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Anker Morris Men

Anker Morris Men were formed by a group of folk enthusiasts in Nuneaton in 1975 and take their name from the River Anker which runs through Nuneaton, “anker” being an ancient word meaning “meander” – possibly apt for Morris men! In 1980 the team was admitted to the Morris Ring, the national organisation for teams like them.

Each Morris team has its own distinct kit, and they wear black breeches, white shirt and socks and black shoes, with crossed baldrics, ribbons and bell pads in blue and silver-grey; the Borough colours.

Their original black three-quarter stove-pipe hats came from traditional makers in nearby Atherstone, but unfortunately their hatter closed down and they had to renew the hats with a slightly different style from elsewhere.

The hat is decorated with ribbons in the team colours, and a single red rose on one side.

The dances they perform come mainly from the Cotswold traditions of Ascott-under-Wychwood, Oddington and Adderbury, from Derby, and from Badby in Northamptonshire. One or two dances are from the Welsh Borders.

During the Summer the team has a programme of dancing at various locations in North Warwickshire and the surrounding area, and regularly in Nuneaton. Their visits promise fine weather- as it never rains when we dance (some say because we never dance when it’s raining!). The dances are popularly said to bring good luck, long life and fertility to those who put money in the lucky Morris Man’s hat – by watching the dance you share in one of our oldest social traditions, and we hope you enjoy the performance we offer.

They always welcome new recruits, so if men out there would like to give dancing Morris a try, contact them, or just turn up. Musicians are also welcome.

They practise through the winter on Wednesdays at 8pm in the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre, Avenue Road, Nuneaton, CV11 4LU.

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