Stroud Wassail features a great gathering of morris dancers and other street performers for the day. You will find them performing in the streets throughout the day – outside the Sub Rooms, by the Farmers’ Market, by the Shambles Market, outside the Merrywalks arcade… they’ll be popping up all over the place! And keep an eye out for the odd group of mummers as well.
Invitations have gone out for the 2018 Wassail, and it looks like there will be quite a few new visitors to Stroud. Here’s who has signed up so far:
Aelfgythe – a vibrant and very entertaining women’s Border side all the way from Alvechurch, and new visitors to Stroud Wassail. Just try saying their name after a few pints in the Ale House.
Alvechurch – a men’s Border side from Worcestershire. Slightly bonkers, and well worth watching. They’re first-time visitors to Stroud Wassail, and we’re delighted to welcome them.
Appleyard name themselves after a kind of duck. And why not? They’re a women’s side from Worcestershire, and they’re first-time visitors to Stroud Wassail.
Bakanalia are back, coming down to Stroud all the way from Leicestershire. Colourful and classy – not to be missed.
Bedcote Morris are coming down from Stourbridge to join us. They’re a mixed Cotswold side and always put on a good show.
Beorma are from Beorm-ingham and are loud, colourful and full of energy. Not to be missed.
Black Adder Clog Morris from Birmingham are first-time visitors to the Wassail. Get your sunglasses out, as this lot are seriously colourful!
Borderline Morris come from Reading and they’re another sunglasses job, with their fluorescent tatters. Click on the link to their website at your own peril.
Boss Morris from Stroud – it’s Cotswold, Jim, but not as we know it.
Bygonz will be providing a Mediaeval musical backdrop to the day. Something a bit more gentle and soothing among the morris mayhem.
Chippenham Morris Men are stalwarts of the Wassail. As well as being a fine Cotswold side, they have some superb musicians, so look out for them in the music sessions in the afternoon.
Clocs Canton from Cardiff will with us once again, looking fresh and springlike as ever with their daffodil garlands.
Dartmoor Border Morris first came to Stroud some years back when host side Styx invited them for a ‘Five Valleys Tour’ – and now they’re back as first-time visitors to our Wassail. Lovely people, with a strange tendency to adorn themselves with sheep.
Devizes Jubilee Morris are first-time visitors to Stroud Wassail. They’ve got a fair few youngsters in their side, so look out for some high-energy dancing.
England’s Glory is one of the longest established women’s morris sides. They are named after a brand of matches – hot stuff maybe?
The Forest of Dean Mummers joined us for the first time last year as the Forest of Dean Morris Men. This year they’ll be mumming for us, with a play about fracking in the Forest. Should be good.
Foxs Morris never fail to put on a good show, and you can’t help smiling when watching them.
Gloucestershire Morris Men – well, it just wouldn’t be Stroud Wassail without them!
Hips and Haws are new visitors to the Wassail. They’re a women’s north-west clog side from Wiltshire. Nice colourful kit to brighten up a January day!
Malmesbury Morris is another Wassail stalwart, and we’re glad to welcome them back to Stroud again. They dance Cotswold with the odd bit of Border thrown in, plus some of their own original dances.
Mason’s Apron came to our Wassail for the first time last January – and now they’re hooked! They’re a North-West Clog side, based in Long Hanborough in Oxfordshire. They get their name from a pub, which is always a good sign!
The Masqueing Band strolling minstrels will be strolling round Stroud, making sweet music and making you smile.
Merrie Morgana/Aziza Belly Dancers hail from Cheltenham. During the summer they are belly dancers, but in the winter they very sensibly don medieval garb and become Merrie Morgana. They bring a bit of calm and elegance amidst the mayhem and madness of the morris folk.
Miserden Morris is a new Cotswold side from near Stroud. They danced at Stroud Wassail for the first time last year as Gloucestershire Mixed Morris, and now they’re back with a new name and new identity.
Nancy Butterfly (lovely name!) is a North-West Clog side from Worcestershire. Another first-time visitor to our Wassail.
Another local side, Sabotage clog dancers, will be flying the flag for Stroud.
Silhill Border Morris come from Worcestershire (as do many of our visitors this year – what’s going on?). Apparently they like real ale – good news for the Little George and the Ale House then!
Styx of Stroud Border Morris is the host side for Stroud Wassail. They are loud and enthusiastic performers, and hard-core party animals when off-duty. They’re looking forward to hosting friends old and new on January 13.The Suffolk Howlers – with a name like that they’ve got to be good. Mummers plays about King Arthur, St George and the Dragon, Gawain and the Green Knight. Not to be missed!
Winterbourn Down are Wassail regulars – colourful, energetic and great fun. Not to be missed.