Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men


Sean Goddard, our 'in-house' historian, has unearthed the following information about the side's early years:

A Shoreham Country Dance Club was formed in February 1949. Then, as part of Shoreham's Festival of Britain celebrations in 1951, the Club took part in the town's procession. Paul Plumb had the roof of his Ford A car decorated with artificial grass and a small maypole. Alongside the car, were members of the country dance club dressed in national costume representing the British Isles - Scotland, Ireland, Wales and, for England, four Morris Dancers and a hobby-horse. Paul had a wind-up gramophone on the back seat playing records of folk music.

The following year, the Country Dance Club started a Morris Group under the direction of Geoffrey Biggs and Paul Plumb, as a number of men were keen to try Morris Dancing. The Shoreham Country Dance Club had become well known in Sussex for its forward thinking, and in 1953 had started its early morning May Day celebrations in Shoreham. There were country dance and Morris displays, processions, and calling at the doors of local citizens. There was breakfast too, a tradition which still continues today. We were elected to the Morris Ring in 1955.

Back in 1983, well before the days of websites, we had the bright idea of publishing a booklet, which contained a 'potted history' of the side and a few black and white photographs. It is interesting to look at it over 25 years later, not least because most of the men in the photos are still dancing with the side, albeit with a lot less hair and, in most cases, a lot more stomach!  Another significant change is the virtual demolition of Chanctonbury Ring in the 'Great Storm' of October 1987. Although the trees have been replanted, it will be many years before the Ring regains its former famous profile. If you want to see the booklet please click on the image of it.

Formation of the Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men

If you want to know more about us, or about the history of Morris Dancing, then try an email to our historygaffer, in reality Sean, our historian. If he can't help with your query he may know a man who can!

The photographs above are from Mayday 2010, when we repeated our visit of Mayday 1954, to the Shepherd and Dog at Fulking.  The original picture was published in ‘The Times’ the following day.

2013 was our sixtieth year and as well as enjoying our usual summer season of dance every Wednesday evening, and our regular annual appearances at Sussex events (see Programme above) we had a rather special tour, which took place in June, and a celebratory Ceilidh which was held on 21st September 2013. All of our friends and followers were welcome to come to this - if you weren’t there, then sorry, you’re too late!!!


If you would like to look at images gathered from our four scrapbooks, and see how many old(?) Faces and Places you recognise - go to our gallery page and scroll down to the bottom.

By hovering over a scrapbook you should be able to see a set of controls, which will allow you to navigate the pictures at your own pace.

Also produced has been a celebratory booklet, containing both a bit of history and, as a special treat, many of the songs which we have been performing in pubs and at events over the last 60 years.

Now this is downloadable by clicking on the image of the cover below.

CRMM songbook (only) Anniversary A5 050913 as printed.pdf