New Esperance Morris will be hosting the Morris Federation’s AGM in 2018, here in the vibrant city of London. All Morris Federation members are warmly invited join us from Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd September 2018, which includes the 2018 Morris Federation AGM on the Saturday afternoon. Dance, play, sing, and celebrate Morris in the dynamic city of London, and come showcase your talent to audiences from around the world.
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New Esperance Morris are proud to host 2018’s Morris Federation AGM in our hometown, the vibrant city of London. We would like to invite all Federation sides to celebrate a Festival of Morris weekend with us – a celebration of the living tradition of Morris which we are proud to champion.
New Esperance Morris draw their ethos from Mary Neal, a pioneer of morris in her time, who originally founded the Esperance Guild from whom we take inspiration and our name. So in turn it is our aim to showcase not only the sights and sounds of our beautiful city, but to showcase pioneering Morris of all traditions to the broad audiences of the capital. When you arrive, TfL will proudly tell you “London is Open” – and we look forward to welcoming you!
The weekend will be hosted at Cecil Sharp House, London’s centre for Folk Dance and Song, close to the amenities, shops, and restaurants of Camden Town. Indoor Camping will be available for Friday and Saturday nights, and there is a cafe on site for your use as well as local restaurants.
Our programme is below, and more details about the schedule, local area, workshops, ceilidhs, and performances are available here on our website – where you will also find a booking form and payment information (please use the titles above to navigate, or scroll down).
Saturday’s dancing will be a tour of the London Southbank featuring popular spots along the river between Trafalgar Square and London Bridge. Sights will include several popular London attractions so be sure to bring your camera, your sharpest dancing and your best smiles! We can guarantee you’ll never dance to such a diverse crowd as London’s enthusiastic tourists and keen-eyed locals…
Saturday evening’s entertainment includes a ceilidh, performances, Library lecture, a folk costume exhibition, sessions and songs. On the Sunday there will be dance and music workshops led by guests from across the Federation, followed by a relaxed local dance out exploring some of the best watering holes in Camden Town.
We look forward to welcoming you for the weekend! If you have any queries, and to book, please contact us via the form below.
Programme of Events
2pm Storage rooms at Cecil Sharp House open for those who would like to leave luggage and explore local Camden Town or the wider city
8pm Knees Up Cecil Sharp ceilidh with Banter and assorted callers including Fee Lock, Gordon and Nancy Potts and Mary Panton. £10/£8* entry – pay on the door.
7.30am Breakfasts will be available to buy from the Cecil Sharp House cafe or venture down into the town for your choice of breakfast buffets…
10am Gather at Cecil Sharp House for accompanied travel to the Southbank (please note: you will need to bring your own contactless payment card or Oyster card)
11am-3pm Walking Tours of the Southbank Tours will include local landmarks and floored spots. Teams will be given a lunch break, and taken around their tour route by a dedicated guide.
4pm Reception at Cecil Sharp House with sign-in for Morris Federation AGM, tea and cake will be available.
4.30pm Morris Federation AGM begins
7pm – 11pm Festivities in Cecil Sharp House
6.30pm Lecture in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
7pm Canals of Old England performance by Bonnet and Belt
7.30pm Costume Exhibition with talks by Chloe Middleton-Metcalfe
8.30pm Celidh with Panjandrum and Gordon Potts
9.30pm Song and Tune sessions begin in the bar
Craft Stalls and Event Merchandise will be available throughout
10am – 11.30am Workshops on different styles of Morris dance and music – for full details from our guest hosts, please see our website
12pm – 3pm Morris tour of local Camden pubs, all serving Sunday Lunches
Full Weekend Ticket – £20 / £17* **
Saturday Evening only – £15 / £12*
Saturday Tour only – Free (but please let us know numbers!)
Indoor Camping – +£5 per night (150 spaces available)
*We offer a concession price for students and those on low-income
** Please note: the Friday night “Knees Up” ceilidh is run by a separate organisation and is not included in the ticket price. Tickets are £10/£8* on the door.
A team of Esps are sorting out your best options – please check back later.
Food and Drink
This section is being developed – please check back later for full details.
The price of the weekend does not include your food and drink – however there are many options to suit even the most diverse of palates! Please get in touch if you are concerned about your dietary requirements, we should be able to advise and point you in the direction of something delicious.
Cecil Sharp House has its own on-site cafe – their website is here. The cafe will be open for breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, as well as offering a selection of sweet and savoury treats throughout the day.
Camden Town has a wide range of cafes and restaurants, as well as the famous Market stalls. Some places you might like to try include…
[check back later]
During our tour of the South Bank, each team will have a dedicated lunch break. You will be left to your own devices to “forage” for something to suit, but there are cafes and restaurants along the whole route – so you’ll have a wide choice whether you want a light bite or something more filling.
A team of Esps are working on developing this section further – please check back later for more details when we have them…
Toilets will be available along the route, with a selection of accessible toilets – most large London venues have an accessible loo of some kind. Changing places toilets are located near to the route at the Royal Festival Hall, Victoria Embankment Gardens (Embankment), Tate Modern, and City Hall. You can find a map of Changing Places toilets along the Southbank here.
