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Downton Abbey morris men!

GUEST,George Frampton 28 Dec 12 - 05:08 AM
Paul Davenport 28 Dec 12 - 05:57 AM
ChrisJBrady 28 Dec 12 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 28 Dec 12 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 28 Dec 12 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Dec 12 - 10:50 AM
Steve Gardham 28 Dec 12 - 05:33 PM
Continuity Jones 28 Dec 12 - 05:39 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Dec 12 - 11:15 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Dec 12 - 12:22 AM
Continuity Jones 29 Dec 12 - 02:47 AM
Murpholly 29 Dec 12 - 06:29 AM
Ron Davies 29 Dec 12 - 07:30 AM
Ron Davies 29 Dec 12 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Dec 12 - 01:20 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Dec 12 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: GUEST,George Frampton
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 05:08 AM

I have admired most of the research going into the creation of the Channel 4 costumed drama 'Downton Abbey'.
In its Christmas Special, there was some kind of village fete with a morris dance team - all men of course! Apart from the obvious questions: Who were they? or, Who were they meant to be? could somebody better placed than me vouch for the likelihood of a Cotswold-influenced morris team performing in North Yorkshire in the early 1920s?
One assumes this was not a by-product of the Esperance Working Girls' Guild. Apart from then, I had thought that a mix of the English Folk Dance Society and Cambridge students as 'The Travelling Morrice' was responsible for building up a caucus of interest nationally in the days before the Morris Ring was formed in the 1930s.
Is this a case of shurely shome mishtake, or me know too much?


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 05:57 AM

There was an Esperance inspired team in Leeds in the very early years of 20th century. They performed at a gala event at Temple Newsam Hall. wore top hats and dark trousers with rosettes on shirts. Since, at the date of the episode, Sharp had only recently published Sword Dances of Northern England, it is likely that (if this were real life) the only sword team available might have been Kirkby Malzeard but…the fair takes place in the summer! Perhaps the Kirky dancers felt that it was an inappropriate season?


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 06:18 AM

Much of Downton Abbey was actually filmed in Bampton in the Cotswolds. I guess the producers assumed that morris dancing would have been a natural activity for a fete in Yorkshire. But then the social dancing aka ball in the latest programme was not very well choreographed at all. In comparison the dancing at balls in the Irish RM series was very good indeed. The band seemed genuine enough although I question the use of a modern accordion in the band!!

However Downton Abbey is having an adverse affect in the Cotswolds by raising property prices well above what the locals can afford. Apparently 'Downton-Abbey-lovestruck' folks mainy from the States are flocking to purchase properties in Bampton and the surrounding area in the (mistaken) belief that they will be able to mix and minge socially with Downton Abbey actors. The mind boggles.

Could Downton Abbey be the end of Bampton as a Morris Village?
Tuesday, 25 December, 2012 14:19

Tiny Oxfordshire village of Bampton awaits property boom as Downton Abbey brings it to the world's attention

* Cottages can still be bought for £300,000 although prices expected to rise

* Prospective homeowners tempted by possibility of mingling with cast

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2252885/Tiny-Oxfordshire-village-Bampton-awaits-property-boom-Downton-Abbey-brings-attention-global-market.html


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 06:51 AM

If I remember correctly (it was Christmas Day evening so it was a bit of a haze!), the fair depicted in Downton Abbey was in Thirsk. I am not sure what year the drama is now up to ... perhaps mid 1920s. Therefore, any Esperance-influenced team would no longer be functioning, and it would be too early for a separate revival morris side to be performing. Though it could have been an EFDS class performance. But the costume didn't look right for the time! Sword dancers would have been more "authentic" even out of season! But hey, this is fiction!

I am not sure that "much of Downton" is filmed in Bampton. The view of Mrs Crawley's house is familiar as the house next to the church, and the view up the road from there - seen on occasions - seems to suggest that there is a pub where the Eagle once stood (well, the building still still stands but it's a private house now) and Matthew and Mary's wedding was at Bampton church. Besides that, most of the filming seems to be indors - upstairs and downstairs!!

Derek


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 06:52 AM

Anyway, which current revival side got the Downton gig?
Derek


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 10:50 AM

It seems to have been Berkshire Bedlam.

http://www.berkshirebedlam.org/

Scroll down to article.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 05:33 PM

Yes,
I spotted the anomally as well, but as somebody said, it is fiction.
However it does seem to strive to be historically accurate in other areas so is it just another case of, it's only a folk tradition so nobody will be that bothered?


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 05:39 PM

I suspect it's more a case of being historically inaccurate throughout, but one only picks up on the inaccuracies in the areas in which one has knowledge. For example, I doubt very much they would have been discussing pre-eclampsia at an Edwardian dining table.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Dec 12 - 11:15 PM

ContinuityJ ~~ Talking of 'accuracy: the 1920s were scarcely 'Edwardian" [Edward VII 1901-1910]!

The Morris has just become a useful tv/film symbol to signify that the characters are at a cross-classes rural social occasion ~~ I counted 3 examples over Xmas on tv: this one, the film of The 39 Steps, and I forget what the other was. A bit like saloon swing doors in a Western ~ just intended to give a sense of location: vain to seek accuracy, I fear; but all employment for the Morris side.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 12:22 AM

... or sort of like the Eiffel Tower to show we are in Paris now, or train wheels to show someone's going somewhere -- you know what I mean...


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 02:47 AM

Ha! Caught red tongued, or typed. I blame the Christmas whisky...


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Murpholly
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 06:29 AM

Not quite far enough north but my mother learnt Morris at school in the twenties - women danced a great deal in Buxton area especially at such events as Wells Dressing etc. ? to keep it alive whilst men were away at war or had they always danced it. Never got an answer to that.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 07:30 AM

"mix and mingle socially...".    It ain't necessarily so.    Maybe they just want a bucolic--and peaceful--refuge from the gun-crazed US---and they love the accent.    I certainly share the hope the area will not be loved to death.

But not even the rich may be quite as naive as pictured by the poster.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Ron Davies
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 07:33 AM

Of course they may not in fact find the 1920's UK there.    So there is a chance there might possibly be some disappointment--of a different kind than portrayed by the poster.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 01:20 PM

"However Downton Abbey is having an adverse affect in the Cotswolds by raising property prices well above what the locals can afford. Apparently 'Downton-Abbey-lovestruck' folks mainy from the States are flocking to purchase properties in Bampton and the surrounding area in the (mistaken) belief that they will be able to mix and minge socially with Downton Abbey actors. The mind boggles."
==========


My, but that sounds like something from a tabloid. No sources, no statistics, carefully snide without being actionable.

I don't believe it myself. Most of my friends are cultivated Americans, and we don't even watch television, much less try to relive it.

And I hsve been reading for years that well-heeled outsiders have been buying up village properties to the point where villagers can no longer afford to live in them. Americans have little to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Downton Abbey morris men!
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Dec 12 - 01:31 PM

And while you were puzzling about the Morris, I was trying to identify the Scottish ceilidh band members - and some of the dances and their tunes: Hamilton House and Dashing White Sergeant were in there.


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