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Legacy morris

Girls who took part in the Abingdon Old English Revels in 1910 - photo courtesy of Duncan BroomheadIs it just this winter, or are lots of the old ‘greats’ dying off? Maybe it’s just an age thing. We dutifully made our wills when we married (both been through divorce so it seemed good advice), naming parents and siblings and percentages of total inheritance etc. And sat back feeling pleased with ourselves.

But we have never given a thought about what will happen to the morris ‘stuff’ that we have. When I think hard about it, I realise that although our families know that we are mad about morris, they may not feel the need to pass on any photos or paraphernalia to one of the Morris Orgs. There was a recent incident of a notable person within the tradition who died and their family were found to be turfing all their books into a skip. Fortunately, someone within the morris happened by and was able to perform a rescue mission.

You may not think that you have much of interest to anyone else, but your photographs of dancing over the years, old kit, bits of notation, collections of badges, old programmes, musical instruments etc, may be worth considering. It’s all much less traumatic if you leave instructions.

The Federation is happy to store items in the archive, or redirect them to a more suitable home so that they are not lost to future researchers into the morris.

We had our first legacy donation last year too, to start a research project on women in the morris, such a lovely way to celebrate a life spent dancing.

So, why not stop and think about death for a moment, and let your family know what you want to happen to your morris ‘stuff’. Don’t let it end up in a skip. And maybe mention a legacy donation.

And here’s to the next life where there will be no creaking joints, no hangovers and no team politics!

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