Free morris dance taster session

Owlswick Morris
Owlswick Morris

There’s a chance to try out something completely different at a morris dancing taster session at Twyford Village Hall on Tuesday, January 14.

Fresh from a busy, successful and very enjoyable 30th anniversary year, Owlswick Morris is holding a one-off, free taster session for anyone interested in morris dancing, clog dancing or playing folk music.

The evening starts at 8.30pm, and there is no need to book.

You will have the chance to learn a morris dance from scratch, as well as watch a showcase of some of the other styles of dancing that Owlswick Morris is known for.

Owlswick is a lively, friendly and welcoming group of about 20 men and women of all ages, who perform Cotswold morris dances from Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire.

They also perform clog dances and rapper sword dances.

During the summer, they dance at local pubs on Tuesdays and are also booked for fetes and festivals such as the Towersey Festival.

The group, which rehearses at Twyford Village Hall, has its origins one wet Friday evening back in the summer of 1982, when a group of friends met in the Shoulder Of Mutton at Owlswick, near Thame.

Over a pint or two of London Pride, they began to reminisce about the morris dancing most of them had been involved with in the village of Towersey from the 1960s.

One member of the group, who was about to marry, suggested the idea of forming a morris team to dance at his wedding.

The friends seized on the idea and agreed on the annual Towersey Village Festival, over the August bank holiday, as the venue and date of the first practice.

Originally, the side was all-male, with the exception of the secretary, who also made all the costumes. But within a couple of years, a women’s team was also formed.

After another couple of years, the two sides merged, and in 1985 Owlswick became one of the first mixed morris sides in the country to dance Cotswold morris.

In the early years, the morris side practised at the Shoulder of Mutton in Owlswick – a Fuller’s pub, which is now a private house – and its costume was based on the colours of the Fuller’s Brewery.

Over the years, Owlwick Morris has practised at many venues, including The Old Thatched Inn and the Folly at Adstock and The George at Winslow.

In Twyford, the dancers have the support of Joan Massey, the landlady of The Crown pub opposite, who entrusts the m with her beer glasses so they can quench their thirsts whilst practising.

Contact Hilary on 01844 212361 or email