Royal Oak’s Kit Changes – such as they were…

Kit has been stable(ish) from the start.  

We were a scratch side put together in the village pub when Brackley Morris couldn't make our village fete in 1985.  As we did not expect to dance again, kit was fairly cheap and easily available.

Initial kit - like the our first dances - were loosely based on Adderbury Morris, whites with red and blue baldrics, but we have red on the left shoulder to Adderbury's right.  White shirt and trousers, with red and blue ribbons crossed on chest.  Bells on ribbons below knees, cheap black plastic hats.

Mixed side from start (as the landlady of Royal Oak pub, our first squire, said - 'if I'm not in the side you are not getting served').   Initial ladies kit was white dresses with red and blue sash at waist.  After 6 months changed to white shirt and trousers same as men.  

By early 1986 we had bare bellpads (made by local saddler from dog leads).

By the end of that year we replaced the ribbons with proper 3" wide baldrics in the same colours.

In 1987 then landlord of Royal Oak pub sponsored embroidered badges which were sewn front and rear on the baldric crossing.  (He intended to sell these from the pub as well, so the wording is just 'Royal Oak, Eydon' with no mention of the Morris.)

Initially shoes were unspecified, but by the end of 1987, white trainers had become de regure - I think to upset Ring sides.

Black tapes with thin red and blue ribbons were fastened over the bell pads from 1988/9 onwards and similar tied to the elbows a few months later.

And that, for the next 22 years is it, apart from the addition at some stage of royal blue sweatshirts (and lately fleeces) with our badge (this time with 'Royal Oak Morris, Eydon') embroidered on.  (Badges on baldrics are a personal choice - some do - some hate them!)

Sorry to be so boring, we didn't realise that outer sides changed their kit so often, were amazed when at Barnard Castle one year talking to Scarborough Morris who had only been going as long as we had, but were on their 6th or 7th kit change!

Kevin Lodge
(in reply to a request for Chloe Metcalf
(who was doing a degree on Morris Costume)
 end of Oct 2011)