Season Dawns For Wimbledon's Morris Men

Greensleeves launch summer programme

Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Williams, braved the early morning chill to join friends and other early risers watching Greensleeves Morris Men, Wimbledon’s own Morris dancing club, launch their 2013 summer dance season at break of dawn on May Day at Wimbledon Windmill. See picture on the right.

The Mayor and other supporters were treated to a programme of traditional dances that started at 5.30am on May 1 at the Windmill on Wimbledon Common. Coffee with rum was offered to all attending the sunrise performance to help ward off the early morning chill.

The mayor then joined Greensleeves for a full English breakfast at Wimbledon Squash and Badminton Club before heading off to a day of official engagements.

"This has been an exceptional experience to share this morning. It's a highlight on the mayorial calendar," said Councillor Williams. "It emphasizes a sense of community I have been impressed with during my term as mayor.

"It;s good to see people enjoying themselves. It underlies the spirit that Greensleeves bring with entertainment for a wide spectrum of the community."

Performed every May Day, Greensleeves' early morning Morris dance programme is one of Wimbledon’s lesser known annual traditions.

"Our dance at the break of dawn is to celebrate the start of our summer dancing season,” explained Chris Benson, Squire (leader) of Greensleeves Morris Men. "It's been a great morning. We are looking forward to a successful summer dancing season. The club is in good heart and we are looking forward to dancing out."

Following their Wimbledon Day of Dance, which took place on Saturday (May 4), Greensleeves will next perform in Wimbledon on Friday 10 May when evening performances will take place at 8.00pm at the Alexandra Public House at 33, Wimbledon Hill Road and at 9.00pm at the Trafalgar Public House at 23, High Path, South Wimbledon.

"We look forward to an energetic dancing season," Benson said. "We are looking forward to seeing our younger members in action this summer as we have five teenage members dancing in our side."

Founded in 1926, Greensleeves ( is London's longest established Morris dancing club and has been based in Wimbledon for the past 32 years.

Greensleeves meet for practice sessions every Friday evening from September to April from 8pm to 10pm at South Wimbledon Community Centre on Haydons Road.

This September Greensleeves will run a series of Friday open evenings throughout the month for those wanting to try the Morris for themselves.

Beginners are welcome and inquiries can be addressed to the club secretary (known as a Bagman) David Cooling on 07500993993 or

May 4, 2013

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