Changes to sides listed in Mardles from May 2001 – Aug 2017
As this is the last printed version of Mardles I began wondering whether a “Morris Correspondent” has a future in an on-line listings website and began leafing through back-issues of Mardles and, to my surprise, discovered I had a copy from May 2001. I wondered how many had survived and were “Alive & Kicking” and how many had been “Lagabagged” and were no longer performing? What kind of sides had formed in that time and what is the current state of health of the Morris fraternity as we settle in to the 21st century?
A chart of the sides that have performed in the last 16 years in the 4 counties is far too large for the printed version of Mardles but demonstrates one of the advantages of an on-line publication as the tabulated results can be added as an appendix to this version of the article.
My impression as a result of going to Sheringham, FolkEast, Ely and days of dance around the region over the last 16 years was that Cotswold sides, especially male ones, had given way to a successful take-over by mixed Border sides but, to my surprise, that is not what I found.
Mardles only shows a snap-shot of performing sides but its list is more current than the Morris Ring website and is the only reference point I could find. Mardles 2001 had omitted some existing sides. Those missing include; Mepal Molly, formed in 1977; Maldon Dark Horse Morris (now called Dark Horse Morris) formed in 1995; Gog Magog Molly (1996); Kenninghall Morris (1999) and Soken Molly (2000). The May 2001 edition also incorrectly listed two Essex sides from Belchamp St Paul; Arum Lords and Ladies & Belchamp Morris Men as Suffolk sides.
Regrettably Mardles still fails to list some existing sides for example; Norwich Shitwitches as they were known in 2001; now renamed Norwich Kitwitches are not in Mardles; Northstow Mummers, Tap & Sync & Wype Doles are also all believed to be performing but are not currently listed in Mardles. There is also a new side, Old School Rapper, recently formed in Suffolk and only just listed in Mardles.
So what did I find? Were my assumptions confirmed?