Who's Who In The Ducklington Morris

Chris Penny Chris Dave Badger Roger Al Chris Anna Paul Mark Becca Jessica Ducklington Morris at Kirtlington Lamb Ale, 2006

Not pictured: Louise, Richard, Cathy, Liz, Rachel.

Current Dancers

Dave's picDave Allen

Dave joined the side early in 1986 and as home grown talent became the sole product of the youth drive of the time (a programme that has since been somewhat discredited!). Contrast him with the more high profile dancers in the side and their exorbitant transfer fees!

He often dances alongside 'Sweet Lips' in the set but confesses to having problems coping with her aggression in the Hey.

Dave is our publicity officer, so if this website is the first time you’ve heard about The Ducklington Morris, he may be to blame.

Dave is a leading member of the Queen Emma’s Morris Support Group; they need all the support they can get at present and one of their dance-outs is his excuse for a pint with a chauffeur driven return, as his wife Dorothy is the side’s Foreman.

Dave likes traditional folk music, is a Real Ale enthusiast, and also a life-long supporter (mostly arm-chair nowadays) of Swindon Town F.C., the home of "great" football.

Roger's picRoger Barnes

Roger, when he's not off ringing bells in Bampton or Oxford, or playing tenor banjo and concertina in the Anglo/Irish/American band 'Hullabelloo' can sometimes be found playing anglo concertina for Ducklington Morris.

His Cotswold morris cridentials are scant, having spent 15 years starting in 1971 firstly as a dancer and latterly as a musician with Garstang Morris Men from Lancashire. After 15 years of this tyranny he now enjoys a more laid back, on-the-sidelines existence with Ducklington.

Chris's picChris Bush

Chris is fighting the normal tradition of skills being passed on from generation to generation because both his daughters, Michelle (Queen Emma's) and Louise (Ducklington) were dancing long before he took it up. Providing a taxi sevice for Louise, combined with nagging from her persuaded him to have a go.

Chris manged to endure the initiation ceremony of being shut in the kitchen with Badger, which is something we only inflict on our more mature beginners. He claims now to have got through the pain barrier and thoroughly enjoys the dancing and the company.

Chris' job as an industrial chemist might at first seem to have little relevance to the side - unless he can come up with something to reduce the effects of aging in at least some of us!

After worrying rumours that Chris may take up the piano accordion, something was found to occupy him until he saw better, so he is now our Bagman.

Louise's picLouise Bush

Louise originally wanted to be a chiropractor when she grew up, but, being blonde, could never spell it, so has now changed her ambitions.

Louise started Morris dancing with Queen Emma's, but after lengthy negotiations and a massive transfer fee, left them to join Ducklington. In 2003 she took part in the John Gasson Memorial competition at Sidmouth, dancing a double jig with Jessica.

Louise makes a large and welcome contribution to lowering the average age of the side.

Cathy's picCathy Campbell

 

Anna's picAnna Ellis

Having joined in a feeble attempt to keep the average age of the side up, Anna then ruined her cunning plan by introducing two much younger members to the side. Reportedly famed in three counties for her beer-drinking prowess, she is best known for her ability to execute sporadic leaps of unusual distance, much to the surprise of both musos and other members of the side.

Richard's picRichard Ford

It was in March 2010 that Richard turned up at a practice night carrying his newly-acquired melodeon, to ask if he could learn some tunes. "You need to know the dances first," he was told. "Those shoes will be ok for tonight, but trainers will be better for next week." Despite regularly bringing the 'box' to practices, he is still refining the finer points of the Duck dancing style, and checks his feet each night for the signs of webbing and rising damp. His family have reserved his place in the local home for the bewildered, on the grounds that he is 'quackers'. His granddaughter, age two, has recently been seen waving hankies, though she may simply have been trying to surrender.

Liz's picLiz Hambidge

 

Chris's picChris Howe

Chris's career as a motivational speaker has apparently left him too busy to submit a biography. (Well, it’s not Rocket Science!)

Al's picAl Marshall

Poet, swordsman, fabled wit, heir to the Prussian throne, saviour of humanity and hero of the siege of Greenwich - all these things and more would make Al a fascinating and exciting person to know. Unfortunately, only one of them is true.

Back in the heady days of the mid-'90s, having somehow ended up with nothing better to do, Al took up the Melodeon on a whim and soon discovered that it allowed him to get involved with the morris without having to do anything tiring like dancing. Son of the present foreman, Al has been playing melodion for us for almost a decade now, and before that he also played for Queen Emma's Morris. In recent years Al has discovered that playing the box is also a good way to get into festivals without having to pay, and has since appeared at every Oxford Folk Festival so far in one guise or another; alongside his sister, with the festival's melodeon marching band 'Melomania', and as a solo performer.

When not pumping and squeezing his organ, Al likes painting toy soldiers and pretending to be people he isn't.

Al is also our webmonkey, and so it is he who is chiefly ... err ... responsible for the technical and design aspects of these webpages.

Chris's picChris Marshall

Chris is the only member of the original group that revived the side who is stupid enough to be still doing it. It all started with an anouncement at the Witney folk club, on an evening when he was paying attention (or perhaps not!). That club has a lot to answer for.

Three years were spent as Squire starting in 1986, and he took over as foreman after Andy Cheyne retired. Father of Alexander and Jessica, who are both involved in the side, and of Dominic, who danced with us for a while but has now left to concentrate on being a rock legend. Pity, as he was a very good dancer, but it doesn't help the image as a guitar hero.

For over a decade he was a musician for Queen Emma's while his wife, Alicia, — and later his daughter — was dancing with them. After experimenting with doing some fooling for us recently he has now stopped for the time being, probably because the purple trousers proved too much for some people.

