A Little of Our History
The Ravensbourne Morris was formed in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. Many Morris clubs which were active before the war did not get together again thereafter.
Two such clubs were Morley College (admitted to The Ring 1935) and Balgowan (1938).
On 28th October 1946, six men met in Jean’s Café on Bromley High Street. They were: from Morley College, - Walter Faires, Eddie Jenkinson and Geoff Metcalf; from Balgowan (a boy’s side taught by Walter Faires) - Dennis Harding & Peter Paddon and from St Albans - Bert Simons.

At this meeting it was agreed to form a Morris club to operate in North West Kent, and Geoff Metcalf was elected first Squire and Bagman. (Geoff became Squire Of The Morris Ring from 1952 to 1954.) Nothing could be done until a musician was found, and after some arm-twisting, Joe Whiddett was persuaded to bring his concertina to the first practice at Bromley Road School, Beckenham on 13th January 1947. The six founder-members were present, plus Paul Paddon (brother of Peter), also ex-Balgowan. It was at this practice that Walter Faires’ suggestion of Ravensbourne be adopted as the club name.

The club made its first public appearance on 10th March 1947 when it provided illustrations to a talk given by Douglas Kennedy at Beckenham and Penge County School. On 20th March, the club attended the first post-war Ring Meeting at Cecil Sharp House and was admitted to membership and received its staff of office, which is that formerly held by the Squire of Balgowan. Because of this, Ravensbourne can be considered to be a continuation of the Balgowan club.

During the early fifties, the standard of dancing was very high, due to the membership being fairly static, and drawn from men who had previous experience and were still young enough to dance with vigor. However, with the passing of time, as men got older, standards declined, and in addition, Bert Simons left the club to start the Orpington Morris Men. The club was seriously weakened for a time, but eventually the Orpington MM disbanded and Bert rejoined Ravensbourne with some of the Orpington men. This, together with a few other new members gave the club a new lease of life in the early sixties.

An influx in the 70’s gave rise to a completely different problem - too many members! A separate beginners’ night had to be initiated, and recruitment was halted for a year. Oh, for such days again!

Following a quiet period during the late 90's the side is thriving with a strong membership undertaking a full programme with regular overseas trips and visits to Ring Meetings and Ale's across the UK.




Forward to Some Notable dates in Our History

 
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