Welcome to wightbells.com, the online home of the Wight Bells Morris side. On these pages you can find out more about the Bells and our unique dances. We hope you enjoy your time here, and that you'll come back soon for pictures of our engagements, and news about upcoming events, including our world famous Day of Dance!


Our first trip to the mainland in a long time...

The return of Winchester Mayfest, after a two year break, was a great opportunity for Wightbells to put on their clogs and dance out again in public in the company of other Morris sides. Winchester is such a lovely place to dance with its long pedestrian precinct and the market stalls, it attracts a lot of shoppers that become an unsuspecting audience. We collected some great comments as we danced, especially about our outfits, the dances and even our music and tunes. It was great to meet up with old friends in other Morris sides that we had not seen for several years and to visit some of performances in St Lawrence's Church and around the town like the wonderful stepping workshops outside the Museum. One of the highlights of the day was our a performance of "Stickworth", our dance where members of the public of all ages and abilities can join in for a bit of fun. Ok, it looks a bit disorganised sometimes but everyone has fun and that is what it is all about. If you would like to see Wightbells perform during the summer or perhaps join in, then check out our events page. .

Dancing out after two Years..

For the first time in two years Wightbells are polishing their clogs, ironing their hankies and looking forward to seeing you all again at one of our 2022 dancing venues. Take a look at our events page to see where we plan to dance but please bear in mind that this may change as, like other Morris sides, we have a shortage of dancers and musicians. If you would like to try Morris dancing then have a chat with one of our dancers and they can tell you how to get involved or even arrange a dance workshop. If you would like to play for Morris dancing then have a chat with one our musicians who can explain what is involved and even lend you an instrument. We don't read the dots, we just play by ear so don't be shy if you just want to try..... .

Swanage Folk Festival

That went well! Having not performed for such a long time it was a bit daunting to dance out again in public. We had a few challenges with room bookings, travel problems and injuries but we made it. It was such a great feeling to be able to take part again in our favourite festival and the day went very well. We decided to limit our repertoire to a few well practised dances and the audience loved what we did. Well done Wightbells what a fantastic day..

Wight Bells Day of Dance

Well that was a very different Day of Dance! We have not danced out for over 18 months so we met up in Pamela and Ian's garden and started by practising a few dances in preparation for the Swanage Folk Festival. We brought our own refreshments but were provided with burgers and hot dogs from the fire pit BBQ accompanied by Greek salads. The weather was wonderful and we sat in the shade of the trees to finish off with chocolate and strawberry gateaux. We missed our friends that usually come over for our Day of Dance but as we were all a bit cautious about dancing in public again it seemed the right thing to do and hopefully we can invite them over again next year. It was great to get together again and spend some time together that felt comfortable..

Our tribute to Den

So today Wightbells gathered together for the first time in months to say a fond farewell to Den. We spent some quiet time reflecting on our own memories of Den and the special part that he played in the Wightbells. We remembered the places that we have been, the friends that we have made, the music sessions that we have had and the special moments that he created. We played some of his favourite tunes, the one's he loved to play at music sessions and we shared our special moments that endeared us to him. It wasn't the celebration of Den's life that we expected but in the current circumstances we hope that he would have been proud.

The loss of a good friend

It's with much sadness that Wighbells have to announce the loss of one of our much loved musicians. Den, our melodeon player, passed away peacefully at his home on the 10 June 2020. He will be deeply missed by the side but also fondly remembered for his playful humour and deep love of music. If asked if he would be available to play for the side the answer was always "Yes". This meant that Wightbells could travel far and wide and meet new friends that would often come back to the Isle of Wight and join us for our day of dance. We enjoyed Den and Trish's company on our expeditions to many UK folk festivals and our outings including Evesham, Swanage, Yeovil, Cleckheaton, Liverpool and further afield to Belgium, Holland and France. Have a look in our gallery for some of our memories of Den.

The virus....

We all love to dance and socialize but the current situation means that we will have to take a break for a while and keep ourselves safe. Hopefully it won't be for too long and we can get back together with new ideas and renewed energy. In the meantime keep practicing, keep in touch, and let the side know if you need any help.

Wightbells 2019 Day Of Dance.

