“The first year there were three people and a dog”. Peter is the longest serving member of Monkseaton Morris and he recalls the first time the side danced on New Year’s Day in Monkseaton. That was in 1971, and since then the annual performance has become an established tradition in Monkseaton supported by huge crowds who come from around the village and beyond.
This year’s performance, the first in three years due to the pandemic, was blessed with blue skies and the public turned up in their droves. They saw a performance that covered a range of dance traditions – Cotswold Morris, Longsword, a Mummers’ Play and the North East’s very own Rapper Sword Dance. Following the show, the dancers visited six pubs in Monkseaton Village and squeezed in performances of the Rapper in very cramped spaces.
Every year a collection is taken at the show and on the tour of the pubs. This year it was in aid of the Bay Foodbank. Thanks to the generosity and New Year’s spirit of the audience, Monkseaton Village pubs and pub-goers, an amazing £2653 was raised.
Pandemic aside, Monkseaton Morris have performed in Monkseaton every New Year’s Day since that first time (Peter’s performed at them all) but to keep this tradition alive they need new members. Fancy it?
Monkseaton Morris meet on Mondays at 7.30pm at the Scout HQ Norfolk St, North Shields NE30 1NQ. Contact [email protected]