Day of dance to celebrate 35 years of the Ripon City Morris Dancers

The Mayor of Ripon Coun. Pauline McHardy with Ripon City Morris Dancers members Paul Freeman and Peter Hills. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1707152AM6)
The Mayor of Ripon Coun. Pauline McHardy with Ripon City Morris Dancers members Paul Freeman and Peter Hills. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1707152AM6)

For 35 years the Ripon City Morris Dancers have proudly represented our city at events across the world and entertained thousands of visitors and locals with their unforgettable performances - to mark this special milestone, the group treated our city to a whole day of dance on July 15.

Dancing outside the Cathedral, in the Market Square and at the Spa Gardens, the dancers attracted huge crowds to enjoy the city tradition. The Mayor of Ripon, Coun Pauline McHardy, attended on the day, and it was a mayoral reunion as she posed for a photograph with former Ripon mayor Paul Freeman, who is one of the founding members of the Ripon City Morris Dancers.

Ripon Morris Dancers: A gathering of moris dancers in Ripon Market Square. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1707152AM2)

Ripon Morris Dancers: A gathering of moris dancers in Ripon Market Square. Picture: Adrian Murray. (1707152AM2)

The group’s fondness for morris dancing is matched by their love of representing Ripon.

Ripon City Morris Dancer Ted Dodsworth, 64, who joined in 1984 and has lived in Ripon all his life, said: “We love the feeling that we are representing the city at all the events and performances we do.”

The age range in the morris dancing group stretches from members in their 20s, to Ripon residents in their 70s.

The dancing and a shared love of Ripon has brought people together and formed friendships across generations.

Ted’s grandson Owen MacNair, 9, raised money for the Lepra charity by polishing boots for the morris dancers - just one of the many young fans of the group.

Ted said: “It’s brought younger and older people together who wouldn’t normally have met and become friends.

“There is a very strong comradery in the Ripon City Morris Dancers.”

The Royal Preston Morris Dancers, Betty Lupton’s Ladle Laikers from Harrogate, and the Ravens Morris from Shiptonthorpe joined the Ripon City Morris dancers to celebrate the anniversary.

The group is looking for new members. To find out more, email Ted Dodsworth: teddodsworth@gmail.com.