What a fantastic Day of Dance! We met our friends from the mainland as they arrived on the Island and danced in two groups at Yarmouth and at Ryde seafront near the pier. Then a tour of the Island to Shanklin seafront for more dancing and a chat and catchup over lunch. A leisurely drive through the Arreton valley brought us to Arreton old village and barns, and the Dairyman’s Daughter for yet more dancing, beer and socialising. The finale was a mass dance with all of the dancers, musicians and enthusiastic members of the public joining in with "Stickworth". A big thankyou to our friends from Sarum, Victory Morris, Bourne River, Festus Derriman, Penny Royal Clog, Bells & Arrows, Sweet Rapper and our Island sides, Oyster Girls and Moonshine for making this yet another special Day of Dance for Wightbells. We always welcome feedback on potential locations for next years day of dance so the prize goes to Victory Morris for checking out The Chine Inn, Fisherman’s Cottage and wherever you found for a pint in Ryde at 10:00 on a Sunday morning... Hope to see you all next year and will try to arrange the same spectacular weather…

Try something different this year and join a Morris Side.

Why not come and try Morris Dancing or join in with the band and learn some new tunes. All the Island sides are looking for new members but you don't have to commit to joining they are all pleased to see you and show you what they do. Judith and Ann from Wightbells appeared on John Hacker's Vectis Radio folk show to explan what we do and to encourage people to try it out. You can listen to the show here.

It's that time of year again! Wightbells Barn Dance

Wightbells will be holding their annual Barn Dance again on Saturday 26th January 2019, 19:30-22:30 at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay. Tickets are just £5 (Chldren £2.50) and you will be dancing to the fabulous Caulkheads Band. Proceeds of the evening will be going to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust. You can pre-order your tickets by phoning Judith on 401685 or just turn up on the night and enjoy the fun.

Christmas entertainment

If you are in Newport on Saturday 22nd December then why not pop round to St Thomas's Square at Midday where Wightbells will be joining the Men of Wight and other Morris sides for a bit of seasonal merriment. We will also be holding our legendary Boxing Day gathering at Arreton Craft Village and Barns where you can see a traditional Mummer's Play and also watch and perhaps join in with the Morris dancing. The Christmas spirit usually leads to a lively music session where everyone is encouraged to join in. Our next dance date in the New Year is normally New years Day but this year it will be the 10th January at the Bargeman's rest so it would be great to see you there as we need all the support we can get dancing and playing in the cold and usually wet winter months.

The mystery is solved!

Our mystery tour started with a cruise on the early morning ferry to Southampton on flat calm seas and in brilliant sunshine. Our adventure saw us heading north out of Southampton and skirting Romsey towards our first stop of the day. It was all going so well and then disaster, the road ahead, blocked by an accident and it looked as if we might have to abandon our first dance spot. Our driver quickly reprogrammed the satnav and was soon negotiating some very narrow, but picturesque lanes through Awbridge, Dunbridge and Broughton. Having wasted very little time we arrived at our first stop which was now revealed as the pretty town of Stockbridge.
The dancers entertained the local residents under the Portico of the Grovenor Hotel while non dancers took the opportunity to visit the delightful range of small shops dotted along the High Street.

Back on the coach and we are heading north east on a short drive to our second stop, the newly restored silk mill at Whitchurch. The majority of the group took a tour of the mill but the musicians decided to take some respite in The Bell where sandwiches where enjoyed and music was played.

It was an even shorter drive to our third spot, the old paper mill at Laverstoke. Luckily it has been restored and is now the headquarters of the Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery. We arrived slightly early for our tour and so the dancers decided to give an impromptu performance at the entrance to the distillery much to the amusement of the staff who came out to watch. After an hour of exploring and sniffing botanicals we were treated to gin cocktails to suit or own taste or a non-alcoholic cocktail for those that preferred.

The weather forecast was not good and as we re-joined the coach it rained heavily for the next hour as we travelled southwest towards our final destination. Thankfully the sky brightened and the rain cleared as we arrived at the Stocks Inn at Furzehill, near Wimborne and it was with great excitement that we realised that we were to be greeted by our good friends, Bourne River Morris. We took turns dancing on the terrace and ended with the Dorset Four Hand Reel. A meal at the pub and some socialising followed before a quick dash back to the ferry for the journey home.

