Flowery Morris Hats from Saddleworth Rushcart

Morris flower hats

Saddleworth Rushcart, a weekend celebration when teams (or sides) of traditional Morris dancers from around the country get together, had an unplanned hiatus this year. I’ve been meaning to share a gallery of the hats the performers wear which, as you’ll imagine, fascinate me. 

Morris dancers wearing flower hats in the Saddleworth Rushcart crowd
Morris dancers wearing flower hats

Some Morris sides use artificial flowers, which must be lighter to dance in, but while they look good, my favourites are the real ones. Many Morris dancers make their own designs using glads, mums, roses, carnations and even hydrangeas, combined with the heather that flowers on local moorland for good luck.

Pink gladioli form a point on a morris hat

Morris hat with sunglasses

The hats are finished with decorative hoops, ribbons or feathers.

Ropes, sticks and hats waiting for action

The hats are finished with decorative hoops, ribbons or feathers.

Flower hats in the Saddleworth Rushcart crowd

Morris dancers nail irons to soles and heels
Dancers nail irons to soles and heels
A white terrier guards a floral hat and a drum
Morris dog on guard

The Saddleworth side uses real flowers and a competition takes place to choose the best hat. The desire to keep the hats on while bouncing around always gives the performers a thoughtful air which dissolves to smiles whenever the hats are safely on the ground.

Saddleworth Rushcart hat competition
A dame leads the judging of the hats
Grasshopper on straw hat
Confused grasshopper
Morris man in a colourful ragged coat and flower hat
A colourful hat matches a rag coat with tatters of cloth sewn on

Hat with peach gladioli and chrysanths

For a picture of dancers in action, click here.

24 Replies to “Flowery Morris Hats from Saddleworth Rushcart”

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