Meet Saddleworth’s very own Sunshine Boys

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 23 April 2019

Morris Men danced in the lead-up to the Easter bank holiday their way was paved with brilliant sunshine.

Scores of families turned out  as the side affectionately known as The Rushcart Lads, bobbed and weaved though the streets on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

And  the hypnotic bests tapped out by their highly polished reverberating  clogs had youngsters clapping with delight on the colourful route through Greenfield, Delph, Dobcross and Uppermill.

This is the side’s first performance in their high profile dance calendar which culminates with them pulling a giant Rushcart to an autumn celebration at St Chads church, Uppermill.

And on this opening tour, they were accompanied by a team of musicians and the popular Earlsdon Morris Men from Coventry who are regular Easter visitors and  contributed their own distinctive performances.

And the sunshine had Peter Ashworth reflecting on the varied weather patterns the morris men had faced since he revived the team in 1974.

“There has been every kind of weather over the years but they have always come up smiling.  Today has been marvellous with great dancing and super weather.” 

For the curious,  there are six dances in the team’s repertoire, each  named after a Saddleworth village and all loosely based on weaving patterns, except for Delph. 

That dance is based on a famous fight of the 'upper Enders' and 'lower Enders' featured by famous local author and poet  Ammon Wrigley.

"Our favourite is the Diggle dance because of its energetic, rhythmic formations and  with  dances evolving over the years,” Peter added.

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