A huge thankyou especially to Ann and also Barbara, for organising the day, our coach driver from Kardan Travel who can get through spaces that the average car driver would find challenging and for all those on the coach that helped to make it a very special day for Wightbells.

This trip has given us the energy we need to start our new winter practice season which starts on Thursday.

If you would like to try out Morris dancing then come along on Thursday evening to Summerfields School in Newport at 19:30 and have a go. We are a friendly bunch and would love to see some new dancers or musicians or just come along for a chat and find out what it’s all about.

Wightbells are off on a Mystery Tour!

Yes we are off to the big Island for a grand mystery tour with Kardan Travel. Not sure where we are going but we should have a couple of stops for dancing and perhaps a visit or two on the way! If you want to find out where we go then come back in a couple of days for a full report. If you like what we do then perhaps you might consider joining us for practise over the winter ready for dancing out from April next year.

Would you like to dance or play for an Island Morris Side?

We have come to the end of our "Dancing Out" season and will soon be moving indoors to learn some new dances and tunes ready for 2019. Morris dancing is a great way to exercise and socialise through the winter months. If you would like to come along and meet the team then please get in touch for more details. Practice nights are held in Newport but current members come from all over the Island and so transport is always a possibility depending on where you live. Musicians are always in short supply, so if you play an instrument at home but have never thought of playing in public why not come along and join us for our practise sessions and learn some traditional English tunes.

Wightbells celebrate May with a great day out in Winchester

Another day of great weather and the atmosphere was fantastic around Winchester for the annual Winchester Mayfest. Wightbells joined Sarum Morris, Mythago, Customs and Exiles and Winchester Morris Men at various spots around the town for an excellent day of dance and music. The Mayor seemed pleased with our Show dance, "Waverley", which went very well for a change. We even got to cruise back to the Isle of Wight in the evening sunshine. Well done everyone it was a great day out.

May Bank Holiday Celebrations at The Dairyman's Daughter

The weather was fantastic and so was the dancing at the annual May Bank Holiday celebrations at the Dairyman's Daughter at Arreton. It was a joy to see the youngsters of Summerfields School opening the event in a traditional way with an accomplished display of Maypole Dancing. This was followed by Morris Dancing with more youngsters from Summerfields and their more senior inspiration, The Wightbells ladies Morris side. Well done to everyone involved. To those that are playing an active part in keeping our traditions alive, and especially to everyone that came out to watch and support them.

Last chance to practise?

We are coming to the end of our indoor practise season and are nearly ready to show you what we can do. Check out our Events page to see where we plan to dance this year and why not come and see us and perhaps get the opportunity to join in!

Did yo miss our Barn Dance?

What a fantastic evening! More than 120 people danced the evening away to the fabulous Caulkheads Band. With lots of raffle prizes the evening was a great success and a large donation will be going to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust. If you missed it put next years date in our diary which will be 26th January 2019

A date for your New Year Diary!

Wightbells will be holding their annual Barn Dance on Saturday 27th January 2018, 19:30-22:30 at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay. Tickets are just £5 (Children £2.50) and once again you will be dancing to the fabulous Caulkheads Band. There will be a raffle during the evening and proceeds will be going to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust. This is always a popular event so get your tickets early by phoning Judith on 401685

A date for your New Year Diary!

Wightbells will be holding a Barn Dance on Saturday 28th January 2017, 19:30-23:00 at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay. Tickets are just £5 (Children £2.50) and you will be dancing to the fabulous Caulkheads Band. Proceeds of the evening will be going to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust.

Did you miss the best barn dance this year so far?

What a fantastic turnout for Wightbells Barn Dance. Caulkheads did us proud with Steve, our caller, getting everyone up on the floor for a lively evening of dance. There were loads of prizes in the raffle and with your support we managed to donate £250 pounds to the Sophie Rolf Trust "KissyPuppy" Appeal.

A date for your New Year Diary!

Wightbells will be holding a Barn Dance on Saturday 30th January 2016, 19:30-23:00 at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay. Tickets are just £5 (Children £2.50) and you will be dancing to the fabulous Caulkheads Band. Proceeds of the evening will be going to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust.

