Way back in the mists of time, when beer was cheap and Thatchers ruled
the land, a group of young (ish) men sat straining their grey cells
whilst quenching their thirst. How to entertain the children at the
forthcoming Grande Schoole Fete? - that was the question which taxed
their minds. Late in the evening an answer came from the bearded one in the corner.
"Why don't you try Morris Dancing?" he said.
When they had stopped laughing and had had a few more glasses of refreshment, the idea
didn't sound quite so stupid after all.
"Maybe we could, it'd be a laugh anyway!"
And so it came to pass. After many evenings spent practising, trying
to remember which foot was "left", trying not to hit their
partner's hand, discussing the refinements of the dance over a glass
of sherbert, the great day arrived at last.
Donning the traditional working men's clothes and ragged jackets,
they blacked their faces for the big event. Pausing only for some
much needed refreshment and to allow an artist to record the moment,
they sallied forth for a warm-up dance in the village square. Gathering
an enthusiastic audience of villagers, groupies and other assorted
camp followers they processed onwards to the Grande Schoole Fete.
Their performance was flawless (or so the man with the Guide dog said!!).
The applause was rapturous. The cheering could be heard in Birmingham.
They were so overwhelmed they had to retire to a handy nearby hostelry
for further much needed refreshment.
So successful was this first performance that they were invited to
dance at two other venues in the village in the next seven days!
After the euphoria, and the bruises, had died down they met to mull
over the events. Having consumed a few glasses of congratulatory refreshment
it was decided that they had enjoyed themselves so much they would
have to carry on.
That was July 1989 and Alvechurch Morris had lurched (
launched) into existence; the rest, as they say, is history.
And now, wanderer on the Information Highway, read on ........
PS (For the benefit of our colonial cousins "Alve" is pronounced "Owlf’"
and not "Alver" or "Alvey" as often happens).