Hartley Morris Men, the oldest Morris side dancing in West Kent, have our roots dating back to the Stansted Morris dancers of the mid-1930s. We perform traditional Morris dances in the Cotswold style.
Our regular dance season runs from May until September and starts at dawn on May Day at the Coldrum Stones Long Barrow, which is even older than us. We dance most Thursdays through the summer at some of West Kent’s best pubs and usually end the evening with a few songs. We also perform at various events at weekends where the clashing of sticks and a few beers seem to complement each other.
We’re a mixed bunch, ranging in age from early 20s to the other end of the spectrum. We’re keen to keep this great tradition going and would encourage you to some along and watch or, better still, get involved – we’re always happy to see new faces and teach them the dances.
Over the Christmas period traditional mumming plays are performed by some of our members as The Darent Valley Champions, in aid of local charities.
Wherever we are you’ll usually find the Hartley Horse, who originally erupted from an egg on the beach at Broadstairs many years ago and has followed us around ever since. Generally quite tame he sometimes gets completely out of control but has yet to cause anyone any serious harm, yet!