"For the love of the thing"
The early history of the Club.
Dr R Kenworthy Schofield arrived in St Albans from Cambridge, to work at
the Rothamsted Research Station. As he said, it was his custom to be
actively associated with a morris club, and he would gladly act as leader,
teacher and musician "for the love of the thing".
Some ten men, including Donald Cassels and Humphrey Moreton, eagerly
accepted his offer, and St Albans Morris Men was founded in early 1930.
The club practised in the Abbey Institute, then moved to the Market Hall.
The first recorded show was at the Hertfordshire Branch (of the EFDSS)
Festival at Hatfield House, on 5th July 1930. The dances were Winster
Processional and Reel, Askham Richard sword, Rigs o'Marlow, Blue Eyed
Stranger and Fool's Jig.
St Albans joined The Morris Ring at the Inaugural Meeting at Cecil Sharp
House, on 20th October 1934, dancing Constant Billy (Adderbury) as our
first "show" dance.
Kenworthy Schofield was elected Squire of the Ring in February 1936, and
took up his duties at the Grasmere Ring Meeting that September.
Most pre-1939 morris took the form of displays at one-off events, but in
July and August 1939, the club began the tradition of village tours (on
Wednesday nights) which survive as our Monday night programme, and it was
on 19th July that Miss I M Du Cane ("Mollie") first played for the Club.
Throughout the War, practice was irregular, but the club was able to put
on a show whenever it was requested. Pictures show men wearing bells and
baldricks over their everyday shirts and trousers.
May 19th, 1948 saw St Albans appear live on BBC Television's "Picture Page",
thanks to a piece of astute promotion by Humphrey Moreton, then the Bagman.
He had invited the BBC to televise a village tour show, but Outside
Broadcast equipment was primitive and inflexible, so the club went to
Alexandra Palace instead.
Later that summer, the Club played a prominent part in the St Albans
Millenary Pageant, wearing some distinctly dodgy "Elizabethan" costumes,
with hats! Kenworthy in particular looked very fetching in striped britches
and plumed billycock.
In 1949, St Albans Morris Men was the first club to organise a "modern"
Ring Meeting*, based on our home ground - until then, clubs had come together
in "neutral" areas of interest. The invitation to visiting Men suggested
that they might like to bring their bicycles for a tour.
- Sandy Glover, Recorder
(*The format of a Ring Meeting weekend is understood to have been devised by Humphrey Moreton and has scarcely changed since then.)
The following is a list of members
of the Club since 1930, derived from early log reports and minutes of meetings
at which members were elected.
We do not, in general, keep records of when men left the area, resigned (formally or informally), or died.
Current members are marked with an asterisk. These are men who have either paid their subscription for the year (or are likely to pay!) or, as Life Members, are not required to do so.
We like to stay in touch with men whose membership is no
longer current, and to see them at our events from time to time.
Elections to Honorary MembershipHonorary
Membership has been granted on three occasions to people we particularly wished
to recognise but who would not otherwise qualify to be members of the
1951 - Jack Thompson (died 1999)
Club member from 1934-38, he was a printer who in subsequent years made free
gifts to SAMM of much publicity material.
1971 - Ewart Russell (died 1989)
- "in recognition of his services to The
Morris, and in particular for the fellowship he has always shown to the men of
1973 - Mollie Du
Cane (died 1991) - Her
fiddle playing for our shows kept the Club alive during many years around and
during World War II when male musicians were not available to us.
Elections to Life MembershipLife
Membership has been granted to Club members who have made an exceptional
contribution to SAMM over many years.
1959 - Kenworthy Schofield; F.C. Smith ("Smithy")
1963 - Donald Cassels
1965 - Leslie Nichols
1973 - Peter Mansfield; Humphrey Moreton; Llewellyn Thomas; Bert Cleaver*; Gerald Farmer*
1990 - Mike Chandler*
1997 - Brian Bending*
Dancers recorded prior to 1935
1930 - Founder Members
Bradley, Donald Kennedy Cassels, H.(Bert) H. Crawley, Dan S.
