Growing Dancing England ticket sales, plus information on one of our teams

After just a couple of weeks of tickets being on sale, we are now 1/4 full. I know, it’s amazing. We’ve sold 125 tickets out of our capacity of 500 or so. If you’re keen to come, please do visit the Tickets page and make sure your name is on the list. Just 60 days to go!

Our hugely talented poster designer (Natalie Reid) is busy beavering away on her debut offering, taking a healthy dose of inspiration from the original artist, Richard Scollins, and adding her unique interpretation and creativity. We have seen a draft, and it looks very very good. Posters will be on sale prior to the event, and on the night. They’re sure to be popular, so watch this space.

Platt Bridge Sheffield 2008

from Platt Bridge website

Okely dokely. Onto our first featured traditional dance team; Platt Bridge Morris Dancers. This team of Carnival or Fluffy Morris Dancers appeared at the 1984 Dancing England in Derby and impressed the audience with their tight stepping and very straight lines.

The team was founded in 1970 in Wigan and has reached the dizzy heights of World Champions in the Isle of Man in 1984. They’ve amassed a haul of 50 competition wins and 13 Championship titles.

Platt-Bridge-Seniors-2016-edited

from Platt Bridge website

Carnival Morris is a very competitive tradition and is highly geared towards team formation and standards. It is often overlooked in the realms of traditional dance, but it shares key aspects of it’s history with North West Morris.

I’ve found an excellent article by the ethnomusicologist and artist, Dr Lucy Wright, which explains what Carnival Morris is all about, where it is now, and it’s importance as a vibrant and very much living tradition. Read on – HERE

That’s all for now folks, we hope you have a cracking Christmas and an excellent New Year, wherever you are and whatever you do. Enjoy it, and we’ll see you on the other side.

Another Dancing England update, tickets now on sale, and disabled access news

Evening all, apologies it’s been a bit quiet of late. It’s due to a combination of babies, holidays, folk festivals and the like. Please be rest assured though that things have been ticking along lovely in the background. So here’s a timely update for you.

Dancing England 2017 (18th February) at Sheffield City Hall will welcome the following confirmed acts and teams amongst others;

  • Horwich Prize Medal Morris Men
  • Star and Shadow
  • Bampton Traditional Morris Men
  • Rochester Sweeps
  • Fools Gambit
  • Redcar Longsword
  • The Newcastle Kingsmen
  • Bradshaw Mummers
  • Toby Bennett
  • Platt Bridge Morris Dancers
  • John Gasson Double Jig Winners

There’s still a couple to pin down and one act that we’re not going to tell you about in advance. Simply because they’re very special! And because Phil Heaton is such a tease.

ticketDoors open at 5:30pm with the show starting at 6:30pm. Tickets will be priced at £18 and £13 concessions (under 16s, UB40, carers, senior citizens, etc). Please be honest when buying your tickets, we may ask you to provide evidence that you are entitled to purchase tickets at a concessionary rate. Patron’s entrance time is 5:00pm

Tickets are now on sale today, December 1st. Please be aware that Patrons are the only ticket types that have a guaranteed seat, so do make sure to buy your ticket early and ensure that you’re in the queue on the night in good time. We expect some standing room only.

You can click here to buy a ticket – http://www.dancingengland.co.uk/tickets/

Sheffield City Hall has good facilities and access for people with a disability; lifts to all floors, accessible toilets on every level and hearing loops in the auditoriums. Guidance dogs are also welcome in the building. If you will need assistance at the venue please do get in touch when you book your tickets.

We look forward to putting on a great show and seeing you there on the night.

Until next time.

Dancing England crowdfunding exercise is a massive success, plus some good news from the Federation

thank youMy, my, my. The little project we set up to get the rebooted Dancing England up and running has been an unqualified success. We set out to raise £2000 and have ended up with £2360 courtesy of 58 extraordinarily generous (and forward thinking) individuals.

We salute and thank you all. This will enable a sound financial footing, and a successful event.

