Longsword activities

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing 7 & 8 September 2019

Ryburn Longsword – Photo Jennie Webster

Ryburn Longsword were privileged to be invited to join Sowerby Bridge Morris for the 2019 Rushbearing Festival. Over two days we joined 12 other dance teams to process from Warley to Sowerby Bridge, and Sowerby to Ripponden, dancing (and partaking of refreshment) along the way. With fantastic sunny weather and a terrific friendly community spirit everywhere en route, our 25th year of participation was perhaps the best yet. Thank you Sowerby Bridge Morris for organising the Festival, and inviting us!

Below are a few photos, taken by John Ramsdin – thank you John:

Ryburn Longsword – Photo: John Ramsdin
Ryburn Longsword – Photo: John Ramsdin
Ryburn Longsword – Photo: John Ramsdin
Ryburn Longsword – Photo: John Ramsdin

What do you think of Yorkshire Longsword dancing? Well, some people who watched us over the weekend were obviously impressed because they came to talk to us about it. Their comments were like music to our ears: “intricate”, “complicated”, “impressive”, and “elegant”! Praise indeed!

If you would like to try Longsword dancing, please contact Sue Coe on 01422 822569.We welcome dancers of all ages and abilities to our Wednesday evening practices which take place from 7.30pm to 9.00pm at 103 Oldham Road, Ripponden.

Littleborough Rushbearing 20 & 21 July 2019

We had a great time dancing at Littleborough Rushbearing again this year. We were delighted that our old friends Anahata and Mary could join the Longsword musicians on Saturday 20 July. It was lovely to have them playing.
Thanks to our friends at Oakenhoof for inviting us to attend this lovely event again this year.

Cleckheaton Folk Festival 7 July 2019

Ryburn Longsword at Cleckheaton Folk Festival with John and Libby who gave us the Ash Vale longswords.

We danced at a couple of venues at Cleckheaton Folk Festival on Sunday 7 July, in glorious sunshine and lots of people to watch. We had a surprise to meet Libby and John, who last year gave us the lovely set of longswords that we now use, they were originally from Ash Vale Longsword in Hertfordshire.

Dance-out at The Old Bridge Inn – 5 June 2019

RYBURN LONGSWORD danced at the Old Bridge Inn in Ripponden on Wednesday 5 June, with guests Oakenhoof, White Rose Morris, and Sowerby Bridge Morris. We had a lovely evening dancing and then a music and song session in the bar afterwards. Thanks to The Old Bridge Inn for hosting the event.

May Bank Holiday Weekend 2019

Ryburn Longsword at Ripponden Food & Drink Festival 6 May 2019. Photo: Johnny Adams

Ryburn Longsword have been busy with some wonderful local events over the May Bank holiday weekend :
Todmorden Folk Festival on Saturday – a lovely event with lots of excellent dancing from the many dance teams who were there performing;
Spaw Sunday in Cragg Vale – Dance at the Hinchliffe Arms, walk to the Spa for the Blessing and some dancing, then back to the Robin Hood for more dancing. A most enjoyable afternoon.
Ripponden Food & Drink Festival – there were a tremendous number of people enjoying this event – we danced outside the Old Bridge Inn and then over the bridge at St. Barts. There was a really friendly atmosphere and an appreciative audience – we hope they organise another one next year!

MayDay 2019

We danced in the May at 5.35am overlooking Scammonden Reservoir. Why do we do it? Well, we had an audience of a few cows and a motorist drove by, but mostly we do it because we’ve always done it. And afterwards we all go off and have a team breakfast.

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival 1st & 2nd September 2018

What a marvellous event the Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival is!

Once again the weather was sunny and fine. A tremendous number of people turned out in Sowerby Bridge, Ripponden, and all the villages along the 2-day route to see the spectacular Rushcart drawn by men (though I did see a few women pulling), with the characteristic sound of clogs on the setts.  10 morris dance teams came along to dance and entertain – Ryburn Longsword was privileged to be invited again this year, our 24th outing with this great traditional event.

Photo: John Ramsden
Photo: John Ramsden
Photo: John Ramsden
Photo: John Ramsden
Photo: Andy Day

Next year we’ll have to find a way of celebrating 25 years at Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing. Thanks to the Sowerby Bridge Morris and all the organisers for a fabulous two days.


Durham Folk Weekend 28 & 29 July 2018

The sun shone between the showers as we danced in the ancient city of Durham on Saturday during the Folk Weekend, but sadly the rain on Sunday wasn’t so obliging and came down in such a pelt that we decided not to try it again.  Thanks to the organisers for a lovely gathering.

Littleborough Rushcart 21 & 22 July 2018

Thanks to Oakenhoof and LEAF – and all the organisers of the Littleborough Rushcart festival – for inviting us. We had a full, action-packed, weekend.

Here we are processing behind Horwich Morris.

Dancing at The Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden, on Wednesday 13 June 2018

We welcomed Oakenhoof from Littleborough and Sowerby Bridge Morris to our Evening of Dance at The Old Bridge Inn last Wednesday 13 June. With 2 hours of dance displays from about 30 dancers it was spectacular.

In between the dance displays the audience were treated  to fabulous entertainment from the amazing Phoebe and Lawrence – dancing, singing, one-man band, and even the ukelele. Afterwards we piled into the pub and enjoyed a music and song session. Thanks to Tim and Lindsay at The Old Bridge for welcoming us for the evening.

Southport Swords 50th Anniversary Gathering Sunday 20 May 2018

Congratulations to Southport Swords for their 50th anniversary! We had a lovely day in sunny Southport dancing around the town with other guest sides Maltby Sword and Goathland Plough Stots. Here’s us all dancing a mass North Skelton Longsword dance in the Grand Finale.

Spaw Sunday 6 May 2018

Once again we joined the residents of Cragg Vale to celebrate “Spaw Sunday” in Cragg Vale. We danced at the Hinchliffe Arms, walked to the Spa where there was a short service to bless the Well, and after dancing there and enjoying a picnic we walked to the Robin Hood and danced again. A very nice local event.

Todmorden Folk Festival 5 May 2018

The weather was fantastic for the Todmorden Folk Festival on Saturday 5 May and we enjoyed dancing all day is this friendly festival. Thanks to the organisers for inviting us.

An Independent Folk Development Project in the Ryburn Valley