G. (Fred) Jeffs,
Moreton, Edgar A. Randall, F. Gordon Roberts,
R. Kenworthy Schofield (Founder)
W.(Bill) A. Wright
Geoffrey J.F. Fiennes
(first initial not recorded)
H. Brookes, Ray W.E. Buxton, J.
Harris, Donald S. Marsh, H. W. Jack Marsh
Tommy W. Norman, G. D.
Bowman, D. Powell, G. Seabrook,
Jack H. Thompson
members at first General Meeting in 1935
J. H. Brett, Ray Buxton,
Donald Cassels, Harpur Crompton, Fred Jeffs,
Mansfield, Donald Marsh, Jack Marsh, Humphrey
Gordon Roberts, Kenworthy Schofield, Fred C. Smith, Jack Thompson.
Rupert M. Newman
J. Chris Penton,
E. (Ronnie) Myatt, J. Clifford Smith, Bryan
C. V. Spence
Kiff, Geoff H. Moxham,
Froome, Rex H. Q. Gear, A. Simons, Stan G.
Kenneth C. Savory
F.H. Llewellyn Thomas,
Robert H. C. Robins
John G. Coales, Geoff J. Ginn, F.
Kendall, John Osborn, Sidney Poock,
Elections to Ordinary Membership (Apprentice or Full Member)1950
- Alan Dimmock; Gerald Farmer*
- Bert Perch
- Mike Ballard; John Burgess; Peter Burton; George Felton; Peter Rowland; Tony Shaw
- Jon Bennell; Ian (Barry) Newman
- Mike Chandler*; Ken Harrold; Pat Wilson
1955 - A. Armoth; B.
Howells; Bill Humphrey; Brian Lake, Bernard Nicholas; R. Nicholas,
Alan Parker; Geoff Soul; Paul Taylor; Simon Warden
- Jim Jones
- Gordon Myland; Edwin Spring
1959 - Ian Bartrop; Michael Humphrey; Harry Oliver; David Warden
- Leslie Nichols; K. Taylor
- Allan Jarvis
- John Cox; Martin Hudson; Graham Lyndon-Jones*; Paul Pichonski
- John Hylton; Joe Jarvis
1965 - B.
Heydon; John King [the first]
1966 - H. Brown; Tony Rundle; Pete Rollason
1967 - Bert Cleaver*; Geoff Davies; Chris Green
- Dave Cork
- Campbell Innes; Leslie Willcox; Peter Willcox
- Dave Bardon; Brian Bending*
1971 - Roger Avery; Bob
Best; Ian Griffin; Ian Haig; Dave Hislop; D. Keithly; John King [the second]; Mike ("Nic") Nicolson*; Jim Rose; Charles Whitlock*
- Tony Barratt; Ron Chapman; Brian Palmer; Jon Dyer; Dave Goode; Bill Hill; Chris Hillier*; Geoff Hood; Dave Shipway
- Trevor Adams*; Dave Carpenter; Sandy Glover*; Allan Hart; Malcolm Hills; Mike Sandford; Peter ("Reggie") Welbank*
- Colin Bargery; Jim Brockbank; Chris Coggins; John Garrick
- Mike Davies; Peter Lerner; Denis Lloyd; Chris Warren*
- Brian Rayner; John Jenkyn; John Seaborn
- Mike Bennett*; Tony Scola; Grahame Terry
- John Price*; Jim Stevenson; Bob White
- Graham Field; Tim Ledger
- Dave Johnson; Gordon Shearer; Kim Winter
- Peter Beedell; Gordon Jones*; Bob Oxtoby; Simon Phillips
- Steve Prentice
- Tim Attree; Andy Hack
- John Bell; Stephen Ferneyhough; Peter Walklate
- Jon Peett*
- Pete Davis*
- Bob Combes*; Nigel Moorcroft*; Mike Sayer
- Eric Ramsay*; Nick Boyes
- Laurie Smith
- John Beecham*
- Robert Oerton
- Ian Bradshaw
- Alexander McClintock
- Edward Bennett*; George Collett*; Martin Cove
- Simon Reynolds*
Ted Richards*; Mike Ruff*; Simon Whitbread
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Updated 17th August 2006. Webslave - John Price. Mail me.