Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bruton Family Holiday 2008: Northumberland - part 2

Summer Holiday 2008 day 1

We've spent the last week in Northumberland, having a little bit of a holiday.

You know it's going to be an interesting week when the first place you visit appears to be full of Morris dancers. We parked the car in Durham and everywhere we looked we saw people wearing funny costumes, bells on their ankles and jangling their funny little way around the place. It puts a slightly surreal spin on the day when you're in the queue at Waitrose and there's a woman in a multicoloured costume, ribbons all down her back, a headress of fruit and jangling with every step she takes stood behind you. Oh, did I mention she's fully blacked up? A weird day.
By the time we got into the centre of the city we realised there was some sort of Morris convention on. And some of them were quite good as well.

Durham is possibly best described as a mini York with more views. Other than that it's just any other city. Prettier than most but still just another city. Onwards to the hotel for a nice night.

Northumberland 2008 - start here.


  1. Ribbons+bells+blackface = Border Morris. It's a bit like Morris dancing, but much coarser and more hardcore :) Not sure what they're doing in Durham - it's much more a Shropshire/Worcester/Hereford thing.

  2. Cheers Jez,

    I've been having a little look of around the world of Morris Dancing today.
    The nicest/weirdest iteration of it I can find is the wonderful goth-morris of groups like Vixen, Wolfshead and Hunters Moon. They're using the look of Border Morris but with added black, paganism and original music.

    It's strange the things you find yourself looking at really:
    Independent article on "Goth-Morris"

  3. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Have you ever seen The League of Gentlemen? both Morris Dancers seem to have tried to dress up and look like Papa Lazarou.....but failed dismally ;O)