Thank you.

In other news, the rather wonderful Morris Federation is sponsoring the reboot too. Massive thanks due to Mel Barber and the Committee for their belief in Dancing England. A huge vote of confidence, again deserving huge thanks.

The list of teams invited and accepted is very nearly finished. We’ve a cracking mix od Traditional and Revival for the programme. The ceilidh band is sorted, we’ve 2 exhibitions confirmed with another 2 to come, and the stall spaces are being advertised too.

All in all, some progress has been made.

Until next time.

Edwin

 

A Dancing England update, being social, photos needed and the first acts have said yes

Dancing England poster 1985

artwork by Rick Scollins

 

43 amazing people have contributed a very generous £1570 towards our crowdfunding project, that’s 78% of our £2000 target and we’ve just 16 days left to go.

Or in other words, just over two weeks of funding updates and polite requests for a contribution left to go.

The link to assist with the project is – https://igg.me/at/dancingengland/x/12399537 if you’d be up for continuing to seeing Dancing England rise again. Perks are available!

Liking and Sharing the Facebook Page and our regular updates is key to spreading the word and is much appreciated. Perhaps you could download this PDF  What is Dancing England and email it to all your folkie and trad dance friends and contacts? Or invite people to Like the Page?

In other news, we’ve had a yes from some morris men types, and a very nearly yes apiece from a Longsword team and a rather unique English clog team. A ceilidh band with some most excellent names has been sorted too. Plenty yet to do and more updates to come. We’ll release act names in due course. Tenterhooks we know.

And finally, we’re still on the hunt for photos and the like from 1979 to 1987, if you have anything in the loft or in an old photo album, please dig it out and share it with us? We’ll credit you of course.

Please do keep coming back and reading our updates. It’s appreciated!

Until next time

Edwin

Dancing England update 23.05.16 where crowdfunding reaches £1120 and the teams list is now taking shape.

Dancing England poster 1983

artwork by Rick Scollins

Your generosity and belief in the Dancing England reboot is astounding. 29 people have contributed £1120.00 in less than 14 days, that’s 56% of our total! Thank you so much to all of you.

Your support is massively appreciated.

You can see where we’re up to, and make a contribution, by clicking this LINK. A £40 Patron contribution gets you a guaranteed ticket with early entry and a programme. Plus a very warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that you’ve helped this event rise again. You could also contribute £10 (Supporter) and end your glorious days on this earth with the sure knowledge that you’ve assisted in rebooting Dancing England.

Please do consider contributing to the event. We would be so grateful.

Phil Heaton has been busy beavering away putting together a list of teams and sides that we want to invite to the 2017 Dancing England event. The list is looking very strong, and very entertaining. We’re planning an excellent mix of the Traditional and Revival, with certain teams being tasked with working together. We’ve some old favourites from Dancing England’s past plus some new, younger teams certain to delight and entertain.

There’s some cracking rapper on the list, excellent North West and Carnival Morris, Cotswold from the Cotswolds, clog dancers, Longsword from a team rarely seen, some Mumming, Molly, something unique and very English and a couple of folkloric customs not many of us have seen. Plus some fantastic jiggers and more.

Its shaping up to be a tremendous show!

Now to get busy inviting these teams and persuading them to take part.

Until next time

Edwin

All about the Rick Scollins Dancing England posters. We’ve found someone for the 2017 poster too.

ey up mi duck part twoWe’ve had a couple of emails asking for more information about the posters and the artist from the original run of Dancing England. So we’ve dug deep and we’ve delved to inform you all about Richard Scollins.

Richard (Rick) Scollins was an Ilkeston-based artist born in 1946 and had many creative strings to his bow. Not only did he create the posters for Dancing England, he was an accomplished landscape painter and also painted many military figures and uniforms.

