Shoreham to break out the bells and sticks for Morris mania

Sompting Village Morris are one of the troupes set to perform during the action-packed weekend 'W01502H15
Sompting Village Morris are one of the troupes set to perform during the action-packed weekend 'W01502H15

HUNDREDS of Morris dancers are expected to flock to Shoreham this weekend to take part in the most extensive Morris event in the south of England for many years.

The gathering of some 250 dancers will contain nearly 20 English Morris sides in their strange and exotic forms.

It will be a big event and Shoreham has been so supportive of the idea and we can’t thank them enough for that.

Martin Frost, one of the event’s organisers

Entitled ‘Hundreds of Morris by the Water’, the action is due to take place on Saturday and Sunday (July 19 and 19) around Shoreham town centre and at Shoreham Airport.

Martin Frost, one of the organisers for the dancing event said: “We are expecting about 250 dancers on the Saturday and a further 200 for the Sunday.

“In terms of how many people come to watch, I have no idea.

“Hopefully lots of people will turn out on the streets to watch.

“Dancers are coming from all over the country. We have some coming from Lancashire, Cornwall,some from the east coast and a few from Kent.

“It will be a big event and Shoreham has been so supportive of the idea and we can’t thank them enough for that.”

The spectacle will also be raising money for Sailability Adur – a charity which encourages people with disabilities to take up sailing and other water sports.

Mr Frost added: “We are aiming to raise thousands from the day for this charity. It seems hopeful but people might be generous.

“We will have lots of collection buckets going around the crowds. Hopefully they will all give a pound rather than just 10p.”

Morris dancing has been around for more than 400 years but this is the first dance event of this scale to take place in Shoreham.

“Morris is the traditional English dance and we are looking to gain interest from the people of Shoreham in this event.

“It is an extremely fun event that we hope many people will get involved with.

“We are encouraging generosity and then hopefully people will also get involved with the dancing in the future.

“Entry to the event is free but we are encouraging people to make donations to Sailability.”

On Saturday the event will start at 10am and finish at 4pm in Shoreham town centre and on

Sunday it will run from 11.30am ­to 1pm at Shoreham Airport.