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Ripley Morris take their place in history

Published on Sunday 3 October 2021

When former and founder member Syd Barber made a bequest to Ripley Morris in 2015, the side decided to embark on writing the history of Morris dancing in Ripley from the earliest existing records to the present day.  In August 2021 after five years of painstaking research and writing  ‘Ripley Morris, Derbyshire 1925 – 2021’ has been published.  


Councillor Roland Emmas Williams presents the Ripley Morris History to Ashley Copeland as Alex Bowness looks on.

The book details the establishment of Morris dancing in Ripley during the 1920s and gives an account of the first Ripley Morris side up to the mid 1960s.   Following this Ripley Morris Men were re-formed in 1981 and became Ripley Morris in 2018.  The book records how this incarnation of Ripley Morris has been at the forefront of developments and activities in the Morris world since the 1980s.  

On 23rd September Councilor Roland Emmas –Williams, Mayor of Ripley, presented a copy of the book to Ashley Copeland  of Ripley Library as an addition to the Local Studies section.   

Current Squire of the side Alex Bowness said he felt honoured to hand over the completed history to Councillor Emmas – Williams and he congratulated the sub- group coordinated by Graham Clarke which had overseen the development of the book.

In presenting the book to Ripley Library, Councillor Emmas - Williams  said that he was particularly aware of his close association with Ripley Morris, dating back to a trip to Chateau Renault in 1995 and including attendance at a number of Ripley Morris Ale Feasts over the intervening years.  He congratulated the side on the publication of their history and noted that Ripley Morris have always played a part in the Ripley community through dancing at local events and in their continuing support of The League of Friends of Ripley Hospital.  He hoped this relationship would endure for many years to come.


Members of Ripley Morris at the presentation ceremony.

You can see Ripley Morris performing at Cromford Apple Day by the Boat Inn on Saturday 16th October at 2.00pm and 3.00pm.

If you are interested in learning more about Morris Dancing or would like to have a go yourself the side has just started on a new practice season and meets weekly at Fritchley Church Hall from 8.00pm to 10.00pm on Thursday evenings.  No previous experience is necessary and you will receive expert tuition and support in a convivial setting.  If you join now you will be dancing out with Ripley Morris on their annual Boxing Day Tour on 26th December this year.

Check out future activities through the Ripley Morris Facebook page or their website at ripleymorris.org.uk

Contact Ripley Morris by email at ripleymorris@hotmail.com

Ripley Morris are proud to wear the Ripley Town Crest and are supported by Ripley Town Council.
 




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