Together with Ilkeston school teacher, John Titford, he produced and illustrated a series of 3 books called “Ey Up Mi Duck”, concerned with the promotion and preservation of the speech and dialect of the Erewash Valley. The books sold in excess of 10,000 copies. They also created an LP, also entitled ‘Ey Up Mi Duck’ in 1978 featuring dialogue, poerty, brass bands and music, all celebrating the local dialect.

military figures Rick Scollins

(www.armchairgeneral.com)

Rick also painted many of Ilkeston’s pub signs and had his art exhibited all around the world. He was also a Morris dancer and performed with the folk group, Ramsbottom, where he was ‘discovered’ by Phil Heaton.

Phil Heaton remembers Rick; “I first met Rick Scollins when he was cavorting with Derby Morris Men in about 1976. He recognised my accent and was swiftly in ‘amangst it’ with the genuine Geordie Pitmatic, his Dad being a native of Winlaton in County Durham. Rick had a brilliant grasp of dialects and together with John Titford, wrote and illustrated the first widely read dialect books with tongue in cheek humour.  In a short time, their book ‘Ey Up Me Duck’ became and has remained a classic and has gone through many reprints”.

Rick was immensely proud of his Ilson (Ilkeston) background and was an instigator in Ilkeston’s Civic Society.  He was an avid collector of stories and tales, many of which reappeared in his art work. He was an excellent singer of Derbyshire songs, a reciter of tales and always a pleasure to be with. His reputation as a drummer was enhanced in the company of Ram’s Bottom Ceilidh band with such luminaries as Keith Kendrick, Barry Coope and Lester Simpson.  He was also, and not many people know this, the President of the Derbyshire Geordie Dwarf Society.

Rick was a prolific artist with a fantastic eye for detail and a deep interest in Military Costume and social history, to quote an appreciation of his work, ‘…anyone who has admired the work of Richard Scollins knows the illustrations are not ‘parade ground’ but captures the real face of soldiering, the fatigue despair courage dust and grime with depictions showing stained and torn uniforms sore feet and brocken boots!’

Dancing England poster 1981

artwork by Rick Scollins

Rick’s interests lay also in the wider realms of folklore and he was intensely interested in reviving the Derbyshire bagpipes. He had great ideas before his time. Derby Morris dancing in masks was one of his superb ideas but when it didn’t gel, he began proposing a new ‘mystical’ dance team in the late 1970s …blood, guts and anonymous masked dancers; drums; appearing and drifting aware unannounced…tentatively called Dog’s Own (an anagram). The team, full of similarly thinking dancers dragged along by Rick’s enthusiasm, faded away when he died in 1992.

Of course Rick was a great supporter of Dancing England and his posters reflected both the organiser’s and many of his own idea.

The Derbyshire Bagpiper was his second poster but the first was his image of a Dog’s Own dancer, later images of the dancing devil were part of his mystical philosophy and appeared often in the later posters.

He was a great friend and supporter. And open to all ideas.

To quote Fraxinus, the blogger; ‘…I believe Richard Scollins was one of the best military artists and I for one miss his work in books and magazines. I am just pleased that he was as prolific illustrator as he was but what more would he have produced?’

Rick is still fondly remembered in his home town and in 2010 had a street named after him (Scollins Court). His work on Dancing England is much admired and appreciated by all.

Well, it’s a tough task but someone’s got to do it. Creating the 2017 Dancing England poster that is. We have found a suitably talented and creative artist, ready to take on the Scollins mantle and most definitely make it their own. We’re not going to tell you who it is yet, but rest assured they know the brief and can deliver upon it.

Like and Share peoples, please Like and Share.

Until next time

Edwin

Wow. There are people out there that love Dancing England, and we most certainly love you too.

Dancing England poster 1982

artwork by Rick Scollins

In the first 24 hours of our crowdfunding campaign, you have so far contributed £580 towards our £2000 target. This is a fantastically generous 29% of our total, with 16 contributions. Thank you so much.

You can find out more about helping Dancing England by clicking – https://igg.me/at/dancingengland/x/12399537

The campaign closes on the 24th June, but we hope to have hit our target before then.

