MORRIS dancers from far and wide descended on Horwich for a traditional celebration to mark St George’s Day.

Horwich Prize Medal Morris Men (HPMMM) welcomed a turnout of more than 100 dancers and musicians for the annual event on Saturday.

The streets were bursting with colour as dancers stepped out to perform in the North West Morris Tradition, adorned in ornate dress with sashes, beads, floral hats and dancing clogs.

There was glorious sunshine for the hundreds of spectators who lined the streets to enjoy the occasion.

Paul Woodhead, HPMMM secretary, said: "It was such a glorious day and it brought lots of people out.

"There was an incredible, brilliant, positive atmosphere. It was great for the visiting teams. We were joined by Chelmsford Morris from Essex, who also dance in the North West style and feel this is their spiritual home."

Horwich was represented by about 30 dancers and musicians, who were joined by Malkin Morris from Pendle, Bolton-based Rumworth Morris, Wakefield Morris, Rivington Morris and Chelmsford Ladies.

The teams set off from The Crown Hotel in Chorley New Road bright and early, before making their way up to Bank Top Brewery, formerly The Brown Cow.

The lunchtime spot at the Saddle attracted a large crowd before the teams moved on to the Bowling Green.

"It was a full day", Mr Woodhead said. "We got back to The Crown at about 4pm for the last dance.

"Morris dancing is really supported in Horwich. There are not many towns who have this same level of support that we enjoy. As an activity it is something which gives a great sense of not just civic pride but also the knowledge of the legacy you are carrying."

The North West Morris tradition came from Lancashire industrial towns and mills, where men and women would dance in the streets wearing their working clogs.

In the 19th century the dances often accompanied the local rushcarts or carnivals, or were performed during Wakes Weeks, when the local mills closed for the week.

HPMMM are supported by Horwich Town Council.

Cllr Joyce Kellett, who attended the event, said: "Living in Horwich is brilliant. We have so much history for all to enjoy — one being our very own Horwich Prize Medal Morris Men.

"The Morris dancers who came to Horwich on Saturday for our St George’s Day tradition, dancing around Horwich, are all unique and a credit to all, keeping historical Morris dancing alive for all to enjoy.

"It was a beautiful day with wonderful weather enjoyed by all."

She added: "A great big thank you to The Crown for their neverending hospitality on the day supplying all the refreshments for our wonderful dancing guests."

HPMMM are hoping to recruit new members to join them. The team welcomes dancers of all ages who can call in any Wednesday evening at 8.30pm for the practice sessions at Horwich Resource Centre.

Alternatively, email Mr Woodhead at

To view more of the photos from the day, visit