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.)
2016 saw the most major change since the formation of the side, to include women members for the very first time and revitalise the side for the 21st century.
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.|
|“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”)|
|1973||Peter Mansfield, Humphrey Moreton, Llewellyn Thomas, Bert Cleaver*, Gerald Farmer*|
Dancers recorded prior to 1950
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|
Elections to Ordinary Membership (Apprentice or Full Member)
|1950||Alan Dimmock, Gerald Farmer*|
|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|
|1958||Gordon Myland, Edwin Spring|
|1959||Ian Bartrop, Michael Humphrey, Harry Oliver, David Warden|
|1961||Leslie Nichols, K. Taylor|
|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|
|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|
|1984||Tim Attree, Andy Hack|
|1985||John Bell, Stephen Ferneyhough, Peter Walklate|
|1990||Bob Combes*, Nigel Moorcroft*, Mike Sayer|
|1992||Eric Ramsay, Nick Boyes|
|2002||Edd Bennett, George Collett, Martin Cove|
|2005||Ted Richards, Mike Ruff*, Simon Whitbread|
|2017||Emma Hayes*, Calum Hayes*|