Morris men start their epic dance from Cromer to Norwich

Rutland Morris Men dance at Cromer's Red Lion before embarking on a dancing trip along the Bittern Line. Photo: STEVE DOWNES Rutland Morris Men dance at Cromer's Red Lion before embarking on a dancing trip along the Bittern Line. Photo: STEVE DOWNES

Saturday, September 14, 2013
9:47 AM

Morris men braved the blustery wind this morning as they danced by the sea to launch a toe-tapping journey from Cromer to Norwich.

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Rutland Morris Men held on tight to their handkerchiefs as they performed their first dance outside the Red Lion at Cromer - before boarding the Bittern Line for a meandering trip that will end at Norwich at teatime.

Rutland Morris will dance at platforms and pubs along the way, before meeting up at North Walsham with the Kemp’s Men’s from Norwich, who are travelling from Norwich.

The two sides will then join forces and dance their way from North Walsham, stopping along the way, before arriving in the city.

Cotswold Morris squire Jonathan Unna said: “It’s very good fun. This is England’s traditional ancient dance, and we love to perform it.

“It was a bit rough at Cromer, as the handkerchiefs blew sideways. But it should improve.”

The inspiration for the trip is Will Kemp, a colleague of William Shakespeare, who danced from Norwich to London in nine days.

Today’s fun event, nick-named the “six stations wonder”, is a nod to what was know as Will Kemp’s “nine daies wonder”.

After meeting at North Walsham and dancing there, the two teams with dance at Worstead, Hoveton and Wroxham and Salhouse before arriving at Norwich station at 4.44pm.

They will dance at the station and then continue to the Wig and Pen pub, St Martin-At-Palace Plain and the Coach and Horses on Thorpe Road before taking the 6.51pm Greater Anglia service back to Cromer.

This will be the Kemp’s Men’s last dance of the summer season, so visitors are encouraged to come and watch and support the dancers along their journey.

Peter Mayne, one of the Kemp’s Men and a director of Community Rail Norfolk, which promotes the Bittern and Wherry Lines railways in partnership with train operator Greater Anglia, said: “We are really looking forward to dancing from Cromer to Norwich with the help of the Bittern Line railway. I hope people will stop to see what we are doing and enjoy this fun aspect of our cultural heritage in a different setting.”

1 comment

  • I never forget a conversation I witnessed in a local pub. A regular, talking to the landlord, bemoaned the fact that he was getting nowhere in his amorous pursuit of an attractive barmaid. Without a hint of `side` or malice, the landlord observed "You`ve got no chance - you`re a Morris Dancer".

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, September 14, 2013

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