What Is 'ACL'?
Maypole Colliery Disaster 1908
Maypole Colliery Today
Pit Or Pole?
Abram Morris Dancers
Morris and Maypole
Morris Dancers Ground
Maypole Colliery Disaster Memorial
Books About Abram
Abram Pace Eggers
Abram Morris Dancers Photo Gallery 2001
Abram in 1869
Coal Mining in & around Abram
Abram Morris Dancers Photo Gallery 1999
Abram Charities c1830
Late Victorian Abram
Party In The Park 2002
Abram Morris Dancers 2003
Contact Information for Abram Community Link
Links for Abram Community Link
Abram Morris Dancers 2003
|The annual walking tour of Abram, Bickershaw, Hindley and Platt Bridge took place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June. |
The first dance of the day was the quick practice at the Dover Lock Inn on Warrington Road.
Practice at Dover Lock Inn
|The team practices at the Dover Lock on Tuesday evenings each June. The last practice is immediatley before the first public performance, which is always at 11am at the Morris Dancers Ground on Park Lane.|
King and Queen
The King and Queen of the Abram Morris Dancers for the 2003 performances.
Processing Along Park Lane
The Abram Morris Dancers are led by their musicians and the King and Queen as they process to the Morris Dancers Ground.
Morris Dancers Ground Restored
|On Saturday 28th June 2003, the Abram Morris Dancers performed for the first time on the newly restored Morris Dancers Ground.
The Mayor of Wigan followed by the dancers enter the fenced arena - probobly the only venue dedicated to Morris dancing in the world!
Mayor of Wigan Takes Part
|For the very first dance on the newly restored Morris Dancers Ground, the Mayor of Wigan took the place of the Abram Morris Dancers' own King.|
The Dance Begins
The Abram Morris Dancers were most impressed by the improvement to the dancing surface. For many years they have had to avoid deep ruts and assorted rubble and litter. The derelict state of the site - which is Abram's official village green - was such that a campaign to restore it was started. The completion of the restoration process was the summer of 2003.
New Abram Maypole
The Maypole was obtained only shortly before the 2003 performance and will be fully painted and decorated in time for next year. The garland at the top of the pole included a representation of the winding gear of the nearby Maypole Colliery, which itself was named after the Morris dancers' Maypole.
The Abram Morris Dance
The Abram Morris Dance is always performed around a Maypole, whether the static pole at the Morris Dancers Ground or the mobile pole carried on the walking tour.
Some other Morris teams perform a circular dance similar to Abram around an unsuspecting female 'victim'. At the end of the dance, she is hoisted into the air and then informed that she has participated in a fertility ritual!
History of the Dance
|It seems likely that the tradition of the Abram Morris Dance was kept up by farming families in the village. During the nineteenth century, as the nature of the village became more industrial, so too did the occupations of the dancers change. Several are known to have been coal miners.|
Most people seem to think that the Maypoles that children tie ribbons around are a survival of the old English Maypole. In fact, that style of Maypole appears to have been introduced to England only during the nineteenth century, becoming so popular that it became a new tradition.
The older type of English Maypole was decorated with garland of flowers and ribbons, but the dancers did not hold on to he ribbons while dancing around the pole. The ribbons on the Abram pole are clearly above the heads of the dancers.
Thanks To Our Sponsors
|Team leader Geoff Hughes thanked the many organisations and individuals who helped the project to restore the Morris Dancers Ground. These included Wigan Council, Shell Better Britain Campaign, Lancashire Folk and several Morris dancers and teams. Many Morris teams sent messages in support of the project and members of Abram Community Link provided much encouragement.|
Posing For The Press (1)
|Version 1 - flick the handkerchiefs.|
Posing For The Press (2)
|Version 2 - wave the hats.
I would like to thank Yvonne, Duncan and Keith, who used my camera to take most of the photographs on this page while I was busy dancing or posing!
Dancing In The Streets
After performing at the Morris Dancers Ground, the tour heads into the streets of Abram accompanied by the mobile Maypole.
|As well as performing on unlikely street corners, the dancers visit private houses, farms and public houses, where they perform outside and sometimes inside. Performances at private houses are not usually publicised in the tour programme.
Many thanks to the owners of this lovely property for the sandwiches, cakes and punch that they so generously provide each year.
The Dance Ends
|The dance ends in a large circle, with the dancers awaiting the signal from the leader to lower their outstretched hands.|
Sunday 29th June
|As we had reason to celebrate the restoration of the Morris Dancers Ground this year, on the Sunday a short tour began at 11am as on the Saturday. The clouds of the previous day had completely disappeared - only blue skies on the Sunday.|
Posing For Ouselves
|The gentlemen of the press were not present for the repeat performance on the Sunday, so we took advantage of the fine weather to get some more group photographs.|
The Queen Entertains
|With the assistance of one of her subjects, the Queen performed a step dance inside the Bucks Head, Warrington Road, Abram.|
A Little Refreshment
|Before completing the final leg of Sunday's walking tour of Abram, the dancers paused for glasses of lemonade etc. at the Bucks Head.|
The End Is Nigh
|Having developed a few blisters by this stage, I got the chance to stand out of a dance and to use my own camera.|
Warrington Road Abram
|The tour finished at the Dover Lock on the Sunday, where it had started on the day before. The performance on land off Warrington Road was the last one before arriving at the Dover Lock.|
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