The Lobster Potties came into being as an entry for the Sheringham Carnival with the aim of fund raising for the Sheringham Health Centre. Since we did not know anything about Morris Dancing, nor did know we who to ask for advice, we invented the whole thing! We made up two or three dances to some taped music, made cross bands (which are called baldricks) and bell pads and set about practising. Several weeks later we were not much better than when we'd started, but the great day arrived and we joined the procession and danced our way round the town. It was one of the wettest carnivals on record, but even so, an enjoyable time was had by all.
far as we were concerned, it was a one off event but someone watching
the procession had been impressed by the performance and we were invited
to appear at a village fete, which just goes to show that you can fool
some of the people all of the time! By the end of the year, we had performed
at three or four fetes, which was a lot of fun. In fact, everybody enjoyed
it so much it was decided to establish a permanent side. We made our base
at the Lobster Pub, hence the name Lobster Potties and started practising
on a regular basis.
big change came once we started meeting other sides. We found without
exception that they were all, only too willing to give us the benefit
of their experience and help in any way they could. The other benefit
of mixing with other sides was that it gave us ideas for our dress and
style of dancing. The first side we came into contact with was the Old
Bull Morris of Watford, who were doing a dance tour in this area. It was
because of them that the men wear clogs.
a number of years we were unable to get a musician and danced to taped
music, which, as we got better, became more and more embarrassing. Still,
what we lacked in professionalism we made up for with our sense of fun
and enjoyment. It was this attitude to dancing which has made us so many
friends over the years.
morris sides perform traditional dances which have been handed down through
the ages. Indeed, some are so formal that the dances are exactly the same
throughout the country. We, on the other hand, have continued in the way
that we started. Although we use traditional music, we still make up most
of our own dances and dance them in our own fashion. We are generally
accepted as dancing the North Norfolk tradition.
the years, we have travelled to various parts of the U.K and Europe to
take part in events with other sides and have gained many friends. As
a result of this, in 1994 we started the Potty Festival so that we could
invite our friends to come and dance with us in our town.