You can always find out where we are dancing in our Wight Bells programme and now you can also

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An extra Seasonal Event

We have been practising a couple of new dances for next year but might get to try them out early at an extra event that we have just added to our diary. Its Shanklin Christmas Festival, in Shanklin Old Village on the 5th December and we will dancing at about 12:00.

An Evening at the Griffin Inn

One of our first Thursday evening dance spots and the weather is not particularly good, a bit cold and drizzling with rain. But all is not lost ,a few tables and chairs moved by the Landlord and we are dancing indoors.
What a great evening, the staff of The Griffin Inn were so enthusiastic and even decided to donate the days tips to our worthy charities, Kissy Puppy and Hospice at Home.
We can't wait to visit again and to experience their hospitality and of course the first class beer.

Wight Bells Morris dancers' 15th Anniversary

As part of Wight Bells 15th anniversary celebrations, 50 Morris dancers and musicians travelled from the mainland to join 6 Island sides, to take part in Wight Bells’ Annual Day of Dance.
For anyone watching, it was a spectacular sight. Some dancers had blackened faces or masks, others wore boaters or bowlers, and there was an amazing array of brightly coloured costumes of different styles.
The dancers used a selection of staves, bell or ribbon sticks, hankies, pompoms, garlands or slings and performed Border, Clog, Cotswold and North West traditions of Morris dancing. The musicians played various instruments including violin, melodeon, concertina, mandolin and numerous types of drums.
The Day began at Havenstreet Railway, continued on Shanklin seafront, where a massed dance of 50 people took place and ended at the White Lion and the Barns at Arreton. Here a final massed dance for all 11 sides was held in the Courtyard of the Dairyman’s Daughter.
As usual, Wight Bells enjoyed excellent weather for the event and their collections supported Kissy Puppy and Hospice at Home.

Come along to one of our practice nights and try out Morris Dancing

We are rapidly coming to the end of our season of "dancing out" and after a short break we will be thinking about returning to our Thursday night practice sessions in Newport and the challenge of learning some new dances.
If you would like to try Morris dancing why not make get in touch via the contacts page or simply ask for more details when you see us out and about. The side is open to all ages but you should be reasonably fit and expect a good work out as you get more familiar with the dances.
If you don't want to dance but can play an instrument then why not come along and join the band.

Wightbells enjoy a long weekend in Normandy

Friday was an early start but we boarded the Fishbourne ferry in high spirits and with passports at the ready we began our journey towards Folkestone and the channel tunnel. The coach drove on to the train just before lunch time and having an empty carriage in front of us it seemed like the ideal opportunity to stretch our legs with an impromptu dance display for our slightly bemused fellow travellers.
We arrived in Calais and headed south in the brilliant sunshine to arrive early evening in Honfleur, our base for the weekend, across the dramatic bridges at Pont de Normandie.
On Saturday we spent a couple of hours in Honfleur browsing around the vibrant weekly street market before boarding our coach for the drive to Rouen and an opportunity for shopping and sightseeing.
At teatime we joined a local dance group, Polka & Reverence, who perform dances from the 1900 era and wear fantastic period costumes. We spent several hours dancing together and had great fun as the pictures on their website will show.
On Sunday we drove to Giverny and a visit to the colourful gardens of Claude Monet.
Our journey back took us through the picturesque Normandy countryside, stopping for an amble along the streets and river bank of La Seine at Le Petit Andely and a drive though Venables!
The evening was spent in Honfleur and another impromptu dance on the quay side was most enjoyable.
Monday and we are heading home with a visit to Boulogne and Cap Gris Nez on the way.
What a great weekend which was made extra special by our superb hosts Bob and Linda who are Kardan Travel.

Barn Dance with the fabulous Bismarck's band

Come and join Wight Bells for their next Barn Dance with the fabulous Bismarck's band at the Riverside Centre on Newport Quay.

