The King’s Morris of King’s Lynn dance in May Day

The King's Morris Dance up the Dawn on May 1st at Knights Hill roundabout in South Wootton - Andy Hu

The King's Morris Dance up the Dawn on May 1st at Knights Hill roundabout in South Wootton - Andy Hull blows his horn as the sun rises, with Ian Stinton holding the garland. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Shoppers stopped in their tracks this lunchtime to watch members of the King's Morris parading though the centre of town carrying the traditional May garland.

After a series of dances at the Saturday Market Place in King's Lynn, the members walked down to the sound of bells jingling whilst they blew deeply into their cow horns.

They showed no sign of fatigue after getting up early to dance the dawn up for May day which took place at 5am this morning on the Knight's Hill roundabout.

Member Winston Williams, who has been a morris dancer for 15 years said: 'I have been up since 4.20 this morning so that left plenty of time to have a little relax before it. It's great, I really enjoyed it.'

The centuries-old tradition was revived by the morris dancers in 1983. May 1 was once known as Garland Day in Lynn, while pauper children would make floral garlands and carry them around the town.


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The garlands consist of two hoops of flowers, with a doll set in the middle, all mounted on a pole.

The dancers donned their iconic uniform of a white shirt and trousers, slate-blue top hats and yellow and blue ribbons to represent King's Lynn town colours.

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Bagman David Jackson who organises the event said: 'It is great fun and the sense of pride continues with the King's Lynn tradition that was revived in 1983.'

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