Talk – Goathland Plough Stots – a Long Sword Tradition (LIVE on Zoom)

Talk – Goathland Plough Stots – a Long Sword Tradition

Keith Thompson will talk about the history of the Goathland Plough Stots Long Sword tradition in North Yorkshire.  Including a tour of their Hut (The Reading Room) where the Plough Stots rehearse and keep their uniforms and ephemera: swords, competition cups, photographs, papers.  There will be time for Q&A.

Your host

Keith Thompson is the Honorary President of Goathland Plough Stots to which he has belonged for some 40 years – a novice compared with some team members who are younger than him.

To register

Please complete this online form: Register for the Talk – Goathland Plough Stots Long Sword Tradition; you will receive a confirmation email immediately (check your spam/junk/promotions folder!).  We will send you a Zoom link a couple of days before the event.  Open to all – you don’t have to be a member of a team in The Morris Federation.

Optional Donations

If you enjoy this event, then it would be wonderful if you could send a donation, small or large, to Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary:

How to Make Rapper Swords by Frank Lee – online talk

The Morris Federation launched a series of online workshops, talks and demos over Winter 2020-2021.  Here is a review of a demonstration & talk by Frank Lee in December 2020 to over 60 people on how he makes rapper swords.

The rapper sword he made in the filming for the demonstration was sword number 2549.  He has made 433 sets to date which have been sold worldwide.

Frank Lee
Frank Lee

“Frank went through all the steps and covered how he resourced his materials, and how to make the tools, as well as how to actually make the swords. He used videos and photos to make the process clear and, naturally, included many anecdotes along the way.

“Fascinating to see how every storey of his house is used in the process, along with many of the rooms. There were more steps than I thought there would be and quite a few required an adaptation or making of jigs to ease the job along. The ultimate justification for us hoarders of spare this-and-that in case it might come in useful one day.

“Afterwards he kindly answered additional questions from the audience.


  1. Never unbind a coil of spring steel in your kitchen, and
  2. Look after your sword – a lot of skill, ingenuity, love and hard work has gone into making it.

“Of course we (Ripon Spur Rapper) have a set of Frank’s swords.

“Now where did I put that spare lorry brake drum …

by Bob Barker of Ripon Spur Rapper in North Yorkshire

The demonstration was kindly run by Frank Lee, whose website is  Frank is a member of Carlisle Sword and ClogHexham MorrisFeet First Appalachian Cloggers, and Flag and Bone Gang.

Donations from participants raised money for Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts in Somerset.

DERT Rapper Tournament 2020 #DERTnotDERT

On the weekend of Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th April 2020, the DERT-not-DERT rapper tournament was unleashed into our homes.

Rapper teams from across the country, and over the pond, were planning to compete at DERT 2020 in Lincoln, hosted by Whip the Cat Rapper and Clog. Unfortunately, along with so many other events, DERT 2020 has been cancelled. Instead, we had DERT as it has never been seen before (and hopefully never will be again!) with everyone able to enjoy it from the safety of their own homes. Teams were invited to enter some long-distance competitions under the following categories:

DERT 2020 Tower Ravens
Tower Ravens solo
  • Solo Rapper
  • Stepping
  • Music
  • Character
  • Buzz Factor
  • Best use of Steep Hill (a steep hill in Lincoln – does what it says on the tin)

These categories were very much open to interpretation, and there were many inventive and surprising entries!

DERT 2020 resultsSee all the competition entries and results on Facebook:

For more info on the hosts, see: Whip the Cat Rapper and Clog

#DERTnotDERT, #IMProvising, #DERT2020

Money, money, money


If you had £1,000 to spend supporting morris, sword and traditional dancing, what would you do?

In addition to the current Bursary scheme, we have earmarked the funds from selling our new CDs to be used for new projects that will help young dancers. We expect this to be about £1,000 so we need your ideas. It could be something that you want to organise or an idea that could be arranged locally or nationally such workshops, dance tutors, or kit for a school side. Whatever it is, we want to hear about it. Please contact any member of the committee to put your ideas forward.

Buy the CDs directly from The Morris Federation and £10 from each sale – that’s everything except postage costs – goes to this fund.


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