MORRIS DANCE IN CORNWALL
TRIGG AND THEIR HISTORY
Thank you for taking the time to stop and watch us, as audiences have done since we gave our first public show in July 1971. We enjoy performing and appreciate the interest you show. We must also thank those who make it all possible, such as Publicans, Local Authorities, The Police, and our supporters.
Our costume reflects our rural background, and you will note that our green baldrics are decorated with Celtic designs that are found on the Ancient Stone Crosses located around the County.
Our name comes from "The Hundred of Trigg", an ancient administrative area of Mid Cornwall, and most of our dancers live within reasonably easy reach of Bodmin. ( We have no links at all to Colonel Trigg who fell at the Battle of Blue Lick , Kentucky - his ancestors originally came from Norway it seems - Erik Torsteinson Åsgård Trygge b 1440 )
We perform dances of the "Cotswold" style: Fieldtown with sticks or handkerchiefs, Bucknell also with sticks or handkerchiefs, but with the hands at shoulder height, and Stanton Harcourt, which hardly anyone else still remembers, but where we have the handkerchiefs on our little fingers and sometimes with both sticks and hankies at the same time! As well as the occasional Lichfield dance with 8 dancers. Click here for ridiculous amounts of additional data
We mainly dance on Thursdays, but we have no recollection why we chose that day. But we've been doing it so long it must be a tradition by now.
Morris dancing is a tradition that goes back a long time, but so long that it was never written down, so it's your guess what it looked, or sounded like in Shakespeare's time and before. Some people like to think it's a fertility rite, or linked to John of Gaunt and Moors from Spain, and who are we to disagree. One thing is certain - and that's a close association between Morris dancers and pubs over many years. So we practice in the winter, and then when the evenings are lighter in the summer, we can be found dancing outside pubs across central Cornwall. And just to make sure that others don't miss out, each year we pick out a couple of villages who haven't got a pub and descend on them as well (usually with adequate supplies of beer).
And not to forget - Trigg does consist of dancers of both male and female persuasions.
And a Beast ... Trigger
His origin is lost in the mists of time - but dendochronology aside , we know he once had a name "Hoddy Horse"
and a 1964 date inscribed on his wooden skeleton. So he may have danced with other sides (?)
You can't get the staff these days ...
Back in 1975 a group of Trigg chaps went to Stratford upon Avon and "danced in" to join the Morris Ring
(left to right) Peter Marlow , Christopher Penton, Roger Hancock, Mike Johnson, Alan Ramsden (in front, holding the Staff), Peter Cock, Pete Philp, Vic Legg (Our Squire at the time also holding the Staff) and Dave Williams.
They received a "Staff of Office" which is never used for dancing , but we show it off once a year