Danum Morris & Cheswold Morris WebPage

This page is intended to be the repository of all things Danum and Cheswold, in order to preserve the memory of these erstwhile Doncaster dance sides.

Danum wearing the old High Melton Morris kit

Glynn Field (LHS) virtually leaves the ground!


Cheswold: Back row: Norman Cook, Glynn Field, Paul ?, Stuart Swann, Pete & Joan Clifford. Front row: Mike ?, Colin Barratt, Jeff Prior

Border - probably Much Wenlock

Paul Davenport writes:

Cheswold was made up from ex-High Melton and other people I'd pissed off. I was a fairly dogmatic and inflexible prick in those days (I hope I've mellowed since - some people might tell you I haven't changed. However, I now teach an all female sword team and encourage mixed Morris and my specialist subject is lost Morris traditions - boy, are there some weird things out there, and no one dancing them!) Cheswold actually had a similar ethos to Green Oak in the early days, I think they wanted to outdo us, we simply raised our game, having been the only side in town we did take them seriously, though perhaps they thought not at the time. I don't remember Danum Morris, my fading memory seems to recall it might have been a working title for one or the other side but I'm not sure. Full Transcript

Paul Slater writes:

Paul can rest assured that he never pissed me off. Some of the dancers were not that keen on Green Oak's strict format, nor Paul's authoritarian style and became irregular or left. Some of us talked it over and it was decided that there was room for another Morris Side. We formed Cheswold in 1977. They wanted to dance but not with Green Oak. I was not that tied to Green Oak so I agreed to join them. I was to be first squire and we practised in the Corporation Brewery Taps. Names I remember were Colin & Barbara (?), Glynn, Jeff Prior, Geoff Wright, Pete & Joan (?), Stuart Swan and Norman Cook. We had a chap join us who was very good at Border and taught us some dances such as Ring of Bells and Brimfield Stick Dance, which made us distinctive from Green Oak. Paul at the time was reviving Kirtlington and they had gone very trad. - Cheswold were somewhat lighter.

We enjoyed some success and danced out with Green Oak on more than one occasion. I remember visiting them in Tickhill at their practice. Cheswold chose Sam Smith's colours - Black, White and Old Gold. I left Cheswold in 1979 to move down south with my job and I visited a few times to guest dance with them. I think Stuart took over as squire.

As I remember, Danum Morris was an interim name for the merry band of disaffected Green Oakers who wanted to dance but not with Paul & Dick. It quickly became Cheswold. Certainly Danum was one of the contenders for the name of the new side. I remember talking to PD about the new side and 'getting his blessing'. He didn't have a problem with it and we danced out together with the two sides very early on in Frenchgate. I remember waiting for the pub to open (White Swan? High bar - probably gone now) There was history between the individuals and politics of course but some of us just danced and encouraged others to. Full Transcript

Norman Cook writes:

I went to High Melton to dance for the first time in set - and the first time in public - for a meeting of the Blind and Partially Sighted Association (lucky there then). Picture it now - 20 visually challenged persons, a dozen guide dogs and a Morris side, the music struck up - Joan and Pete Clifford on Concertinas - the first figure starts with the nervous dogs cringing from the jangling bells, the first chorus of clashing sticks (getting the mood of it yet?) 10 dogs, rabid with fear, strike up a threatening bellow of rage with foaming jaws, straining to eat Morris, void their bowels and extract revenge. The other two? One deaf and one daft I suppose. Barbara (Barratt) took all the dogs for walkies and on we went. After the dance, lashings of hot tea and a room full of people who wanted to feel your bells.

Incidentally, I may have been instrumental in the Cheswold identity as I had a mate who lived in Cheswold Road which had just been demolished in the ethnic cleansing of Doncaster's more interesting housing stock.  I believe the side had no name but were playing with 'Danum Morris' as an identity, but I may have convinced them that there were too many Danums around. My career with Cheswold was about 3 years at which point I moved to Scotland to be deprived of the dance for 4 years and on my return found Cheswold to be in it's final throes, so joined Green Oak. Full Transcript