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Carnivals, Contests and Coronations

By Richard Nelson

A Social History of Morris Dancing in Trafford Before the Second World War.

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Morris dancing was very popular in the towns and villages of Trafford in the 1920s and 1930s. Huge crowds turned out for lavish carnivals and pageants staged to raise money for health care. Amongst the main attractions at these events were fiercely contested dancing competitions which drew in large audiences to watch morris and entertaining troupes from all over the North West of England.

Carnivals, Contests and Coronations is much more than a book about morris dancing. It reveals the story of the people who danced and those who taught and organised the troupes. It considers in detail the local history of carnivals and Rose Queen festivals alongside the evidence for morris dancing. It explores the relationship between morris and entertaining troupe dancing and uncovers the successes of local troupes in the competitions at carnivals throughout the North West.

Drawing on newspaper collections, archive material and films from the North West Film Archive, this is a well-illustrated and thoroughly researched book by an author who is both a morris dancer and a local history researcher. It makes a significant contribution to our  knowledge of morris dancing in the North West and to understanding the early stages of development of the Girls' Carnival Morris movement.

Publication sponsored by the Morris Federation
Further information: Publisher website

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