Why not join them in 2013?
Several hundred spectators ignored the rain-laden skies and gathered on Boxing Day to watch Greensleeves Morris Men, Wimbledon's popular local Morris dancing side, perform their traditional Mummers play and dance outside the Hand in Hand and Crooked Billet pubs on the Crooked Billet at the edge of Wimbledon Common.
The packed performance rounded off Greensleeves' annual Boxing Day tour which started in the morning at Rosemary Lodge care home, off Ridgeway, followed by a lunchtime performance in Wimbledon Village High Street.
"Greensleeves performing here is a Christmas tradition and looked forward to by our customers. It's an annual Wimbledon event and part of the character of this pub," said Andrew Ford, landlord of The Hand in Hand.
"We've had over 200 people here today. This event always draws a good crowd."
Greensleeves' started their Christmas tour at Rosemary Lodge, a residential care home with 39 mostly elderly residents that is owned and run by Wimbledon Guild.
The care home's residents as well as staff look forward to Greensleeves’ annual visit, according to Rosemary Lodge registered manager, Margaret Redway.
"The show was excellent; it always is. It gives great pleasure to our residents. You can see the toes tapping of those joining in," Margaret said.
Moving on to nearby Wimbledon Village High Street, Greensleeves entertained a large crowd at their noontime performance opposite the Rose & Crown public house, attracting families and other visitors strolling by and those looking for bargains in the village's High Street shops on the first day of the winter holiday season sales.
"It's been a good day. We have 20 members out dancing today; the youngest is 12 years old," commented Chris Benson, Squire (leader) of Greensleeves Morris Men.
"We have had very enthusiastic crowds. They cheered and groaned in the right places during our Mummers play; and the rain started as we finished our last dance."
For those interested in English traditional dancing and folk music, Greensleeves will run two Friday open evenings in January, offering first time and returning dancers the chance to join in the fun of Morris dancing.
The Friday open evenings will be held on the 4 and 11 January from 8pm to 10pm at South Wimbledon Community Centre, 78 Victory Road, SW19 IHN.
Loose clothing and trainers are suggested for those trying Morris dancing for the first time.
"We have two open evenings in January and we look forward to seeing some new faces there," Chris Benson said. "Morris dancing is back in fashion and we’re keen to give people the chance to try it.
"Our open evenings are the ideal way to sample the enjoyment of Morris dancing. No experience is needed; just bring your energy and enthusiasm!"
Founded in 1926, Greensleeves (www.greensleevesmorris.org.uk) is London's longest established Morris dancing club and has been based in Wimbledon for the past 30 years.
Beginners are welcome and inquiries can be addressed to the club secretary (known as a Bagman) David Cooling on 07500993993 or email@example.com.
December 28, 2012