This film is part of Free

Kirkby Malzeard Silver Jubilee

All things symbolising Englishness are to the fore as Yorkshire villagers perform Morris dancing, maypole dancing, dress up as fairies and, of course, play a game of cricket.

Non-Fiction 1935 11 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


The rapid influence of Cecil Sharp and the English Folk Dance Society is very much in evidence in these celebrations of the 1935 Silver Jubilee of King George V in North Yorkshire. Before Morris dancing got a reputation for being rather embarrassing, locals look on in wonder as the pioneering Kirkby Malzeard Sword Dancers exhibit the intricacies of this historic dance form. The influence continues as school children perform fairy stories and maypole dancing.

This is one of two films made by Sir Fred Denby Moore of his family and events in Kirkby Malzeard in the 1930s. Fred Moore (b. c.1863, d 1951) was a Bradford wool merchant who stood as the Conservative candidate for Bradford Central in the 1922 general election, but lost it with a 13% swing to Labour. Like much of England, the land of Kirkby Malzeard became the property of a Norman knight, Sir Roger Mowbray; hence Mowbray House where Moore lived. Cecil Sharp, who rediscovered and popularised Morris dancing, first encountered sword dancing in Kirkby Malzeard in 1928. It originated in the Northumbria, Durham and Yorkshire area. The Kirkby Malzeard Longsword dance folded sometime in the late 1930s (revived 1986).