Saturday 5th April 2014 from 19:30 - 23:30
Dancing to The Bismarck's
Riverside Centre on Newport Quay(Licenced Bar)
Adults £7.50 Children £2.50
For tickets Tel: Judith 401685 or Judy 520160

Proceeds to KissyPuppy - The Sophie Rolf Trust


Andy’s All Stars played for the Wight Bells Burns Night Barn Dance held on 25 January 2014 at Northwood WI hall. The evening was well attended with plenty of good dancing with a very proficient caller in Ann Stiles. The evening was in memory of Wight Bell Chris Waughman who died in 2012 and it was lovely to have her family with us for the evening. The top raffle prize was a quilt that Chris had sewn which was won by a lady who was thrilled to receive it. Mark Mordey of Moonshine Border Morris gave ‘The address to a Haggis’ in full Scottish regalia with haggis and also donated all the ingredients for a Haggis Supper as a raffle prize. The proceeds of just over £600 will go to the ‘The Hospice at Home’ service which looked after Chris so well. A big thank you to those who gave their time for free. To the band, caller and all other helpers and those who donated raffle prizes.

Burns Night Barn Dance

Come and Join Wight Bells for their Burns Night Barn Dance.

Saturday 25th January 2014 from 7pm - 10.30pm
Dancing to Andy's All Stars
Northwood W.I. Hall (Opposite The Horseshoe Inn)
Adults £5, Children £2.50
Tickets from Judith 401685 or Judy 520160

Proceeds to ‘Hospice at Home’

Wight Bells Day of Dance 2013

Wight Bells Famous Day of Dance will take place on Sunday 1st September 2013. You can join us and perhaps join in at the following venues:-
10:30 - 12:00 at The Isle of Wight Steam Railway at Havenstreet.
12:45 - 14:30 on Shanklin Seafront near The Steamer Inn.
15:30 - 17:30 at Arreton Old Village.
We will be joined by Quayside Clog, Red Stags, Bourne River, Fleet and Sarum from the mainland and our own Island sides, Oyster Girls, Men of Wight, Island Cloggies and Guith.
It's getting close to the end of the dancing season so if you fancy a go at Morris Dancing or playing an instrument then it's just the right time to talk to any of the sides about where they practice over the winter months.

Wight Bells on Tour April 2012

Tulips in Amsterdam or rather Keukenhouf! The last time the Wight Bells went ‘foreign’ was in 2002 to Brugge and Gent to take part in their Cultural City of Europe festival in 2002 and we thought it time to stretch our legs again. This time we decided upon Holland for no better reason than it is flat, compared to the Island which is very hilly! Having piled into the coach from our hotel in Lelystad on the Saturday morning in the pouring rain to travel to Amsterdam to dance, we were very relieved to find the rain had passed over when arriving in the city. Being a Bank Holiday Amsterdam was heaving with people, not to mention buses, coaches trams and hundreds of bicycles, but we picked our way towards Dam Square to dance. Those that gathered in the Square to watch probably found our costumes rather striking as we wear denim pinafore dresses over a lime green tee shirt and lime green tights, just so we don’t get lost in the crowd! Once our musicians had negotiated with the two local police who were not happy for us to use a drum (help, no steady beat!), they decided to leave us to it to ‘beat the bounds’ of their patch. The cobbles looked lethal to dance on in clogs, especially as they were wet, but were surprisingly okay. The multi national crowd were very enthusiastic so we entertained them for half and hour before asking for volunteers to join us for our last dance. This is a Side tradition and is a fitting end to a session as those that take part always enjoy themselves even if our comparatively easy dance ends in mayhem. Everyone goes away happy. The rest of the day was very leisurely with a canal trip being popular to get out of the damp and cold and just generally browsing around the lanes, sightseeing and obviously enjoying the local hostelries. Sunday was a mass of colour, very different to grey Saturday, as we spent a few hours at the International Flower Exhibition at Keukenhouf, "the most beautiful spring park in the world." Seven million new flower bulbs planted each year – we counted them all! You run out of superlatives after a while, it was just an amazing uplifting place to be. In the afternoon we did the sightseeing bit by being driven from LIsse up to what used to be the Lake Zuider Zee which is now two smaller lakes of Ijsselmeer and Markermeer being split by a 13 mile dyke from Enkhuizen to Lelystad, quite an engineering feat. An interesting drive. We donned our dance gear to entertain visitors at the Batavia Boat Museum and shopping complex before returning to Lelystad to enjoy a well earned dinner. The evening finished with an impromptu Barn Dance to celebrate a party member’s 70th birthday and a good weekend.

