About Aldbury Morris Men
The clue is in the name! Aldbury Morris is a traditional men-only side, members of the Morris Ring. Having said that, we're not at all stuffy and we will dance with anyone, or indeed anything. We have a mix of young(ish), middle-aged, old and downright ancient dancers - and enough men to dance out every Thursday evening during the Summer, as well as dancing at many fetes, weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals. We also have a well-supported annual weekend away (check the "memory lane" page to see where we've been.)
We dance an eclectic mix of different Cotswold traditions (and the odd Border dance as well) with sticks and hankies and pints. Many of the side are also musicians and singers, so every Thursday evening in the season ends with a really good music session in the bar - the ratio of dancing to singing depending on the weather! In fact, many people have observed, perhaps unkindly, that we are better musicians than we are dancers!
We keep the tradition very much alive and we do have a lot of fun.
History of Aldbury Morris
Inspired by the 1960s folk renaissance, we started dancing in 1969, meeting in an unheated barn at the rear of the Greyhound Pub in Aldbury, Hertfordshire. After the floorboards threatened to give way and frostbite became severe we moved to warmer surroundings. We now practice every Thursday evening during the winter months in the Aldbury Memorial Hall.
There are only two of the original members who still dance regularly: John and Rod the original Squire, who now prefers to exercise his vocal chords rather than his feet! In 1999 we finally got around to becoming members of the Morris Ring, the association for traditional men's sides, and now we generally aim to attend a Ring meeting once a year. These meetings are weekends of dance at which sides gather from around the country to learn, entertain and socialise.
We have represented Hertfordshire at the National gathering of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and our talents have been seen from the Yorkshire Dales to deepest Dorset. We have entertained the locals of Germany, Holland and France. Quite possibly you may have seen us in the odd television programme or film, such Jim Davidson's Generation Game or The Man Who Knew Too Little with Bill Murray.
Aldbury village retains its traditional stocks and whipping post, though these have now fallen into disuse. Indeed, they are quite a rare village survival, and so feature as the distinctive emblem of the AMM.