Cecil Sharp House has an accessible toilet – however, the nearest Changing Places toilets are located at King’s Cross and St Pancras railway stations, so please do plan carefully if you need these facilities. They are about 7 minutes apart by car, or 20 minutes by bus.
Both the Southbank Tour and Cecil Sharp House have step-free/wheelchair access to most areas. Cecil Sharp House is accessible via a lift from the outside, and has an accessible toilet (not a Changing Places toilet, unfortunately). The tube from Camden Town has step free access via escalator, but not wheelchair access… the best way to travel to the Southbank by wheelchair is by bus – a guided group will leave Cecil Sharp House at 10am on Saturday. Please let us know when you book if you wish to join this group.
We are looking for volunteers to help make the Festival of Morris, especially the Southbank Tour, a success.
We need Tour Guides to accompany Morris teams along their personalised tour routes, and we need static volunteers to steward the dance spots.
Volunteers will receive free entry to the rest of the Festival of Morris, and a 50% discount on indoor camping (if booked in advance).
There is a volunteer application form at https://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/opportunities/12098 or you can apply directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (please say Fed AGM Volunteer in the subject line!)
Frequently Asked Questions
I have a disability – can I come to your event?
Certainly! We aim to make the event as accessible as possible, and the best way for us to meet everyone’s access needs is for you to get in touch and discuss your individual needs with us.
Some of the accessibility measures we already have in place include: a quieter room available at Cecil Sharp House; alternative/step-free travel arrangements within a guided group; a guide to accessible hotels (please see Accommodation); Large-Print programmes available; allergy and dietary information available (please see Food and Drink); a dedicated sub-team of Esps on hand to make this event accessible – please contact us!
My team’s kit includes black facepaint. Can we attend?
Yes, we welcome you to our event and are excited to see a wide variety of teams and dancing styles on display in the capital!
However, you will need to know that it is the policy of Cecil Sharp House to not allow full-face black facepaint on their premises, so you will need to remove it before you come in to the grounds. We also wish to advise you that full-face black facepaint may be received with skepticism or even offence by some London bystanders. We would advise you to be considerate and respectful of these views when travelling in the city (as we are sure you would be always!) and perhaps have some information on hand to explain your kit choices if you do wish to travel in full, facepainted kit.
What will I see?
Final tour routes will be announced nearer the event, however Saturday’s Dance Tour is along the London Southbank, one of the most popular tourist spots in London. The tour will include sights such as:
The London Eye
The Golden Hind Shakespeare’s Globe
St Paul’s Cathedral
… although you may not dance at all these locations, you will have a lunch break and there are many many selfie opportunities along your way!
If you wish to travel to tourist spots around the city, Cecil Sharp House is just a short walk from Camden Town station, which is on the Northern Line of the Tube network – the underground links you quickly and comfortably to almost any attraction.
How will I pay for transport?
Your best option is to bring a contactless debit/credit card or an Oyster card to use for your travel. Oyster cards can be bought from any London underground station (including Camden Town) and need to have money “topped up” (added to them) at a station or Oyster ticket stop (some newsagents). If you have a London Freedom Pass, these are valid on our tube. Information from Transport for London is available here.
If you require step-free access or wheelchair access to travel around London, please contact us so we can arrange for you to travel with a group of people with similar needs. Similarly, please do get in touch if you have any other access needs which affect your travel.
I have limited mobility – can I do the South Bank tour?
We want to make this event as accessible as possible, and hope to plan our routes so that everyone can enjoy them. It will be a walking tour of the South Bank, and the stretch from London Bridge to Trafalgar Square is roughly two miles. However – the whole route can be step-free and fully wheelchair/scooter accessible, and you will only be walking between dance spots after minimum half-hour intervals. Seating should be available at every dance spot.
London is a big place and I am scared!
That’s okay, many people find the thought of London daunting but leave with it firmly in their favourite places… There is no need for you to travel around the city alone, as accompanied groups will depart from Cecil Sharp House to the tours on both Saturday and Sunday. During the Southbank tour, each team will have a map of their route as well as their own guide who travels with them along their personalised tour route. There will also be volunteers at key spots along the route. And if you do manage to stray from the path, the Southbank has its own dedicated guides who are employed year-round to help lost tourists!
As for Camden – if you don’t wish to, you never need to leave Cecil Sharp House without a guide as there is both a cafe and a bar on site. However, if you do wish to explore the town with its restaurants, shops, and famous market… there is a great map here: https://www.camdenmarket.com/visit-us
You can pay for your tickets and camping via PayPal using the link below.
Please “add a note” when it gives you the option and tell us which team or person the payment is coming from!
You can pay here: http://PayPal.Me/FedAGM2018
The payment says it is going to Diane Moody – who is our Bag, and has set up the account for Fed AGM 2018 accounts. It is not going to her personally; our usual New Esperance bank account does not allow online payments.