“For the love of the thing”

The Early History of the Club.

Dr R Kenworthy Schofield arrived in St Albans from Cambridge, to work at the Rothamsted Research Station. As he said, it was his custom to be actively associated with a morris club, and he would gladly act as leader, teacher and musician “for the love of the thing”.

Some ten men, including Donald Cassels and Humphrey Moreton, eagerly accepted his offer, and St Albans Morris Men was founded in early 1930. The club practised in the Abbey Institute, then moved to the Market Hall.

The first recorded show was at the Hertfordshire Branch (of the EFDSS) Festival at Hatfield House, on 5th July 1930. The dances were Winster Processional and Reel, Askham Richard sword, Rigs o’Marlow, Blue Eyed Stranger and Fool’s Jig.

St Albans joined The Morris Ring at the Inaugural Meeting at Cecil Sharp House, on 20th October 1934, dancing Constant Billy (Adderbury) as our first “show” dance.

Kenworthy Schofield was elected Squire of the Ring in February 1936, and took up his duties at the Grasmere Ring Meeting that September.

Most pre-1939 morris took the form of displays at one-off events, but in July and August 1939, the club began the tradition of village tours (on Wednesday nights) which survive as our Monday night programme, and it was on 19th July that Miss I M Du Cane (“Mollie”) first played for the Club.

Throughout the War, practice was irregular, but the club was able to put on a show whenever it was requested. Pictures show men wearing bells and baldricks over their everyday shirts and trousers.

May 19th, 1948 saw St Albans appear live on BBC Television’s “Picture Page”, thanks to a piece of astute promotion by Humphrey Moreton, then the Bagman. He had invited the BBC to televise a village tour show, but Outside Broadcast equipment was primitive and inflexible, so the club went to Alexandra Palace instead.

Later that summer, the Club played a prominent part in the St Albans Millenary Pageant, wearing some distinctly dodgy “Elizabethan” costumes, with hats! Kenworthy in particular looked very fetching in striped britches and plumed billycock.

In 1949, St Albans Morris Men was the first club to organise a “modern” Ring Meeting*, based on our home ground – until then, clubs had come together in “neutral” areas of interest. The invitation to visiting Men suggested that they might like to bring their bicycles for a tour.

– Sandy Glover, Recorder

(*The format of a Ring Meeting weekend is understood to have been devised by Humphrey Moreton and has scarcely changed since then.)


Membership

The following is a list of members of the Club since 1930, derived from early log reports and minutes of meetings at which members were elected.

We do not, in general, keep records of when men left the area, resigned (formally or informally), or died.

Current members are marked with an asterisk. These are men who have either paid their subscription for the year (or are likely to pay!) or, as Life Members, are not required to do so.

We like to stay in touch with men whose membership is no longer current, and to see them at our events from time to time.

Elections to Honorary Membership

Honorary Membership has been granted on three occasions to people we particularly wished to recognise but who would not otherwise qualify to be members of the Club.

1951 Jack Thompson (died 1999) A Club member from 1934-38, he was a printer who in subsequent years made free gifts to SAMM of much publicity material.
1971 Ewart Russell
(died 1989)
“in recognition of his services to The Morris, and in particular for the fellowship he has always shown to the men of St Albans”.
1973 Mollie Du Cane (died 1991) Her fiddle playing for our shows kept the Club alive during many years around and during World War II when male musicians were not available to us.
Elections to Life Membership

Life Membership has been granted to Club members who have made an exceptional contribution to SAMM over many years.

1959 Kenworthy Schofield, F.C. Smith (“Smithy”)
1963 Donald Cassels
1965 Leslie Nichols
1973 Peter Mansfield, Humphrey Moreton, Llewellyn Thomas, Bert Cleaver*, Gerald Farmer*
1990 Mike Chandler*
1997 Brian Bending
2006 Mike Bennett*
Dancers recorded prior to 1950
1930
Founder Members

Fred Bradley, Donald Kennedy Cassels, H.(Bert) H. Crawley, Dan S. Crawford, G. (Fred) Jeffs, Humphrey W. Moreton, Edgar A. Randall, F. Gordon Roberts, R. Kenworthy Schofield (Founder), W.(Bill) A. Wright

1930 Geoffrey J.F. Fiennes
1932 ? Macdonald (first initial not recorded)
1933 H. Brookes, Ray W.E. Buxton, J. Harris, Donald S. Marsh, H.W. Jack Marsh, Tommy W. Norman, G.D. Plant, C. Pullen
1934 J.H. Bowman, D. Powell, G. Seabrook, Jack H. Thompson
De facto members at first General Meeting in 1935

J.H. Brett, Ray Buxton, Donald Cassels, Harper Crompton, Fred Jeffs, Peter G. Mansfield, Donald Marsh, Jack Marsh, Humphrey Moreton, Gordon Roberts, Kenworthy Schofield, Fred C. Smith, Jack Thompson.

