THE 51st Annual Forest of Dean Morris Festival takes place this coming weekend. Morris sides from around the country perform at various venues throughout the Forest of Dean on Saturday, June 8 followed by an event at The Dean Heritage Centre on the morning of Sunday, June 9. This year features Forest of Dean Morris, Mersey Morris (Merseyside), Southport Swords, Full Moon Morris (various locations fro the Forest of Dean and South Wales), Northampton Morris, Gloucestershire Morris, Widders (Chepstow) and Joe Oldaker. There is an initial massed display at The Clock Tower in Coleford at 10am on Saturday after which the sides split into two tours.

Music and dance (Supplied)

The first tour takes in: 11:20am until 12:30pm: The Nag's Head, Yorkley Slade, GL15 4RX 1pm until 2:30pm: The Orepool, Sling, GL16 8LH 3pm until 4pm: The George, St. Briavels, GL15 6TA 4:30pm until 5:30pm: The Boat, Penallt, NP45 4AJ The second tour takes in: 11:45am until 12:45pm: The Kilcot Inn, Kilcot, GL18 1NA 1pm until 2:30pm: The King's Arms, Newent, GL18 1BD 3:10pm until 4:10pm: The Weston Cross, Weston under Penyard, HR9 7NU 4:45pm until 5:45 pm: The Fountain Inn, Parkend, GL15 4JD."

The Forest of Dean once contained many Morris sides and like many Morris dance sides, the Forest of Dean Morris is what is known in the trade as a ‘revival’ side - revived in an area where an earlier Side has died out.

During the Spring and Summer they dance out most Wednesday evenings at pubs in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley and over the years have danced at countless fetes, weddings, shows, special events and even on Blue Peter! The Side has danced at festivals and on tours in Germany, France, Belgium and extensively in the UK.and has a long-standing relationship with the town of Pont Aven, in Brittany.