A Brief History


Exmoor Border Morris was founded in October 1998 by the remaining few members of the Muddiford & Milltown Morris Men, who danced Adderbury and Fieldtown and others, round the villages and resorts of North Devon, until dwindling numbers saw us down to just a handful by the end of summer 1997.

Autumn 1997 - A couple of other local sides suggested that we should all form a large mixed, combined Border side just for that coming winter. As a team of over 30, we danced at the switching on of the Christmas lights at Ilfracombe in December 1997, under the guise of "Mixed Bag Morris".

No turning back
The new year meant the other sides went back to their own, leaving us few (men only) remnants of Muddiford and Milltown Morris Men with two choices.

      
Either pack up, and bury the dead horse we'd been flogging, or accept the inevitable, invite the wives and girlfriends in, and go Mixed Border. That was the way we spent 1998, with a mixed assortment of kit, a very definite mixed assortment of dancing talent, but at least Muddiford Morris Dancers kept going.

The 1998 Muddiford and Milltown Border Team

The whole hog - new name, new kit, new team
October 1998, we let go the name Muddiford and Milltown Morris, and took on a new identity proper. The very appropriate title was Exmoor Border Morris. Half of us live on the border of Exmoor, and we dance Border (clever eh?)

2000 - 2007

Not wishing to write a complete diary of all we did over those years (You'll have to look at the scrapbook for that), we can summarise by saying that we were 30-strong, with a talented band of musicians of anything from 5 to 10. With a full programme of events, we were regular visitors to festivals across the West Country, especially Wimborne, Sidmouth, Swanage, and others. 

 

In November 2005, we sadly lost one of our founder members to cancer.
Pete Wormald
had to be one of the most enthusiastic Morris Men you could ever wish to meet, and is greatly missed.

God bless, Pete

 

The family album
Just a little of the stuff we did . . . . .

 

 
2008  We celebrated our fabulous 10th birthday party which some have described as the best Morris party ever.
 
2009   Saw us realise a long-held ambition to visit Rochester Sweeps.
After many years of meeting at various festivals, we met up with Foxs Morris for a day out in Bath. Just making progress around the city centre was a challenge, beingstopped for photos every 5 seconds - have they never seen black-faced Morris before??  
 
  And in 2009 we made a new kit. Long flowing rags, that took hundreds of hours to make from wide bolts of material, and taught sewing machining skills to the unlikeliest of people
 
 2010   We went off down to Dorset to help Quayside Cloggies celebrate their anniversary at a magical weekend in and around Lulworth
 
 
 

2011
   
The highlight had to be our Squire Nigel's wedding, to the lovely Kathryn 'Miss Potter' - we even cooked up an entirely original dance "The Kathryn Wheel" for the occasion. And he still calls her Miss Potter!
 
 
 

2012 
  
An eventful year, which culminated in a smaller, more focused team, able to carry on with the primary function of enjoying ourselves
 

2013  15 years young,and a weekend at Hartland and Clovelly and much EXTREME silliness seemed the ideal way to celebrate


2015   Anyone remember 'New Faces'? Well, that's what we did. After much discussion, we took a conscious majority decision to move away from the traditional black faces. We decided to go free-form, using face paints in the general colours of our jackets ie blues, purples and greens. The reaction from the public has been amazing. Can't go more than a few feet at a festival without being stopped for a photo!