Bishop Gundulfs Morris – Event Review

Date: 14 July 2015

Location: The King’s Arms (Pub) Upnor, Kent, UK

Costs: Free

Description: Bishop Gundulfs Morris are a Traditional Morris Dancing side based in Medway, Kent, UK. They have a Men’s side, a Women’s Side and a Children’s side. They’re next dancing at Sompting Morris Ale, Shornham-By-Sea, West Sussex, UK. I was told that they’re always looking for new members! For more information please click the link

My Thoughts: I went down to The King’s Arms to see Bishop Gundulfs Morris dance it wasn’t something I was familiar with seeing, as it’s not very common that you have Morris Dancers dancing outside a Pub. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.

They were all very friendly and easy to chat to and they all seemed to be having a great time when dancing, everything seemed well organised and the dances were very impressive – some more than others. The woman who were wearing green dresses with patterned yellow aprons danced with sticks with bells and ribbons attached and pretty flowery handmade garlands. The men wore black trousers, white shirts and lovely green waistcoats that they pinned badges all over, they danced with big metal swords with wooden handles and made what they call a ‘star lock’ which meant that they locked all of the swords together so that it made the shape of a star. It was very impressive!

The musicians played a set of Folk Dance tunes and there was a very good selection of musical instruments all played by cheerful players. Some instruments that you wouldn’t expect – such as the recorder which isn’t an instrument that very many people take seriously, but there was a very talented recorder player that made recorders seem very professional and serious; because of course, for quite few people they are. There was also a violinist, banjo player, drummer, an accordion player and a melodeon player all of the players were very talented and because of the different range of instruments it was very pleasing to listen to and really added something to the dances.

Another thing that was good was there was a big variety on age in both the dancers and the musicians so it didn’t feel like it was just an older persons thing or just a younger persons thing and everyone seemed to get along even though there was a difference in age between all of them and that was really nice.

There are quite a lot of Morris Dancing Festivals that you can pop along to and see Morris Dancers from all over the country, if you’re not familiar with Morris Dancing I suggest you Google it because it’s a very unique and fascinating form of traditional dancing, and I’m very glad that Bishop Gundulfs are the morris side I saw last night, it was a very fun night. And after all of their tiring dancing they go into the pub and play and sing tunes! I was very sad when it all came to an end.

Please go and check out their website and if you have Twitter go and follow them @bishopgundulfs

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