Oxford City Morris Men

OCMM Baldrick (34K)Who Are We and What Do We Do?
Programme of Events  - We dance at pubs in the Oxford area on summer evenings, and at fetes, festivals and other events all year round. At Christmas time we perform a traditional Mummers Play.
May Morning - Oxford is famous for its May celebrations. It's not an organized event, just a very strong tradition.
How To Book OCMM - Fetes, conferences, weddings ...
Practices - If you want to see what its all about and have a go
Picture Gallery
Other Morris Pages  - Sources of other information
Contacts - Talk to the people that matter in the team.

New Members Welcome

Winter practice sessions run on Wednesday evenings between 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. (note new times from October 2003) from September to April at St Barnabas' School, Jericho. Sessions are run jointly with Oxford University Morris Men, as are most of our dancing performances during the summer. Come and join us!

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Who Are We?

“Oxford City Morris exists to maintain and uphold the traditions of the Cotswold Morris, to dance the same within Oxford City and its surrounding villages, and to drink lots of beer.”

What do we do?

The Morris - An Explanation

OCMM at The Victoria Arms, Old Marston (37 kB)Oxford City Morris Men perform traditional “Cotswold” Morris Dances collected from villages in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire.

Morris dancing is a custom with ancient origins. Many people believing that it is descended from pagan spring and summer fertility rituals or “good luck” ceremonies. Some of the dances we do today still reflect the origins of these ancient ceremonies, with their apparent emphasis on rebirth at May time, the seeking of good health for the crops and animals, and the hoped for guarantee of continuing fertility for all. What is certain is that morris dancers have been performing in the City of Oxford since the 15th century.

The dances survived in the Cotswold region long after they had ceased to be popular elsewhere. Even here the custom almost died out at the end of the 19th century, but for the efforts of folk dance enthusiasts who began to collect the dances. Oxford played an important part in this revival, as the first serious collecting of these dances was carried out by Cecil Sharp in Headington Quarry, after he had seen morris men perform on Boxing Day 1899.

Oxford Morris Men were founded in 1938 and were formed to compensate for the temporary demise of other Oxford sides at that time. The Oxford costume - red and blue ribbons, white clothing and traditional bell pads is based on that worn by the Headington Quarry Morris dancers at the time. Since 1959 we have had the privilege of wearing the City of Oxford crest on our baldrics - thus becoming

The Oxford City Morris Men

As well as our summer programme of Wednesday evenings and the occasional Saturday lunchtime dancing in and around Oxford, we frequently perform at private functions.

Bonn logo (2 kB)As part of the strong twinning links between the Cities of Oxford and Bonn in Germany, we have taken part in many exchange visits with the Brückenberger Trachtengruppe, a folk dance group from Bonn.
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Picture Gallery

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May Day - 1st May

Venue - Oxford City Centre
Time - 6.00 a.m. onwards

The City men, and many other Morris sides, take part in the traditional May morning celebrations in Oxford. The men can be found gathering on the Oxford side of Magdalen bridge to listen to the choir of Magdalen College singing from the top of the college tower. Dancing begins around 6.15 a.m. in Radcliffe Square, beside the famous Camera, and continues for nearly three hours at various locations, including Broad Street, St Giles, and the Kings Arms! After breakfast most of the teams go off to other events around the district. In recent years, the festivities have continued from midday into the afternoon in North Parade, Oxford, just off the Banbury Rd.
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Christmas Programme

Each year, around Christmas and New Year, we dance in the city and perform our mummers play in pubs for the benefit of a local charity (different each year).

2009 Programme

Wed 10th Dec:

8pm    The Plough, Wolvercote
9pm    The Victoria Arms, Old Marston
Wed 17th Dec:
8pm    The Gardener's Arms, North Parade, Oxford
9pm    The Rose & Crown, North Parade, Oxford
Fri 19th Dec:
8:30pm    Oxford Folk Club, The Folly Brideg Inn, Abingdon Rd, Oxford.

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Spring & Summer Programme

On most Wednesday evenings in May, June and July, you'll find Oxford City and Oxford University Morris Men dancing at pubs in and around Oxford. Please contact the Bagman for more details.
Tuesday 12th 6pm Blackbird Leys Beaver Scouts - demo
7:30pm Iffley Dancing at The Prince Of Wales 
Friday 15th 7:30pm Blenheim Palace National Association of Funeral Directors.
Saturday 16th 2pm Wallingford (tbc)
Wednesday 20th  7:30pm Old Marston The Red Lion
9pm Old Marston The Victoria Arms
Saturday 23rd tbc Bonn Square, Oxford Oxford Bonn Twinning celebrations.
Thursday 28th 7:30pm Steventon The Cherry Tree, with Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers
9pm The North Star, with Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers
Saturday 30th 2pm Blaydon Field, Blenheim Ribbon Walk
Wednesday 3rd 7:30 Oxford City Centre Far From The Madding Crowd, and other venues tbc
Saturday 6th tbc Highmoor Stoke Row Steam Rally
Wednesday 7:30pm Osney, Oxford The Hollybush
9pm The Waterman's Arms
Satruday 13th 12 noon Jericho, Oxford Jericho Street Fair
2pm Oxford Castle Oxford Unlocked
Tuesday 16th 7pm Headington Hill Hall Anthropology Conference, and other venues tbc
Saturday 20th tbc Wolvercote, Oxford Wolvercote Village Fair
Wednesday 24th 7:30 Jericho, Oxford tbc
9pm North Parade, Oxford The Gardener's Arms and The Rose & Crown
Saturday 27th 4pm Towersey Three Horseshoes - A Celebration of Denis Manners' life
Wednesday 1st 7:30pm Great Tew The Falkland Arms
9pm Wootton-by-Woodstock The Killingworth Castle
Wednesday 8th 7:30pm Islip The Red Lion
9pm The Swan
Friday 10th 6:30pm Divinity School, Oxford Clinical Trials Service conference

Events shown in grey are not open to the general public.

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Inviting Oxford City Morris Men to appear at your event.

Organizing an event and want Morris Dancers? In the first instance contact the Bagman

Please note:  Requests for appearances must be made in good time in order to ensure availability. About six weeks notice is ideal.
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We practice on Wednesday evenings between September and April at 7.30 p.m. (note changed start time since Nov. 2003) in the hall of St Barnabas First School, Hart Street, Jericho, Oxford. Sessions are run jointly with Oxford University Morris Men. New members, including beginners, always welcome. Please contact the Bagman for details.

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Morris links

The Ancient Men - Oxford University Morris Men
Morris organizations: Icknield Way Morris Men
Kirtlington Morris Dancers and Kirtlington Lamb Ale Festival

Other Morris Sides
Morris at Yahoo

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Mark Pollard


Graham Diggle
8 Collcutt Close
OX33 1RS

Tel 01865 873949

e-mail: click here to e-mail the Bagman
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Many thanks to Brevan Miles for creating this web page in the first place and for hosting it for us for several years after he moved away from Oxford. Any errors or omissions in this edition are the fault of the present Editor, however.

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this page updated 8/05/2009