“Father of the Morris” Honoured in Headington

On Monday 30th May 2014 a Blue Plaque was unveiled commemorating WILLIAM KIMBER (1872 – 1961), the Headington Quarry morris dancer and concertina player who was so central to the revival of morris dancing that he is often styled “father of the morris”. It was from him that the folklorist Cecil Sharp first collected morris dances and their music, and he remained a supporter and performer throughout his life. His tunes Shepherd’s Hey and Country Gardens became world-famous in arrangements by Percy Grainger. His lasting legacy is the present-day Headington Quarry Morris Dancers who preserve the dances as he taught them and includes his great-grandson.

Headington Quarry Morris Dancers are one of a handful of teams which can trace their origins back over some four centuries, and perform around Oxfordshire and further afield. In the past they have danced in America and other parts of the world. On film and television they have helped to kidnap Dr. Who and entertained C. S. Lewis in Shadowlands. They are always ready to welcome new members – contact the Squire, Dave Townsend, on 01865 714778.