60 years of dancing for Chichester morris men

AFTER decades of dancing around Chichester, a group of morris men are looking forward to their 60th-anniversary celebrations.

Chichester Martlet Sword and Morris Men have invited 14 teams of morris men from all over the country to a festival entitled 60 years with bells on.

More than 200 dancers will be attending.

The festival will take place over the weekend of July 6.

In 1953 a group of men in the Arundel area were performing sword dances.

Several young men from Chichester joined them when they decided to include morris dancing.

They became the Martlet Sword and Morris Men.

Many former club members who have moved away from the area or are no longer able to dance will be coming back to help run the weekend, which will be based at Westergate Community College, in Westergate.

On the Saturday three tours will take place, visiting Chichester, Arundel, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, West Wittering, Itchenor, Birdham, Bosham, Emsworth and Havant.

This will be followed by massed dancing on the lawns in front of Chichester Cathedral at 3.30pm, where 200 morris men will be performing.

On Sunday the men will be attending a service of celebration at St Paul’s church, followed by massed dancing outside the Chichester Festival Theatre at 11.30am.