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New year welcomed with traditional morris dancing on Iron Bridge

Ironbridge welcomed the new year with a traditional performance by local morris dancers.

The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge
The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge

The new year was celebrated with a traditional dance on the historic Iron Bridge as crowds tapped their feet into the new year.

As we said goodbye to 2021, the new year was welcomed in with a special performance by The Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris Dancers on New Year's Day.

As crowds gathered to watch the performance, dancers relished being able to perform once more after 2020's event had to be cancelled due to Covid.

The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge
The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge
The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge

Ivor Williams, secretary of The Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris Dancers, said everyone is glad to be back after last year.

"The group has been going for 45 years now as a team," he explained. "The men dance Welsh border style morris and the women dance north west professional, which originated in Cheshire and Lancashire. It's a style that began in factories and mills in that area.

"Every year, the team has two traditional dances,one on Boxing Day and one on New Year's Day. On Boxing Day this year, the men danced and dressed up in fancy dress instead of the usual kit.

The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge
The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge

"Last year we had to cancel our events due to Covid restrictions and the lockdown. I have been with the team for more than 25 years and we have never had to cancel an event before.

"So last year was quite hard, and so we are all very much looking forward to celebrating the new year. We had a great crowd on Boxing Day – just the men danced then."

Ivor said the popularity of morris dancing continues to this day, and they are always looking for new members to join the fun.

The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge
The Ironmen and Severn Gilders perform on New Year's Day in Ironbridge

"Morris dancing is just such a great tradition," he said. "And it's something a bit different that you don't see that much of in this area these days.

"People like to go down to the Iron Bridge and watch each year, it's just become a nice tradition. Performing on the bridge itself is also great fun.

"As a group, we do all types of performances throughout the year, most recently we did the Much Wenlock Christmas Fair, and sometimes we go away and dance at festivals like the Shrewsbury Folk Festival."

He added: "We are always looking for new members. Anybody who would like to join us can visit our website for details. As long as you can stand up we will get you dancing."

Visit imsg.org.uk for more.

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