The bells of Wessex Morris Men won't ring out on the hill on May Day

The bells of Wessex Morris Men won't ring out on the hill on May Day

Published by Maria Greenwood at 1:56pm 28th April 2020.

For the first time in their history the bells of Dorset's longest-established morris dancing side will be silent on May Day.

The group have taken the decision not to perform because of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules.

The Wessex Morris Men traditionally climb the hill above the Cerne Abbas Giant and dance at Sunrise on May 1st.  (Thanks to Kevin Knight who took this picture of the Cerne Giant, with a facemask.)

They then dance into the village waving sprigs of May blossom. 

Wessex Morris Men

David Pritchard is the team's Squire, he says the group are disappointed they can't perform on May Day.

"It's regrettable that we can't perform on May Day due to the Coronavirus crisis, but we hope to be able to dance on the hill in Cerne Abbas later in the year, perhaps around October or November, if the Government restrictions are lifted and we are given the go-ahead."

Founded in 1957 the group perform traditional dances as well as some of their own.

One of the songs they perform is 'The Giant',  it was composed by former Wessex Morris Dancer Don Byfleet, who died in December aged 93.

The Wessex Morris Men are looking to arrange a new date to perform when social distancing rules are relaxed.

They are also welcoming new members.