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Softly, softly debut for Saddleworth Women's Morris and Clog side

The newly-created Saddleworth Women’s Morris and Clog side are to make a their debut appearance on Saturday, April 27.

But their much-vaulted arrival will be quieter than the familiar clog-and-bells accompaniment of their male counterparts. 

Because they will be wearing traditional lace-up shoes at the memorial in Uppermill park and Saddleworth Museum car park (meeting at 12.30pm to dance at 1.30pm in the park itself). 

And  the audience will have their first  opportunity to view their new proud, distinctive  costumes at the event.

The group was formed in January and has already swelled to 25 members who practice every week at Denshaw Village Hall.

Eddie Worrall, a member of Saddleworth Morris Men for 24 years, has helped to get the group off the ground with Lucy Marstin, the side’s squire and forewoman, mastering new dances from scratch for their first appearance.

Speaking after a sides inaugural  meeting, he said: “We are now officially 'Saddleworth Women's Morris & Clog' and are going full steam ahead for our first public performances.

“We've been very fortunate to pick up loads of dance kit, sticks, bells from a side in Kent that sadly folded back in 2019, 'Kettle Bridge Clog'.

 “They still had all their gear in store, hoping another side could make use of it one day. After I put an appeal out to the  Morris world, they responded and have very generously donated it all to our new side. They've wished us well and hope it helps us get started.”

He added:” Lucy and I have been really bowled over by the response we have had locally and now have more than 25 members on our books.

“This season we’ll be dancing in normal lace up shoes which is quite traditional and we will be having clog step dancing as well. Clogs are very bespoke and have to be made by specialists but by next year we hope to have the side set up with clogs.

“We have got several dances planned beginning in May and locally in summer but  we are very  proud to be invited  to dance at theSaddleworth Morris  Men Rush Cart festival  50th anniversary celebration later this year . The men’s side have been really supportive and there is great enthusiasm from everyone for our new side.”

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