This film is part of Free

Morris Dancing at Berkhamstead

A noble English dance tradition is preserved in Hertfordshire.

Amateur film 1950 3 mins Silent


A noble 600-year-old tradition is alive and well on the streets of Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire (home to the BFI's J. Paul Getty Conservation Centre). This charming amateur film from the early 1950s shows the morris men, accompanied by the traditional pipe and tabor, making merry outside the town's fabulous Art Deco Rex Cinema, with an impressively sizeable crowd lining the High Street to watch.

Berkhamsted's Grade II listed Rex Cinema, opened in 1938, narrowly avoided dereliction and redevelopment to be restored to former glories in 2004. But the morris dance itself is the true survivor - having enjoyed a resurgence in popularity around the 1950s (when this film was shot), around 800 British troupes currently ensure that this traditional dance is not allowed to die out.