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North West Morris

The North West Morris tradition is different from Border Morris or Cotswold Morris although some identifiable elements draw the traditions together. The characteristics of North West (principally Cheshire and Lancashire but extending into the Lake District) are processions and clogs and are quite possibly a later tradition than the others although may have their origins before the Industrial Revolution.

The dances are usually 8 men or more to a side rather than the Cotswold 6 and this is in keeping with Welsh Border as is blacking up. The processional element is also seen in Derbyshire at Tideswell and Winster as well as in quite a few Cotswold traditions. The steps are different - not the normal morris double step but more like a rant step - reminiscent of the sword or rapper dances.The single step is however similar.Sticks are shorter and decorated. Handkerchiefs are often replaced with cotton braids, the costumes are colourful and smart and the music is often provided by a brass band. Garstang and Britannia Coconut Dancers are probably the best known sides from the North West.

Some regard the North West Tradition of the Garland Dance to be part of the Morris particular to this area, although no surviving rural examples (pre 1850) are known.