In April 1909 Sharp collected 6 songs from shoemaker George Gibbs of Evesham. Then in September 1909 he visited and took brief notes on the morris styles at Peopleton, Pershore and White Ladies Aston -  what we now call 'Border Morris'. These 3 villages are all within 10 miles SE of Worcester and his informants stated that these dances had either ceased or were in abeyance. Their average age was 75 - an agricultural labourer, baker and grocer.

By this date Sharp had investigated and increased his understanding of 'Cotswold morris' - in the previous 18 months he had recorded the tunes and some of the stepping for the Sherborne, Ilmington, Bledington and Bampton dances. His Morris Books 1 & 2 had also been published. Perhaps he felt that these Worcestershire dances could not easily be revived and he had no local intermediary to inspire him either. After Xmas 1909 he went to visit the very active Mrs Ella Leather in Herefordshire, where he engaged much better with the 'Border' traditions at Leominster, Dilwyn, Weobley and Brimfield.

After Sharp's death, the Worcestershire dances at Upton-upon-Severn, Pershore and Evesham were recovered by Maud Karpeles, Roy Dommett and Jack Hargreaves respectively. There were other locations in Worcestershire where morris dancing was reported in history - see E.C.Cawte 'The Morris Dance in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire' EFDSS Journal vol 9 no.4 (Dec 1963).

Note: Sharp collected over 50 folksongs from Shipston-on-Stour, Armscote and Newbould-on-Stour but these locations were transferred from Worcestershire to Warwickshire in 1931 and appear in that Area Directory (with apologies).

As a starting point for modern folk in the county, try https://worcesterfolk.org.uk and any of the morris organisations (Morris Ring, Open Morris and Morris Federation).

Books by Author David Sutcliffe

Cecil Sharp and the Quest for Folk Song and Dance

A new biography of Cecil Sharp, written by David Sutcliffe

£20.00 + p&p

The Keys of Heaven - The Life of Revd Charles Marson

This is the first biography of the Revd Charles Marson.

£6.00 + p&p