Club History



Shakespeare Morris was formed in 1959, out of a Church Fellowship, whose lay preacher promoted Folk Dancing at the associated Primary School. The founder members of the the group in 1959 were scholars of King Edward VI Grammar School, where William Shakespeare was educated, some of whom are active club members.

Shakespeare Morris was admitted to the national association of men's morris clubs, The Morris Ring, in 1965, after organising a Ring Meeting in 1964 for the Shakespeare Quatercentenary Celebrations, the first meeting of The Morris Ring of England ever to be staged by a non member club. We are also members of the The Morris Federation since 2016 and The English Folk Dance and Song Society from 1959.

More Recently, a Ladies Team has been formed. The Ladies continue the club tradition of dancing Cotswold Morris using a selection of dances to complement the Men's repertoire, which includes the dances of the Bidford Tradition.

Shakespeare Morris is proud to have strong ties with the nearby village of Bidford-on-Avon, whose morris tradition has been extensively researched since 1965 by Phillip Taylor, Shakespeare Morris' long suffering musician for many years, assisted by Tony Parsons, the great grandson of Edwin Salisbury, a foreman of the 1886 Shakespearean Bidford Morris Dancers.

Shakespeare Morris first danced the Bidford Tradition at The EFDSS Albert Hall Festival in 1974. Tony first danced in 1965 with the Bidford Boys and his son Geoffrey has also been dancing with Shakespeare since he was old enough to walk! The dances from Bidford-on-Avon still form a significant element of all our public performances.