of Oxford; A40 to Witney and then take A4095
Brief History of Tradition
'Now Mind this let
it be said
Our lads all from one village born and bred
Trained and tried they must be
Picked from the best as you see
With legs so straight as a poplar tree
They clap all together and bend the knee'
The Morris has been danced in Bampton
(in-the-Bush) with no break ever having been recorded except
during World Wars; it is the only village in England where
this can be said with any certainty. The Morris was always
danced through the streets and gardens of the village on Whit-Monday
(nowadays May Bank Holiday). The dancers were accompanied
by a Ragman (carrying clothes, etc.), a Treasurer (collecting
Money) and a Sword Bearer carrying a cake that was distributed
to the audience; this represented the spirit of the Morris;
a posy of flowers was placed on the tip of the sword.
Most of the information gathered by Cecil
Sharp between 1908 and 1914 came from Jinky Wells, one time
Fool and musician. Bampton is the most fluid of all
traditions with many styles (at least 3 heys in common use).
A major divergence occurred about 1924, which later resulted
in two teams under Francis Shergold and Arnold Woodley. In
1965, a further split of the Woodley Side led to a third side
known as 'The Rebels' (under Matt Green).
The Icknield Way Morris Men were instrumental
in supporting the Woodley side in the late 70's (through Brian
O'Rourke, Paul Smith et. al) and hence our Side adopted the
Woodley style of the day. It was introduced to the Icknield
Way Morris Men by Old Boy Brian
O'Rourke who is currently a member of Bampton.
There are currently more than 33 dances with
only one stick dance.
Dances Performed by Our Side
Banbury Bill / Rose Tree (Corner)
Bonnie Green Garters
Flowers of Edinburgh
Forester / Johnny so Long at the Fair / Jenny Lind / Quaker (Sidestep)
Maid o` the Mill
Step and Fetch Her / Shave the Donkey
Shepherd's Hey (6 or 12 man)