Rivington Morris are a Women’s team of North West Morris Dancers. We practice on Wednesday evenings at Ladybridge Community Centre near Bolton, not far from Horwich – and welcome new dancers and musicians.
These demure cultured women hail from near Bolton in Greater Manchester. Their clogs have been heard as far afield as Sidmouth, Germany, France, Holmfirth, Wigan, Accrington and Blackrod Carnival. Hundreds have looked on in awe and marvelled at their stunning stepping, precision, music and reinforced foundation garments. On-lookers have been heard to say “Rivington have that certain indefinable something that Northern teams have …” or “Make room – these Women take no prisoners”.
Do not refer to these women as ‘ladies’, or you may encounter one of their infamous ‘Clog Butties’.
Twee they are not … see for yourself!
Rivington Morris was founded in 1977. Rivington is a village at the foot of a hill (Rivington Pike) just north of Bolton, Lancashire. The team’s first practice hall was in the village school hall – hence the team name. There was no heating in the hall and in the depths of winter the band used to practice in mittens and hats! We practice most Wednesday evenings 8:00pm till 10:00pm – new members are always welcome, see Join Us.
Rivington perform dances from the North West Clog Morris Tradition and have developed a reputation over the years for energy and precision.
The team dance around fourteen North West dances, most of which were collected from women who danced them in various Lancashire mill towns in the first half of this century. The tradition arises from the mills where many teams grew out of the individual areas; hence the dances from Blackburn, Preston, Little Lever and so on.
One dance is named after the lady it was collected from – Auntie Marie’s Dance; Auntie Marie was 84 years old when she taught the dance to the team, she said she could remember dancing it as if it were yesterday! Other dances have been written by team members since this is a living tradition and it moves on; so we have Rivington, Sally’s dance, Annie’s dance, Astley Bridge and Adlington written by members past and present.
Rivington’s first dance was from Ashton and led to the team adopting the Ashton-under-Lyne town colours – red and purple – for their kit.
The straw boaters, red skirts, white tops, and purple sashes have been seen at most major folk festivals over the years. However in keeping with the North West tradition, Rivington also dance in many annual carnivals in towns on the Lancashire plain e.g Longridge, Horwich, Adlington.