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Mass Morris London 02.11.03

29 Sep 03 - 02:42 AM (#1026153)
Subject: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Abuwood

Did anyone else hear of this event? There are 30 invited sides, 10 from each organisation but the word is that any side can go, in kit and dance anywhere in London. It will be great to fill the capital with bells. Foxs are planning a trip; is any one else planning to go? (Local sides do you want to share our coach £10 a head?)

29 Sep 03 - 08:07 AM (#1026235)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: manitas_at_work

Surely any local sides can walk or catch a bus there?

29 Sep 03 - 06:28 PM (#1026389)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I'd check what is meant by "anywhere in London" if I were you. With two police authorities and multiple boroughs thats a lot of separate permissions that have to be granted.

29 Sep 03 - 07:02 PM (#1026417)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Liz the Squeak

And a lot of beer to be swilled.....


29 Sep 03 - 07:35 PM (#1026451)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Nemesis

Just sent this link to the Morris Federation .. hopefully someone there can shed some light?

30 Sep 03 - 02:56 AM (#1026555)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Abuwood

Thank you Manitas, my English is poor - Local Worcestershire sides...
Nemesis our information came from MF - Is your squire not telling you something?

30 Sep 03 - 03:30 AM (#1026565)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: ET

Nearly on this subject Teesa Jowells has been spouting on in the new statement about new labour cannot take trust for granted and has to earn it - just like her department did on the musicians petition against the licensing act 2003.

New statesman is - need name and address to print.   Tessa also said "just saying sorry and doing nothing will not do"    She could issue a ministerial order to change the definition of music to exclude acoustic music. Would take about 1 minute and a month to lay it before parliament, thus demonstrating that she trusts musicians and we might trust her.

30 Sep 03 - 04:10 AM (#1026578)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: vectis

Is this the proposed massed morris dance to say "thank you" to the government for exempting morris from the need to have an entertainment licence?
What the Lawmakers need is more protest not thanks.

Spontanaity is proscribed

Don't thank them work WITH the rest of us to get acoustic music and song exempted too.

Whatever you do don't sing........
This is the end of tradition as we know it

30 Sep 03 - 05:27 AM (#1026620)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: alanww

I agree with Vectis!
Whatever we do, we must not thank this Government for putting us through all this hassle. All other countries of the world would want to encourage and cherish their folk traditions but not this Government! It was a big fight to get morris dancing exempted but nothing has been done to likewise exempt traditional (usually acoustic) music and song or folk plays for that matter!
Use the day to protest against those NON-exemptions!
"My uncle Billy had a ten-foot ...!"

30 Sep 03 - 12:54 PM (#1026700)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Abuwood

Worry not Mary & Alan Thanking the Government is certainly not our intention. If a countryside march can demonstrate to the government the interest in their minority sport surely a Mass Morris can do the same? I certainly plan to squeeze the melodeon everywhere (I won't say 'play' as you know me) and sing wherever I get the chance. I am fast learning a brill anti PEL song by JulieB specially for the occasion.

30 Sep 03 - 12:59 PM (#1026704)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Richard Bridge

I am trying to collect anti PEL songs for a possible PELP (Geddit) with original creators or their designees and some folk grandees.

Plans very tentative but please send me details.

30 Sep 03 - 01:30 PM (#1026735)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Noreen

Julie B's PEL Song (and links to others, Richard).

Julie sang this in the barn at the Whittlebury Song and Ale this last weekend, and it went down very well.

30 Sep 03 - 05:43 PM (#1026780)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: vectis

Keith Ruke of Pig's Ear has written and recorded one called
"We will sing"
I have words and recording with which to join protest.

01 Oct 03 - 02:11 AM (#1026970)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Manitas_at_home

I haven't got a copy of the circular sent by the morris organisations but I think it's now being positioned as more of a thank you to Lord Redesdale who got the exemption and to publicise the need for more work on the Act. NOT a thank you to the Government.

01 Oct 03 - 04:33 AM (#1027010)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: alanww

Manitas: Maybe it is intended as a thank you to Lord Redesdale but its a fine distinction between thanking him and the Government and the media could easily perceive it as a thank you to the Government. It smacks a bit of "I'm all right, Jack!" to me.

As a morris dancer, musician, singer and mummer I am three quarters UNhappy. So I think it should be demonstrating about the fact that music and singing and mumming are NOT exempted!

"Dancing and singing, bellringing ...!"

01 Oct 03 - 08:14 AM (#1027121)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: manitas_at_work

I'm sure a good case can be made for mumming to be covered by the exemption as a similar activity.

Here is the text of the recent letter sent by John Bacon:

Many thanks for the interest that you have shown with regard to the proposed day of dance in Trafalgar Square on 2 November 2003. We were inundated with requests to participate and in order to show the many facets of Morris dancing we had to be selective. As you are aware this day will be shared by all three Morris organisations and this has made the task even more difficult.

However I am pleased to say that your team is one of those, but before confirming you intention to attend, and making arrangements to travel, here are some of the details.

Trafalgar Square
1 - The three Morris organisations have booked the Square from 11.00 to 16.00hrs and officially there will be enough space for up to 5 dancing sites.
2 - On the basis that each dance site has three teams performing at any one time for one hour, the dance time will be approximately 20mins per team. How this is managed will depend on the teams at each site. (turn and turn about, or 20 mins straight off - it is up to you)
3 - During the day there will be 60 potential dancing slots divided between all three organisations on the assumption that there will be a break of about one hour during the middle of the day for massed dancing for those who wish. Based on our membership numbers, the Morris Federation has between 25 and 30 slots of 20 minutes each.
4 - The crunch is that each team may only get the opportunity to dance for 20 mins only in the Square. Limiting the teams from each organisation could improve the potential dance time but we have decided that we should go for as many teams as we can to get a good balance.
5 - So teams coming from a distance may decide that dancing in the Square once for 20 mins may not be worth it unless they can arrange other venues themselves in the vicinity.