Wightbells 2012 Barn Dance with the Fabulous "Polkaworks"

Wight Bells have managed to book the fabulous "Polkaworks" for their next Barn Dance. The Barn Dance will be held on 31st March 2012 at The Riverside Centre on Newport Quay ( opposite the Bargemans Rest ). If you have never been to a Barn Dance or ceilidh then don't worry it's great fun and this is how it works. Dancers form up on the floor and "the Caller" walks you slowly through the different moves. Once everyone is happy the music starts and the Caller reminds you of the moves as the dance progresses. After a couple of times through and everyone gets the hang of it then you are on your own. Come along and enjoy a social evening where seasoned dancers and beginners alike can learn dances from our experienced caller. The fun starts at 19:30 through to 23:30 and tickets are £7.50 for adults and £2.5 for children. You can get tickets by calling Brenda on 883385 or Judy on 520160, or buy them on the door Adults £9.00 and Children £3.00. The Riverside Centre has a licensed bar.

Wightbells DAY of DANCE 2010

The Wight Bells welcomed Boghoppers and Bushbeaters, New Forest Meddlars, Sarum and Wickham Morris Sides and Devils Jump Clog from "England" to join them for their Day of Dance. Unusually the weather was a bit damp although we all enjoyed an energetic dance session at Rookley Country Park to start the day off. The lunch time spot was on Shanklin Sea Front, which has become a bit of a tradition, to entertain the holiday makers and locals. The Island Cloggies also joined us with a scratch team to boost the clog dancing. We battled the elements and gave a good account of ourselves before performing a mass dance to finish the display. Dennis from Sarum Morris taught us a different version of Fanny Frail, which some of us mastered quite well and others not so well, but hey, it was great fun. On arrival at Arreton Old Village we were all relieved to see the sun out and the Sides were split between The Dairyman's Daughter and The White Lion to enable all Sides to maximise the dance time and give the spectators a choice of venue. To finish all Sides danced Stickworth in the Courtyard at The Dairyman's Daughter and a good time was had by all. Our thanks go to all the Sides from "England", musicians and dancers and of course our local Side that joined us. Look forward to seeing you in 2011.

Wightbells DAY of DANCE 2009

On Sunday 6th September Wight Bells Morris Dancers are celebrating their 10th Anniversary with a Day of Dance. Altogether there will be 4 Sides from the Island, Island Cloggies, Morris Mynah's, Oyster Girls and Wight bells and 7 Sides from the Mainland, Alton Morris, Boghoppers and Bushbeaters, Hobos Border Morris, Magog Morris, target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" href="http://www.newforestmeddlars.co.uk/" title="New Forest Meddlars">New Forest Meddlars, Sarum Morris, and Treacle Eater Clog, dancing during the day. Proceedings commence at IW Steam Railway at Havenstreet Station at 10.30am and 11.45am. Between 1.00pm and 3.00pm we will be dancing on Shanklin Sea Front. From 3.30pm to 5.30pm we will finish the day's dancing at The White Lion in Arreton and on the courtyard at The Dairyman's Daughter at Arreton Barns Craft Village. Costumes are very varied and interesting and the dance styles vary from Northwest Clog, Cotswold, Border, Garland and Stave. It is all great fun, so do come and watch and there may also be an opportunity to join in! Collections will be made for the local branch of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

A Morris Poem

Morrison is not just a local friendly grocers's shop
It's the shout of the Men of Wight Morris as they start to hop.
Leather straps, silver buckles and bells a jingling
With hankies flopping, they set many a Wight maid's heart a tingling.

The Wight Bells ladies promenade two by two
In lime green stockings and dresses of blue.
In rows of three they advance in steps of four
Holding sticks in the right hand, they reverse to the start once more.

Spinning and twirling pom poms of white
Cracking hazel sticks to the left and the right.
A full reel of three across and around
They repeat the do-si-do, garland up, garlands down.

Repetitive sixteen bar tunes accompany the ladies' fun
Melodeon,drum, accordion,fiddle and bodrun.
Ruffled shirts, waistcoats,breeches, stockings and a bowler hat
Visitors hold up their phones to take pictures of the musicians dressed like that.

Everyone smiles when they're stamping and dancing in clogs and a pretty dress.
Twirling and burling - it's healthy exercise and gets rid of stress.
Dancers claim it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
So join in when you hear the shout - "MORRIS ON".

A great observation from Mark Mordey.
And for more local poetry why not visit hightide poets.

Happy 10th Birthday Wightbells !

