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 2019 Wassail, and it looks like there will be quite a few new visitors to Stroud. Here’s who has signed up so far:
Appleyard name themselves after a kind of duck. And why not? They’re a women’s side from Worcestershire, and they visited the Wassail for the first time last year. Since then, they’ve been back for the Stroud Folk Weekend, so we think they like Stroud. That’s good, cos we like them.
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.
Borderline Morris come from Reading and are incredibly colourful 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.
Clocs Canton from Cardiff will with us once again, looking fresh and springlike as ever with their daffodil garlands.
Dartmoor Border Morris are joining us again. Look out for their beautiful tattercoats with green representing the moorland grass, brown representing the tors and blue representing the Devon skies.
Devizes Jubilee Morris came to the Wassail for the first time in 2018 and astonished us with their high-energy dancing. Not to be missed.
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 performed a play about fracking in the Forest last year. This time they’ve promised us a story concerning a Bear and Brexit.
Foxs Morris from Worcestershire are Wassail stalwarts and keep dancing, smiling and laughing whatever the weather. Not to be missed.
Happenstance Border Morris are old friends of the Wassail. Many of them will metamorphose into Shepherd’s Crook folk choir in the afternoon.
Mason’s Apron came to our Wassail for the first time in 2017 – 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!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 Stroud Cotswold side. They danced at Stroud Wassail for the first time in 2017 as Gloucestershire Mixed Morris, but now they’ve well and truly established themselves as Miserden.
Nancy Butterfly (lovely name!) is a North-West Clog side from Worcestershire. Look out for some beautiful butterfly jewellery.
Old Speckled Hen couldn’t make it to the last Wassail, but now they’re back – hurrah!!
The Stroud Wassail Mummers will be back again with their tale of a local hero and villain fighting for the love of a fair lady.
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 12.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!
The Tattered Court Border Morris from Cheltenham have a quirky style all of their own. Expect some exciting and original dances.
Winterbourn Down are Wassail regulars – colourful, energetic and great fun. Not to be missed.