Thursday, January 31, 2008

Morris men ban

Morris dancers have been banned from practising because of health and safety fears. For decades members of Sompting Village Morris have indulged in the ancient art of traditional English folk dancing, which dates back to the 1400's, without incurring anything more than a mild hangover.

But now postal bosses have thrown them out of the social club they have used to practice for more than 30 years after claiming they could be a danger. The move has enraged the morris dancers who have branded Royal Mail "first class twits".

It means the dancers are being forced to find a new home just weeks before a string of important performances.

Martin Frost, the spokesman for Sompting Village Morris, said: "It is pretty ludicrous. We've used the building for years and years without a problem and now they turn around and say there are health and safety issues. I don't really know how morris dancers could pose a health and safety danger."

Roger Vincent, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents added: "I don't see how morris men could injure themselves.

"My mate did it once and other than tripping over their sticks I can't see it happening."

The Morris Ring, the national association of morris dancers, also criticised the Royal Mail's decision. A spokeswoman said: "Morris dancing is popular and welcomed across the country, this just seems a bit silly."

The row erupted after Royal Mail said the morris dancers, and others who use the social club at its sorting office in Chapel Road, Worthing, would have to make alternative arrangements.

The firm gave notice that the venue would have to be closed after normal office hours because it said nobody was on hand to ensure health and safety rules were being enforced.

It comes despite the Sompting morris dancers having used the venue unhurt since 1977.
Royal Mail said the social club is run by two postal workers who in turn were forced to give notice to the morris men. But it conceded that it was ultimately its own decision to turf the morris men out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gee, That looks awfully dangerous!

I see their point. :)