderful time.”

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