Last Updated 7th February 2001
Meeting at Kingston-on-Thames 21 September 1957
The sixty-first Meeting of the Morris Ring was held at Kingston-on-Thames on Saturday September 21st 1957 at the invitation of the Thames Valley Morris Men. Since suitable sleeping accommodation could not be found the meeting was confined to a single day.
The following clubs sent full sides: Abingdon, Bedford, Benfleet Hoymen, East Surry, Kings College N/C, Martlet, Northampton, Orpington, Ravensbourn, St. Albans, Thames Valley, Westminster, Winchester & Woodside. Also represented were Cambridge, Colchester & Standon. There were boys teams Dr. Barnados (Abingdon), Whitby, Christs Hospital, Steyning Grammar School & the Lancastrian Boys School. In all about 200 dancers took part. The Whitby and Steyning boys were guests of the host club.
Each of the 8 teams started dancing at 10.30a.m. & converged on Kingston during the course of the morning and afternoon. Each tour comprised one, two or three teams, with a Thames Valley dancer as a guide: -
Tour A: Winchester Morris Men danced at Farnham, Guildford, Woking, Weybridge, Hampton Court & Kingston (Queens Promenade)
Tour B: Colchester, Westminster & Woodside danced
[p95 - Souvenir Programme - Kingston-on-Thames Ring Meeting]
at Richmond, Twickenham (3 pitches), Teddington (2 pitches) and Kingston (Bridge).
Tour C: Kings Collage N/C & Ravensbourn danced at Hampton Court (2 pitches), Walton-on-Thames (3 pitches), Shepperton & Esher.
Tour D: Northampton, Abingdon & Abingdon Boys team danced at Maidenhead, Windsor, Old Windsor, Runnymede, Stains, Laleham &Hampton Court.
Tour E: Bedford & St. Albans danced at Watford, Harrow, Ealing, Kew, Richmond & Ham.
Tour F: Benfleet Hoymen & Whitby danced at New Maldon (3 pitches), Worcester Park (2 pitches), Raynes Park & Wimbledon.
[Tour G was cancelled]
Tour H: East Surry & Orpington danced at Wallington, Mitcham, Morden, Wimbledon (3 pitches) & Putney.
Tour J: Martlet & Boys from Christs Hospital & Steyning Grammar School danced at Petworth, Horsham, Dorking, Leatherhead, Hook & Kingston.
The tours travelled by private cars except for the Martlet Men who hired a coach & the Whitby boys who travelled in a hired Dormobile, staying over night in a London hostel. The timing of certain tours was carefully arranged
so that dancing was to been seen at Hampton Court most of the morning and afternoon. Being unable to produce written permission from the Town Clerk, Tour E were forbidden by the park-keeper to dance on Richmond Terrace & took part instead outside an old peoples home & in front of a hotel where full advantage was taken of the arrival of a newly married couple for their wedding reception.
All the tours gathered at the Regal Cinema Restaurant at Kingston for tea at 5p.m. & it was estimated that at least 250 persons took advantage of this meal. A procession was formed to Canbury Gardens where team displays with a few massed dances continued from 6 till 7.30. During this time the weather was dull & the crowed smaller then had been hoped.
The Feast was at 8 p.m. in the Regal Cinema Restaurant. The guests were the Mayor of Kingston-on-Thames (Miss D.M. Alexander, J.P.), Alderman Geoffrey Lines & Mrs Lines, Mrs. Penton (wife of the squire of Thames Valley Morris Men) and Mr. Leo Constantinades (a friend & helper of the Thames Valley club).
150 persons sat down to the meal which was efficiently & expeditiously served. After the formal toasts the Mayor of Kingston made a brief speech welcoming the Morris Men to the Royal Borough. The Squire thanked the Mayor for his kind words & went onto review the years meetings. He drew attention to the coloured reproduction of the May Games Window from the Kingston Library which appeared on the programme of the meeting & referred to the increasing number of foreign tours undertaken by the clubs. His own club had just returned from the Wine Festival in Burgundy & he concluded by calling on the Kings College Morris Men to lead the company in thanking the Mayor in the authentic Burgundian fashion.
The toast of the Thames valley Morris Men was proposed by Geoffrey Metcalf who expressed the indebtedness of the Morris Ring to the host club for organising the meeting. In reply Christopher Penton (Squire of Thames Valley) paid tribute to those members of the club who had borne the brunt of the work, particularly Cyril Smith (Bagman), Ron Duncombe (Assistant Bagman) & George Lawrence. The last named- to the
clubs great loss- was shortly to leave the district
[Written in pencil in the Margin] He moved to Ipswich, and danced with Colchester and then the newly formed E.Suffolk club.
& the speaker forthwith presented him on behalf of his club with the Ring Bagmans tankard in lieu of the one intended for him which he had accidentally left at home. Cyril Smith then proposed a toast to "Our guests", mentioning that Alderman Lines was President of the local District of the English Folk Dance Society, Mrs. Penton the designer of the Thames Valley club costume & "Mrs. Leo" the Principal of a school which is made freely available to the club for their practices. The Squire rose to welcome the traditional team from Abingdon including the Mayor of Ock Street, Tom Hemmings; he also welcomed Joe Brown who had brought his boys team all the way from Whitby. In reply to the toast Alderman Lines spoke of the history of Kingston & welcomed the Morris back to the town. He regretted the non-cooperation of the Clerk of the weather which prevented the use of the best part of Canbury Gardens.
This concluded the speeches and since many of the company had to leave
to catch trains or had long distances to travel, the Squire drew the meeting to a close at about 9.30 p.m. In spite of the indifferent weather the days bag totalled £109 the tours averaging about £8 each.
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