“‘Ere, Mum, there’s some of them East Surrey Morris Men on the telly…” So must have rung throughout the land as TV schedulers finally gave us a serious programme about Morris Dancing. And, you have to say they did a good job. A balanced and warm analysis of the process in which the Morris Ring voted to accept women dancers into its… er, bosom, I suppose.
East Surrey Morris Men, it must be said, voted against the motion as we were hoping to see the Ring take a different emphasis. Some of this was summed up on the show by Barry Care, an old friend of the side from Moulton Morris: “If you put two women in a male voice choir, you change the intrinsic quality of what is coming across.” The fact that he was shown saying this dressed as a Betsy sums up everything about the earnest concern and maverick mayhem that we love in the tradition and share with other sides in the Morris Ring.
As one of the founder members of the Ring we care deeply about it. It was disappointing that more consideration wasn’t given to our proposal but we have no desire to dominate, just a concern to see it thrive and become the best it can. With that in mind we shall continue to be a part of it and wholeheartedly support the members decision and the officers.
But we do invite you to take some time to watch it on BBC iPlayer. It is well worth it. There some of the East Surrey lot on it, you know!