A big thankyou to all the Wightbells both past and present and all our friends and guests who made our party so enjoyable. A special thanks to our squire who has led us into our 10th year and the members and friends who decorated the room, baked cakes and entertained us with music. The Wightbells gave a demonstration of the first dance that they performed 10 years ago in Bembridge (Steyne Cross danced to the tune Jumping Joan) and the latest dance that is new for the 2009 season (Freshwater danced to the Pearl Wedding). The team put great energy into the dance, or is it that the music is still to fast? The evidence is in the the gallery...

A damp start to Swanage Folk Festival!

The sky was grey as we drove towards Swanage for the start of the annual Folk Festival. The forecast was not good but with fingers crossed we settled in and enjoyed the Friday night concerts and sessions in the pubs. Saturday proved to be damp and windy but we managed to avoid the worst of the weather and were still able to dance at all our spots. The weather improved throughout the day and the procession was a great success. Sunday was much brighter especially for the church service ( someone must have had a word! ). The afternoon spots were well supported and the dedicated musicians managed to play on into the evening. If Carlsberg did Folk Festivals then they would probably pick Swanage ( but not if they saw the number or empty real ale barrels at the back of the The Red Lion.

A Weekend with the Treacle Eaters!

Treacle Eater Clog invited us to join them and help to celebrate their 25th anniversary and what a great weekend it was. Four coach loads of dancers set out from Yeovil across the Somerset countryside and stopped to dance at towns and villages on their way to the south coast. The evenings were spent dancing, singing, playing music and socializing.

Cheque it out!

When a member of our side said that The Earl Mountbatten Hospice had arranged for the World's Biggest Bike to come to the Island, and that we should take part, we were all sold on the idea not knowing what we had let ourselves in for. As time went bye we learnt more about the other teams including cycling professionals and burly firemen and we started to wonder if we had done the right thing. The day arrived and we gathered at Sandown seafront, around this monster of a bike wondering if dresses were in fact the best decision of the day. We set off in good spirit with the musicians in full flow, along the parade and up the High Street. As the hill got steeper the music gradually subsided as more effort went into propelling the two ton monster up the hill. As we approached Pier Street our energy was channeled into reaching the top of the hill but suddenly, with a mixture of exhilaration, trepidation, and sheer excitement we lurched into a knuckle biting turn down to the Esplanade. I'm not sure if the next stop was planned or if everyone needed a rest but an impromptu dance session on the seafront was appreciated by the public and helped to fill the collecting boxes. A concerted effort saw us back on the parade, music again in full swing as we headed home. Our Sponsorship alone raised over �700 and we are proud to have taken part in this prestigious event. We have some pictures of the bike ride here in our archive and you can also find some in the Island Pulse magazine.

What a Day of Dance!

A big thank you to everyone who joined us for our Day of Dance and made it such a success, especially href="http://www.treacleeaterclog.org.uk/" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Treacle Eater Clog">Treacle Eater Clog, Island Cloggies, Wickham Morris, Devils Jump Clog, Sarum Morris, Fleet Morris, Bourne River Morris. and The Oyster Girls. Did you miss it? It's near to the end of the dancing season so why not contact your local side and get involved with a practice season ready for next year!

Wight Bells Morris Dancers Up T North Tour 2007

"Cleckheaton" where's that? a few were heard to say. It was found to be almost 250 miles up country slightly south of Leeds and Bradford with it's own Folk Festival in it's 20th year! Can't be bad, so we booked to go to take a little Isle of Wight sunshine to a rather wet area of the country, the first weekend in July.

The dance festival commenced on the Saturday with a procession of dance sides through the town to the Town Hall to announce our arrival. Our first spot was on the green opposite the Town Hall where we performed to a large crowd of locals along with Sgt. Musgrave's Dance who dance the North West tradition, as we do, and Kirkburton Rapier; before moving off to dance at other venues.

In the afternoon the Wickham Arms Hotel hosted the dance competition for the prestigious "Wickham Dance Cup" and the Wight Bells decided to promote our seaside and danced Newchurch, a square dance for eight, swapping our bell sticks for a stick of rock in one hand and a bucket and spade in the other, while the musician were seen to dispense with their socks and shoes, roll their trousers up and put a green knotted handkerchief on the heads! I think most of the audience got the plot and we duly beat off the other dance sides to win the "Wickham Dance Cup". Sunday was "Family Fun Day" and we invited some of the audience, children and adults, to join us in a stick dance when we finished our display. This always goes down well.

