Ripon Morris Dancers


Leading us all a merry dance

RIPON MORRIS DANCERS performing outsideThe Lamb & Flag at Bishop Monkton's
Jubilee celebrations.

Photo: Basil Birchall

Dancing for joy since 1982

By John Eden

Ripon City Morris Dancers were formed in 1982 and perform dances from the North West of England. This style is traditionally from Lancashire and the adjoining areas of Cheshire, Yorkshire and the Lake District.
North-West Morris is essentially an urban, processional dance and aspects of its origins are still visible in the clogs and cotton slings (short pieces of rope). The kit is flamboyant with bright colours and adornments such as flowers and sashes.

We chose a kit based on the patriotic colours of red white and blue with added gold braid to match Ripon City civic colours. We also chose to use fresh flowers in our hats, one of only a handful of teams to do so. The hats therefore have to be made up each time we perform and reflect the seasons of the year.

Music, provided by a variety of instruments such as melodeons, concertinas, clarinets, fiddles and drums, is
vibrant, robust and rhythmic, accentuated by the sound of the clogs worn by the dancers.

Our calendar generally starts to get busy around Easter and we take part in events all over the country, occasionally even on the Continent, often finishing with the Masham Sheep Fair at the end of September.  In recent years we have also danced several times at the Knaresborough Christmas Market in early December! 

During the summer months we often dance out at local pubs on a Monday evening instead of our weekly practise session. 

The team’s association with Bishop Monkton goes back a long way, as we used to meet in the old wooden Women's Institute hall.  We moved to the new village hall as soon as it was opened in 2005 and continue to hold our weekly practice sessions there every Monday evening.  We find it a very comfortable venue with a fine wooden floor to dance on (solid concrete is too hard on our joints!) and being situated within easy reach of Ripon,
Harrogate and Knaresborough it is convenient for our members who come from a wide area.

If you are interested in finding out more, drop in at Bishop Monkton Village Hall on a Monday evening from 8 pm or visit our website –

New members are always welcome.

MONDAY NIGHT sees Ripon Morris Dancers practising at Bishop Monkton Village Hall.
It is an excellent venue, they say. They have been using it since the new hall opened in 2005.

: Bishop Monkton Methodist Youth Club.  
See what fun our youngsters have every
Friday night at our Village Hall.

(Later look our for special features about  Ripon Community Orchestra, Bishop Monkton Table Tennis Club, , Bishop Monkton Life Savers, Bishop Monkton Bowling Club, Bishop Monkton Croquet Club, Bishop Monkton Bridge Club and other organisations which regularly use our Village Hall.  Watch for announcements about  these upcoming features on this website).