Our explosive Powderkegs are 10 years old

Whaley Bridge based Powderkegs, the Border Morris  dance group now known all over the High Peak and beyond, celebrates its  tenth anniversary in September with ‘dance outs’ across the region.  The group, famous for bright outfits in explosive colours and blacked out faces, boasts that all its events are free and family friendly.

On Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 September, Powderkegs’ Big Birthday Capers will see morris dancers from around the country join them  for a weekend of traditional music and dance in and around Hope and Castleton.

On Sunday  25 September, Powderkegs will be getting up steam at  Churnet Valley railway, Cheddleton. Thousands of people have seen the group this summer, from their home town event, the Water Weekend, to gigs in Glossop, Buxton, Chinley, Combs, Ashton,  Burghley House, Stamford, Lytham St Annes and Tutbury Castle, Burton on Trent. The ‘plum pudding tour’ includes Christmas lights switch-ons in Castleton and Whaley Bridge.

That strange name comes from ancient gunpowder mills in the Goyt Valley. The group says: “Our rags are fire colours and our dance explosive!”

With a 2001 launch, the group – or ‘side’ as they prefer –  is now over 30 strong. Press secretary Steph Johnson says: “There are short cuts to happiness and dancing is one of them.   We are a mixed side of Border Morris dancers and musicians, passionate about the living tradition of English folk dance.

Border Morris is lively and noisy, with bells, yells, and clashing sticks.”

Contact Powderkegs on 01663 734328 or visit www.powderkegs.co.uk

Email address: powderkegsmorris@btinternet.com 

Stave to stave: Whaley Bridge town council chairman Jon Goldfinch meets a Powderkeg