This is no longer the web page for EKMM and will no longer be kept upto date. Cliff Robinson is running the current site at

This page is still here because it works as a link to the rest of the site which includes notes on hoodening and the Sides in Kent pages.

The Sides in Kent pages are no longer being maintained. They are still here as a list of sides but do not trust the contact information.

For better information go to Sidefinder which is generally more reliable and kept upto date.

For more images of traditional events, not just morris have a look at our
Rich Tradition


John Messias 1928 – 2001
A Grand Old Fool

Miscellaneous Images / Burmarsh 7th June 2002 / Wye 14th June 2002

Ashford Folk Day 2002 Elham 23rd June 2002 Thaxted 20th October 2002

Morris Dancing

East Kent Morris Men were founded in 1953 as part of the Coronation celebrations by members of the International Folk Dance Group in Folkestone. From the start this connection was maintained by our support of the Folkestone International Folk Festival.

Over the 50 years of its existence the side has been involved in the maintaining of 2 local events: Spring Bank Holiday at Charing and Hop Hoodening

Is there any connection between English Morris dancing and Brazilian Moçambique and Congada. Follow the link and see what you think. I'm sure there is a doctorate in there for some folklore student!



Spring Bank Holiday at Charing

Started originally by the side's 1st fool, Johnny Burke and Margeret Ruglys, a fellow teacher at Charing Primary and a long time churchwarden, there was a service in the Church at the end of which the side danced and Invicta the Hooden Horse chased the Vicar. There are photos in the scrapbook showing the side dancing on top of the tower. This was restricted to a solo jig in later years before being prohibited altogether due to the state of the roof. These days the service is followed by a display in front of the Bishops Palace.

Years ago this was followed by an extensive tour ending up on the Leas in Folkestone. These days we are all older and less fit so it is restricted to a lunch spot and a gentle meander up the road to The Wheel Inn Westwell, the site of our present fool being made an Honorary Brownie.

Hop Hoodening Canterbury

Until recently Kent was the main hop growing area in the country and had many traditions associated with it. Now unfortunately the growing of hops has declined dramatically due to imports and the cost of harvesting. However there are still several festivals that celebrate the harvesting of the hops. One of the longest running takes place on the 1st Saturday of September at Canterbury Cathedral. This has been run by a mixture of the local branch of the EFDSS and the local morris sides (Wantsum and East Kent) since 1954.

The day starts with a Procession through the precincts into the Cathedral by the Hop Queen in a Hop Bower, followed by country dancers and Morris Men. The procession is usually accompanied by 2 Hooden Horses . They are met at the door of the Cathedral by one of the senior clergy and process down the main nave for the service.

During the service East Kent Morris, Wantsum Morris and Kings Boys usually dance in front of the altar along with The Handbell Hoodeners and the local country dance team. Following the service there is a display of dancing in the cathedral precincts and a walking tour of the city.

For a couple of years there were problems with the service. In 1996 we were displaced from the Cathedral by the Police Choir who had a concert in the evening and blocked up the nave of the Cathedral. The service was held in the Methodist Church which gave a very different feel to the event. The most amusing part was the sermon with the Methodist minister skillfully going all around the subject of hops and beer without actually blessing either. We were very grateful to the minister for letting us use the church

In 1997 the whole event fell foul of the funeral of Princess Diana. For some reason the seat of the Anglican Church decided that it would not be appropriate to have Hop Hoodening going on at the same time as the funeral in Westminster Abbey. For the last few years we have been back in the Cathedral without problems and. in 1999 we were joined for the first time by Oyster Morris who danced in the Cathedral This year the event has moved to the second Saturday 13th September 2003 at 10.30am

The Morris Ring

East Kent have been a member of the Morris Ring since 1955. The Morris Ring was founded in 1934 as an association of mens morris sides. For many years it was the only organisation concerned with morris but about 20 years ago with the increase in womens and mixed sides The Morris Federation and The Open Morris were formed. There is now a great deal of cooperation between the 3 organisations on maintaining proper archives of historical materials as well as presenting Morris in a favourable light.


East Kent are basically a Mens cotswold side who over the years have done a wide range of traditions. These days we do mainly Adderbury, Fieldtown, and some Bledington and the odd dance from another half dozen traditions. We also do some of the figures from the North Skelton Longsword. Dances are selected for two main reasons, firstly we should enjoy the dance and secondly we should be able to put together a programme with sufficient variety to attract and retain an audience.


During the summer we dance at a mixture of fetes and other paid stands (usually at weekends) and on Friday nights we do pub stands. We have some excellent pubs in the area, many of which we will visit during our summer programme



Morris Sides in Kent

There are more than 30 morris sides of various types in Kent. They cover men, women and mixed cotswold, border, clog, mumming, hoodening and sword.

·  Blackheath

·  Boughton Monchelsea

·  Copperfield Clog

·  Dead Horse Morris

·  East Kent

·  Frog Island

·  Greenwich

·  Hartley

·  Headcorn Morris

·  Invicta Morris

·  Kent Korkers

·  Kettlebridge Clog

·  Kits Coty

·  Loose Women

·  Maenads

·  Motley Morris

·  Mr Jorrocks

·  Offcumduns

·  Oyster Morris

·  Rabble

·  Ravensbourne

·  Royal Borough

·  St Clements Clogs

·  Sandgate Hoodeners

·  Seven Champions

·  St Nicholas at Wade Hoodeners

·  Tonbridge Morris

·  Tonbridge Mummers

·  Wadard

·  Wantsum

·  Weald Of Kent

·  White Star Sword Dancers

·  Wolf's Head and Vixen Morris

·  Woodchurch Morris

·  Fabulous Fezheads


Most of the sides that have their own web sites will have their own calendar posted. Just follow the links

This page continues to grow and any comments or feedback would be very welcome.

If you are a Morris Side in Kent and I have left you out, I apologise, drop me a note and I will add you in.

East Kent Morris Men can be contacted via The Bagman David Webb on 01227 709557 or email on

Pete Thomas can be contacted via


Page Updated on 25th May 2002