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Posted on September 29 2014 at 12:40:07

I am very dismayed on having read the letter published recently in your magazine regarding the Alvechurch Men’s Border Morris Side and the need to black their faces.

It seems that the anonymous writer had no conception of the tradition regarding this style of dancing and, through ignorance, presumed that the dancers are racist.

Had the writer looked further into this tradition he/she would have learnt that those taking part in Border Morris are paying tribute to those who danced to supplement an income through very difficult times.

Today we have a benefit system to help those struggling to find work but many years ago this was not the case.

Today there are many hundreds of people who now black their faces and wear rag jackets to tell the story of those who struggled through very difficult times.

I, myself, dance with Aelfgythe. This is a ladies’ Border Morris side which is also based in Alvechurch and I’m very proud to be part of a group which can inform so many people of our history when we dance at various events.

The Alvechurch men have been doing so for the past 25 years, hence the photograph on the front of your magazine.

Those participating in Border Morris dancing come from all professions in life and I’ve met some of the most wonderful people during my time with the group.

Although most groups will meet outside a hostelry of some sort, there are many who will attend charity events to raise money for those in need.

Perhaps the writer would like to come and meet us and maybe even join us? We meet at the Baptist Church Hall in Alvechurch on a Wednesday evening at 7.45pm and are happy for prospective new members to come and see what we do – or maybe just look at the Aelfgythe website.

Lynda Holmes, Alcester

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