We have also requested permission to dance on Parliament Green (near the Commons) - about 15 mins walk from the Square but this is not yet confirmed. But if it is it will give us greater flexibility to dance.

Apart from the Square, there are ample opportunities to busk around Trafalgar Square, in Green Park, St James Park, areas of the Mall etc etc - provided we you do not interfere with professional buskers. If you confirm that you are going to attend for your one/two scheduled timed spots in the Square, or Parliament Green (if we have permission), then you also have the opportunity to busk at other venues in your own time or to just support the other teams performing.

The day will not only show our support for the exemption that we have received under the new Licensing Act but also it will be a showcase of Morris, showing the public, traditional dances of this country.

A schedule of what time, and where to dance at the official spots will be forwarded within the next couple of weeks.

For your information the teams that this message has gone are as follows;
Knots of May
Knockhundred Shuttle and Clog
Wild Hunt
Jack Straws
Off Spring Morris
Fleur de Lys
Seven Champs
East Saxon Sword
Iron Men and Seven Gilders
New Esperance
Berkshire Bedlam
Elephant up the pole.
Rampant Rooster

Please can you confirm that you will be able to attend.


John Bacon - President

01 Oct 03 - 10:43 AM (#1027247)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: GUEST,JohnB

Sorry we will not be able to attend, we will not be in England until May next year have a great day anyhow. Please sort the rest of the singing problems with the PEL out as well, we are not getting any younger so it's difficult to dance all day. Besides that I tend to spill more when dancing and drinking than when singing and drinking.
JohnB (Orange Peel Morris, Ontario, Canada)

02 Oct 03 - 06:07 AM (#1027827)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Nemesis

I had this from JOhn Bacon as well which might answer some of the queries above.


The proposed Day of Dance in Trafalgar Square on 2nd November to "celebrate" the exemption in the Licensing Act 2003 given to Morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature, has raised some comments.

The Morris Federation Committee believes that some celebration is justified given that a large effort by the Morris Organisations has been rewarded by the exemption given in the Act. We are pleased to have won an exemption, but do still have serious concerns about the possible effect of the Act in other areas of Folk Activity. If we are provided with hard evidence of adverse effects, we can make use of them.

The alternative would have been a huge restriction of the opportunities for us to perform. It is a considerable achievement, given the inflexibility of the Government on folk activities. The process of dealing with the Government also allowed us to raise the profile of Morris with the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). Indeed, it seems that the profile of Morris and much Folk activity was previously close to zero.

It is an opportunity for us to practise our rights under the new law, to showcase good Morris to the public, to thank Lord Redesdale for his great efforts in defending us and to alert the media to our success and the nature of the Act.

It is a continuing cause of concern to many in the Folk world that the Act will prevent much other traditional activity, such as community singing in pubs and music sessions. It is not in the interest of our traditional culture for such activities to be prevented, but it is not in the constitution of the Morris Federation to support activities apart from Morris (which is interpreted pretty liberally).

The Morris Federation did however provide much support both to the Musicians Union and EFDSS. At present, we do not know what effect the Act will actually have on other Folk activities, although the speculation is generally negative.

It is reasonable to act as a conduit for facts about any negative effects of the Act on Folk activity, both music and song and to pass such facts on to those who have a mandate to campaign against other aspects of the Act.

It is important to ensure that information is factual (e.g. the Rose and Crown in Tonsilton stopped allowing music sessions because the cost of obtaining the entertainment part of a licence cost too much for number of events) and not just words along the lines of "our local stopped us having sessions".

Any case needs to have hard information as the basis for any argument. The DCMS has maintained that it wishes to support our traditional culture, so if there is hard evidence to show that the Act is having a negative effect, it should be brought to the attentions of the DCMS.

The Morris Federation Committee

02 Oct 03 - 09:40 AM (#1027927)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Noreen

What about the musicians playing for the dancers? The dancers are exempt ok, but where's the dividing line between playing for dancing (which I presume is allowed) and other playing??

02 Oct 03 - 09:45 AM (#1027931)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Roger the Skiffler

I picture Government Spokesperson afterwards, holding head in hands, weeping, and doing poor Charles laughton as Quasimodo impression "The Bells, the Bells" (or alternatively Henry Irving from the play of the same name!).


03 Nov 03 - 04:47 AM (#1046617)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: The Shambles

Not a very good day for it - weatherwise. Did anyone attend?

03 Nov 03 - 06:55 AM (#1046674)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Liz the Squeak

Manitas was there, he seemed to have had a good time.

I had a fantastic time, the only morris team I saw all day, was made of Lego.


03 Nov 03 - 08:17 AM (#1046709)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: manitas_at_work

Yes, I was there. It rained hard for about half an hour and then there were some very light showers and the sun came out late in the afternoon. It was a bit like bedlam with more dancing areas than planned. It was nice to see some NW morris and Cotswold for a change from the usual festival fare of bolly and morder.

I don't know about other sides but my team, East Saxon Sword, went off and found a pub to dance in before returning. I haven't seen any press coverage but there was a nice lady asking questions and taking lots of notes about us so there may be an article appearing somewhere.

03 Nov 03 - 12:53 PM (#1046920)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Abuwood

We had a fab day!

03 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM (#1047116)
Subject: RE: Mass Morris London 02.11.03
From: Liz the Squeak

So you were somewhere else as well were you Abu?!