MAY DAY: Sompting Village Morris in Worthing

SOMPTING Village Morris dancers will once again be celebrating May Day with a busy programme in Worthing.

The timetable for Saturday, May 1, is: 7.45am dance at The Steyne, Worthing; 8am procession through Warwick Street to the clocktower for more dances; 8.15am, the mayor will crown the May Queen; and 9am continued to St Paul's Centre in Chapel Road, with more dancing throughout the town later in the morning.

The first day of May has been celebrated by Sompting Village Morris for 30 years, the past six in Worthing.

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It's a great spectacle with loads of music, dance and colour, they promise.

A spokesman said: "We are an English morris side, formed in 1978, performing dance traditions that include Cotswold, North-West, Sussex and Border morris. The 60-strong membership comprises a men's team, a women's team and a band of versatile musicians.

"Our dance programme ranges from Wednesday-night stands at local Sussex pubs (often ending with music and a sing-song) to appearances at national folk festivals, including Rochester, Shrewsbury and Nottingham, and international events in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and France.

"Our traditional celebrations include the May Day dawn procession; the Summer Solstice dancing-down of the sun on Highdown Hill with beacon and torches; and in the autumn the Battle of the Conkers.

At Christmas and New Year, we enact the ancient, local Tipteerers' or Mummers' Play."


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