Just to recap then; a £40 contribution gets you 1 guaranteed ticket with early entry (best seat in the house!) and a free programme. Plus you’ll be sleeping in your bed safe and sound, guilt and shame-free, knowing that you’ve massively helped Dancing England take place once more. We will then call you a “Patron of Dancing England” and will totes love you forever.

If you felt unable to contribute that amount, then you could contribute £10. This gets you the moniker; “Supporter of Dancing England”, a big virtual hug from the team and a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you’ve helped Dancing England happen again.

Both types of contribution earn a mention online and in the programme.

The venue capacity is 600 strong and we’ve received several emails about when tickets are going on sale. We hope the response to ticket sales is popular! Remember, if you’re a Patron of Dancing England, you get a guaranteed ticket. There’ll be no danger of missing out.

If you just wanted to help online, then you can click to the campaign and hit the “Share” buttons to spread the message through Facebook or Twitter, whichever is your favoured persuasion.

Please Like and Share folks, Like and Share.

Until next time

Edwin

Dancing England goes crowdfunding. Become a Patron with an Indiegogo contribution. Perks are available.

Dancing England poster 1981

artwork by Rick Scollins

The organising team at Dancing England believe in our project; to reboot the oft-missed and much-loved series of traditional dance showcases of 1979 to 1987. We want to find others who feel the same way.

Since we launched the website on the 5th May and told you all about what we’re up to, we’ve been overwhelmed with messages of support, 305 Facebook Likes and 2300 page views on the website.

The lovely chaps of Dolphin Morris Men have even linked to us on their website (10 referrals and counting!).

Due to our request for archive material and photographs, people are now looking through their lofts to try and find images, scrapbooks and film of the previous events. we look forward to receiving said items to post on the website and on Facebook.

Putting on such an event takes much effort and money. To help with the latter, we’ve set up an Indiegogo crowdfunding page. This concept wasn’t around in 1979 and neither as the internet, although I’m sure Phil and John went (Black) cap in hand around the various nefarious Nottingham and Derby folk clubs and dance teams asking for contributions! Essentially, we are looking for Patrons of Dancing England.

We want to start Dancing England again on a firm financial footing, and this is where both you and the internet comes in to play. Please have a look at our Indiegogo page and have a think about making a contribution. In return there are Perks available, if you decided to become a Patron then you’d get a big hug from the team, an early entry ticket to get a excellent seat, a special mention online and in the programme, which will be complementary.

Or you could become a Supporter of Dancing England with a smaller contribution which would earn you masses of undying gratitude and a special mention online and in the programme.

You can contribute by credit card or PayPal and Indiegogo uses secure servers so your details are safe and secure. You can read more on our web page – Patrons & Supporters.

Your support would be much valued and help enable this event to take place once again.

As ever, please Like and Share online and with social media.

Thank you

Edwin

Help! Ancient and mouldering photographic evidence needed to swell the Dancing England archives.

Dancing England poster 1980

artwork by Rick Scollins

Well, after less than 24 hours, we have 215 Facebook page Likes and 1200 page views on the website. An awesome start, thanks for being a part of it.

Right. Our first request of you guys and gals. If you search the old t’interweb for Dancing England, you’ll find that there’s not a massive amount out there. I spent a lot of time gleaning the odd reference and image from the recesses of the web, and what I’ve put on here and on the Wikipedia page is about it.

Therefore, we need images and photographs to bolster our slim pickings and add to the old archives. If you have any photographs from 1979 to 1987, or in fact from Daughter of Dancing England 1993, then please either;

Email them to hello@dancingengland.co.uk or upload them to the Dancing England Facebook page. You could tweet them as well, if of course you’re that way inclined! What we will need is as much information about the photo as possible; what team dancing and what year etc. But most important of all, who took the photograph and to whom it should be credited.

If, by heavens above you have any video or ye olde cine film (ahem), then why not upload to YouTube and send us the link? You might need some sooper dooper software for the first bit.

As always, please Like and Share!

Until next time

Edwin