Ambitions for the near future include a Duck instructional DVD, to help spread the word about our particular interpretation of Ducklington.

Chris's heroes include Bruce Lee, who would have made quite a dancer with that physique; the late Richard Feynman, physicist, and, nearer to home, Richard Dawkins, Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, someone who frustrates Chris by not saying anything he can disagree with in any significant way. Other hobbies include model aircraft, and making violins, with a speciality in unusual colours. As a means of paying the mortgage Chris indulges in electronic engineering.

Jessica's picJessica Marshall

Daughter of the present foreman.

For one so young Jessica is already well established as a Morris tart. She started with Queen Emma's Morris while her mother was foreman, and left when her mother retired. When Ducklington went mixed she joined them, representing them at the John Gasson memorial competition at Sidmouth in 2002. With her brother as musician, they won 'best newcomers'.

This exposure meant that she was invited to join Morris Offspring, who were formed to dance at Sidmouth in 2003. At the jig competition that year she competed in both the solo and double events. Jessica has since appeared at several festvals with Morris Offspring, not to mention winning second place in the following year's jig competition. May morning in Oxford has also seen her dancing as guest of Adderbury. She and her brother appeared at the first three Oxford Folk Festivals, playing fiddle and melodeon respectively.

Becca's picBecca Watson

Becca has taken some time out from her many activites — shooting at innocent strangers, murdering Beethoven, 'improvising' with towels and the like — to dance with Ducklington Morris. For a while she held the (entirely imaginary) trophy for being the youngest member of the side, but has recently had to pass it on to Mark. She is also self-appointed side clown having fallen over in more practices than the rest put together (most notably the leapfrog, landing face down on the floor). [However, she has not yet achieved the trick mastered by John H. of falling over and disappearing completely from view. - CM] Although something of a liability, Becca loves the morris and feels that after a lifetime of organization and common sense she has found her spiritual home. She likes to be unconventional and play clarinet at sessions.

Paul's picPaul Wesson

Para tentar explicar o fato de que até agora não se observou nenhuma dimensão além das quatro do espaço-tempo tem-se postulado que as dimensões extras, isto é, as dimensões escondidas do Universo, são minúsculas e se curvam sobre si mesmas. Na terminologia matemática, diz-se que essas dimensões são compactas. Recentemente, uma nova versão não-compacta da teoria de Kaluza-Klein foi sugerida pelo físico inglês Paul Wesson, da Universidade de Waterloo, no Canadá. Nos modelos cosmológicos propostos por Wesson o Universo em que vivemos tem cinco dimensões, sendo que a quinta dimensão, não-compacta, é a responsável pela existência da matéria. Em outras palavras, o que chamamos de matéria seria, em última instância, meramente geometria, a qual se manifesta como substância quando observada por seres que vivem numa hipersuperficie de quatro dimensões. Teorias que postulam a existência de tais hipersuperfícies são conhecidas pelos matemáticos pelo nome de teorias de imersão. O nome é sugestivo, pois a idéia é que o universo que observamos fisicamente estaria imerso num Universo maior, de cinco dimensões.

http://www.fisica.ufpb.br/port/artigoCRF.htm

Badger's picPete 'Badger' West

Badger is son of 'okerd Fred', who thought the best part of his personality was obstinacy! Maybe he owes him something...

Badger has always liked mechanical things and even helped his father put his bicycle back together on a Sunday evening, if he found out!

Badger became an apprentice Vehicle/Car Mechanic when he left school and stayed with that until he moved to Oxfordshire in 1977, in search of cheaper housing.

In Bicester, Badger found a house, and a job, that he wanted. The next 10-ish years are reportedly a blur of very long hours, working on racing cars for March Engineering followed by snatched periods of sleep. Somewhere in there, around 1983/4, he found Ducklington Morris, and has now been Squire for years - some say since 1989!

Rachel's picRachel Williams

By day Rachel is a music teacher, known for her high expectations of her pupils as well as for her slightly odd sense of humour and her ability to occasionally be a bit scary. By night she becomes a weird mix of musician (percussion first and foremost but also clarinettist, pianist, sitar and tabla player, and now an enthusiastic player of the melodeon), gardener, brewer of good beer and lethal sloe gin, competent wielder of power tools and obsessive cat lover. She became interested in Morris after spying some male dancers at Towersey and spotting the fact that all of them had very nice backsides. Her attention was well and truly got, and somehow she found her way to Ducklington. As to whether her interest in backsides has continued ... hmmmmm!

Penny's picPenny Woods

Having more or less changed everything about her life in the last couple of years and achieved ambitions that would make most of us blush, Penny has a more or less permanent smile on her face! She still finds that life is given meaning by Badger-baiting (in a ‘no animals were hurt in the production of this’ kind of way); but her association with (a) Cry Havoc Morris (man) is much more absorbing (Absorbent? Exorbitant?). She earns her money by (mostly) banning Sixth Form students from their common room because of the mess, and spends it all on her lovely sons. Oh yes, and not only has she found her belly button, but she has had it pierced. How lovely! How lovely is that? That is very, very highly lovely!


Life Members

A couple of our dancers have been given life membership in recognition of the contribution they have made to the side over the years.

Andy's picAndy Cheyne

 

John's picJohn Hicks

John was part of the original group that revived the side in the 80's and was present for our first public appearance. He served as bagman for several years, and was also involved in the scripting of the Mummers' play at Christmas. He always showed unswerving loyalty to the side and was a good friend to all. Sadly John lost the battle with cancer and died 26th May 2008. He will be missed.