There was a mixture of very good local and national folk music and song going on around the town during the weekend including the Demon Barber Road Show, Vin Garbutt and Cherish the Ladies to name but a few.

We had a little rain, were very well received, the hospitality was great and the natives friendly and we were able to promote the Island to boot and had an enjoyable time! Do we go back next year to defend the Wickham Dance Cup we shall see.

Wight Bells are officially a ''Tourist Attraction''!

Well not really but we have got an article in the Isle of Wight Tourist Guide. The article features some pictures of the Wight Bells and of course the site has a vast amount of Island information of interest to Caulkheads and Visitors alike.

Saved by the Bells! What do you think?

Take a look at this article in the local County Press, by Chris Philipsborn, about Morris Dancing on the Isle of Wight.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside.

Especially if its at Weymouth! After a busy day of dancing there is nothing better than cooling off in the sea. Take a look at some of the pictures in our new style gallery.

The 2007 Dance Season is in full swing.

The dance season has started early for us this year with The Fat Cat beer festival in March, St Georges Day and Bourne River Morris Day of Dance at Poole in April.. Regular Thursday night pub spots started last month (see the programme) after the traditional May Day celebrations at The Dairymans Dautghter at Arreton Old Village and Barns.

Folklores du Monde and the Tall Ships Race, at Saint Malo.

The Wight Bells, Oyster Girls, Men of Wight and Island Cloggies made a huge impression on the unsuspecting French when we demonstrated our dance and musical heritage in Saint Malo recently. The opportunity arose when we took part in 'Folklores du Monde' a celebration of folk traditions from around the world. This years festival coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Tall Ships race and so we also danced around the old town and took part in the grand parade of over 2500 crew from the ships. According to the local papers 'Les troupes folkloriques ont apporte de la couleur et de la rigueur au defile.' which I guess is a good thing. I suppose we will find out if we are asked back next year! A special thanks to Janet and Emile for looking after us and for your hospitality.

Our first trip abroad for 2006 to Weymouth (on the big Island).

We joined O.B.J. Border Morris, Alvechurch Morris, Dr Turbeville, Frome Valley, Festus Derriman, The Wild Hunt Bedlum Morris and Beetlecrusher for a great day out in Weymouth. We didn't manage to dance with all the sides but those we did you will find some pictures in the gallery

Finding folk events on the Island.

As well as the list of events for The Wight Bells our website now has links to the programmes for The Men of Wight, The Oyster Girls and Mr Baker's Dozen. Now there's no excuse not to enjoy yourself whilst supporting these local groups and there chosen charities (you may even get to join in!).

Of course if it's folk music that your after you can always bring an instrument or your voice to The Dairyman's Daughter, at Arreton every Tuesday evening from about 9pm or from midday onwards at The Portland in Gurnard on the last Sunday of the month.

If your thinking of holding your own Barn Dance or Ceilidh then get in touch with The Caulkheads and arrange a truly amazing evening.

Where would you find Morris Folk on 1st May?

Those that were hardy enough and early rising climbed Mottistone Down before dawn and gathered together at the "Long Stone" to witness the sunrise. Celebrations ensued for the coming of spring and the lengthening of the day as the year began it's renewal. At noon, those with energy left, repaired to The Dairyman's Daughter at Arreton where there was seen much dancing, singing and taking of ale. Although most folk had a stick in one hand and a tankard in the other, we did manage to take a few pictures which can be found in the gallery!

We're looking forward to using this website to show pictures of recent events and to keep everyone up to speed with the activities that we have planned for the next year. We'll be adding more sections to the site over the next few weeks, including updates to our summer programme for 2005, so please check back soon. If you have any ideas or comments about the site then please let us know by using the form on the contacts page.

Image of the moment

Winchester Mayfest
Winchester Mayfest 2022.

More pictures in the gallery...

Next Engagements.

Shanklin Seafront.
The Waterfront at Totland.
The Breeze at Island Harbour.
Ryde Seafront.

Have a look at our events page for the full programme or click here for a printable copy.

And now you can

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