1937 Rupert M. Newman
1938 J. Chris Penton, Charles Tait
1939 E. (Ronnie) Myatt, J. Clifford Smith, Bryan C.V. Spence
1940 Donald Kiff, Geoff H. Moxham, W. Wood
1944 Derek Froome, Rex H.Q. Gear, A. Simons, Stan G. Hill
1945 Kenneth C. Savory
1946 F.H. Llewellyn Thomas, Robert H.C. Robins
1947 John G. Coales, Geoff J. Ginn, F. Holness
1948 Frank E. Kendall, John Osborn, Sidney Poock, David Turner
1949 E.C. Page
Elections to Ordinary Membership (Apprentice or Full Member)
1950 Alan Dimmock, Gerald Farmer*
1951 Bert Perch
1952 Mike Ballard, John Burgess, Peter Burton, George Felton, Peter Rowland, Tony Shaw
1953 Jon Bennell, Ian (Barry) Newman
1954 Mike Chandler*, Ken Harrold, Pat Wilson
1955 A. Armoth, B. Howells, Bill Humphrey, Brian Lake, Bernard Nicholas, R. Nicholas, Alan Parker, Geoff Soul, Paul Taylor, Simon Warden
1957 Jim Jones
1958 Gordon Myland, Edwin Spring
1959 Ian Bartrop, Michael Humphrey, Harry Oliver, David Warden
1961 Leslie Nichols, K. Taylor
1962 Allan Jarvis
1963 John Cox, Martin Hudson, Graham Lyndon-Jones*, Paul Pichonski
1964 John Hylton, Joe Jarvis
1965 B. Heydon, John King [the first]
1966 H. Brown, Tony Rundle, Pete Rollason
1967 Bert Cleaver*, Geoff Davies, Chris Green
1968 Dave Cork
1969 Campbell Innes, Leslie Willcox, Peter Willcox
1970 Dave Bardon, Brian Bending
1971 Roger Avery, Bob Best, Ian Griffin, Ian Haig, Dave Hislop, D. Keithly, John King [the second], Mike (“Nic”) Nicolson, Jim Rose*, Charles Whitlock
1972 Tony Barratt, Ron Chapman, Brian Palmer, Jon Dyer, Dave Goode, Bill Hill, Chris Hillier*, Geoff Hood, Dave Shipway
1973 Trevor Adams*, Dave Carpenter, Sandy Glover, Allan Hart, Malcolm Hills, Mike Sandford, Peter (“Reggie”) Welbank
1974 Colin Bargery, Jim Brockbank, Chris Coggins, John Garrick
1975 Mike Davies, Peter Lerner, Denis Lloyd, Chris Warren*
1976 Brian Rayner, John Jenkyn, John Seaborn
1977 Mike Bennett*, Tony Scola, Grahame Terry
1978 John Price, Jim Stevenson, Bob White
1979 Graham Field, Tim Ledger
1980 Dave Johnson, Gordon Shearer, Kim Winter
1982 Peter Beedell, Gordon Jones*, Bob Oxtoby, Simon Phillips
1983 Steve Prentice
1984 Tim Attree, Andy Hack
1985 John Bell, Stephen Ferneyhough, Peter Walklate
1987 Jon Peett*
1988 Pete Davis*
1990 Bob Combes*, Nigel Moorcroft*, Mike Sayer
1992 Eric Ramsay, Nick Boyes
1995 Laurie Smith
1997 John Beecham*
1999 Robert Oerton
2000 Ian Bradshaw
2001 Alexander McClintock
2002 Edd Bennett, George Collett, Martin Cove
2003 Simon Reynolds*
2005 Ted Richards, Mike Ruff*, Simon Whitbread
2010 Andrew Torrington*

Dancing in St Albans UK and farther afield since 1930