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Red Cuthbert’s Original Costume

It’s May 2020, and no-one’s going anywhere thanks to Covid-19, so we’ve been updating our website and as part of that have added a Blog to it. When we’re able to start practicing and dancing out again back to normal we’ll be writing about that.In the meantime, we’ll be posting about the side more generally.

Red Cuthbert in Bath for the Morris Federation Day of Dance, September 2015

When we started out in 2012 Red Cuthbert’s original costume (usually referred to as “kit”) was a fairly traditional outfit that would more-or-less fit in with both Cotswold and Border styles.

This was made up of a black skirt or trousers (officially not jeans!), shoes and waistcoat, and a smart red shirt. A black bowler hat topped it off, with a set of sixteen bells worn just below each knee.

 

Though Cotswold Morris sides stereotypically wear white shirts and trousers, with baldrics across the body, waistcoats aren’t uncommon being worn by sides such as the long established Aldbury Morris Men or the more local to Bedford Golden Hare Morris.

Red Cuthbert dancing at the Morris Federation Day of Dance in Nottingham,  September 2016

 

At the same time, the waistcoat-and-bowler-hat approach wouldn’t be out of place for traditional Border Morris though (as with Red Cuthbert) there is a general drift from waistcoats to more definitively “Border” rag coats – a few years ago Pretty Grim Border Morris were wearing waistcoats but now like us they’re in rags.

 

 

Over time this started to evolve, with T-shirts sneaking in at sweltering pub dance outs and the odd pair of jeans starting to appear. Ultimately we recognised this, and decided to have two versions of the kit: “full kit” as per the original spec and a more relaxed “summer kit” that wouldn’t be quite as hot.

Though we now tend to dress a little differently (and will write about that in a while), the original kit remains the base for what we wear and is a handy go-to that means if one of us forgets our rag coat we don’t look too out of place!

Red Cuthbert in summer kit at Ely Eel Day, May 2018