Longsword activities

Ryburn Longsword will be dancing out at the following events and occasions in 2017. Why not come along and watch us?

30 April: Todmorden Folk Festival

1 May:  Dancing at Dawn at Scammonden Bridge

7 May:  Spaw Sunday, Cragg Vale

28 May: Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge 4th annual classic bike and scooter show in Sowerby Bridge

25 – 28 August:  Shrewsbury Folk Festival

2 – 3 September: Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing

Watch this space – more events and occasions will be listed here when confirmed.

Past Ryburn Longsword appearances:

Ripponden Village Dances 11 March 2017

The  afternoon Family Barn Dance for children and the evening  ‘Village Barn Dance’ on Saturday 11 March at the Victoria Hall in Ripponden was a great success. Around 120 people of all ages came along to the two dances, and had a great time dancing to the music of ‘Offcuts‘ called by Pauline Jones and Sue Coe.

Photo: Alan Day

Sowerby Bridge Rushcart 2016

Ryburn Longsword was one of the dance teams invited to the Sowerby Bridge Rushcart on 3 and 4 September, to celebrate 40 years since the custom was revived in 1976. We enjoyed the dancing and the processions, especially on Sunday when the weather was much kinder than on Saturday.

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing festival, at Sowerby St Peters. Photo: Bruce Fitzgerald
Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing festival, at Sowerby St Peters.
Photo: Bruce Fitzgerald

We were privileged to dance inside Christ Church after the blessing of the rushcart. On Sunday the procession from Sowerby to Ripponden via Cottonstones and Triangle was a wonderful line of Rushcart pullers, dancers, and audience, stretching over many hundreds of yards. The final display outside St. Bartholomew’s in Ripponden was a wonderful finale to a great weekend.

Look in the Gallery for more photos of us at this lovely event.

Photo: Gill Loomes
Photo: Gill Loomes




Visit to Brittany as guests of Cercle Celtique Liviou Kerrien,

12 – 18 August 2016

We spent a week in Britanny as guests of the Breton dance group ‘Cercle Celtique Liviou Kerrien’   http://livioukerien.e-monsite.com/.  This group  perform display dances and social dances in the traditional Breton style.

Cercle Celtique Liviou Kerien

The women’s traditional costumes are beautifully embroidered velvet dresses and aprons with elaborate starched lace coifs, while the men wear traditional full velvet trousers and waistcoats.

Dance Exchange 2016 237
Ryburn Longsword in Port Manech, Brittany

We arrived in the village of Querrien late afternoon on 12 August where we met our hosts and enjoyed an evening of Breton dancing, Longsword dancing, social dancing and fine Breton food and drink.


During the week we danced in Batz-sur-Mer as part of the ‘Pardon’, and Port Manech in the Carnival, and we also danced in and around Querrien itself.  We also had time to visit several other beautiful places with our hosts and enjoy their warm hospitality, and we were sorry when the time came to say goodbye and return home.

Breton dancing – Liviou Kerien and Ryburn Longsword

See more photos of Ryburn Longsword in Brittany at  http://www.bfpix.co.uk/longswords

Next year (August 2017) Liviou Kerien will travel to stay and dance with us in and around Ripponden, so watch this space for further information as our plans progress.

Cercle Celtique Liviou Kerien

Chester Folk Festival, 28 – 30 May 2016

Ryburn Longsword were one of the featured dance teams at the Chester Folk Festival this year. In the glorious weather we danced at the ‘Lord Binning’, the ‘Farmers Arms’, and the ‘Royal Oak’, and posed and paraded for the audiences (see below).



A good time was had by all, thanks to Chester Folk Festival for booking us, and we hope to be back soon.

Hornbeam Molly Weekend of Dance, Knaresborough, 8 May 2016

Ryburn Longsword_Knaresborough_8may16_3
Photo: Andy Day


Photo: Andy Day
Photo: Andy Day

It was wonderfully hot and sunny on Sunday – what a difference from 1 week earlier! In the picturesque town of Knaresborough we joined 9 other dance teams to perform throughout the day, at the castle, the marketplace, and Henshaw’s.

Photo: Andy Day
Photo: Andy Day

May Day 2016

Ryburn Longsword danced the May in at 5.25 a.m. by Scammonden Bridge this year.  It was extremely cold!Ryburn Longsword May Day 2016

Later in the day we danced at the Spaw Sunday celebrations in Cragg Vale. After dancing at the ‘Hinchliffe Arms’ we walked to the ‘Spaw’ in the company of local admirers, performed a couple more dances, and then ended up in the ‘Robin Hood’. It wasn’t so cold, but it was a bit damp. But that doesn’t matter – Longsword dancing is always hugely entertaining and enjoyable!

 Ryburn Longsword 21st Birthday

Ryburn Longsword is 21 years old this year! On Saturday 24 October members past and present enjoyed a party in Ripponden with mass longsword displays, dancing to the Black Box Band, and lots of cakes.Longsword 21st_24oct15

Longsword 21st(2)_24oct15

Here’s to the next 21 years!

An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley