- Who we are
- What we do
- Why we do it
- Do it yourself
- Contact Us
Thanks for visiting our website.
Take a few minutes to find out a little more about us, what we do and why we do it. There's also the latest programme if you'd like to come and watch us dance and some pictures if you'd prefer to see us from the safety of your armchair!
If you like what you see then you might like to think about joining one of the best Northwest Clog Morris Sides in the South. Just click on the link to find out more.
Who We Are
Doctors & Nurses, Teachers & Students, Builders & Architects, Men & Women, Old & Young; Knockhundred is open to everyone. There can be very few professions, trades or pastimes which aren't represented in the past or present membership of the side.
Knockhundred was created more than a quarter of a century ago by people who lived in and around the Sussex town of Midhurst. Since then, people from all over the southeast of England have joined us and the current membership comes from as far apart as Portsmouth and Fareham on the south coast to Guildford in the north.
Neither age nor sex is a barrier to dancing with Knockhundred; one of the side has just celebrated his 72nd birthday and, at the opposite end of the scale, our youngest has just celebrated her 20th.
What We Do
Go to any traditional english country pub on a summer evening and you might just see a morris side. If you're near the Sussex/Hampshire/Surrey borders then there's a good chance that side will be Knockhundred Shuttles. Apart from pubs, you can see us at folk festivals and other events across the country and occasionally even across the Channel in mainland Europe. We also dance at private events like weddings, birthdays and even opening ceremonies and film premieres.
Many people associate Morris Dancing with the hanky waving and stick clashing dances which come from in and around the Cotswolds but lots of areas of England had their own, very different versions. Knockhundred Shuttles perform dances which owe their origins to the industrial northwest of England.
If you ever go to one of our events, you may well hear us before you see us as we dance in clogs. Wooden-soled clogs would have been the normal workwear in the mill towns of Lancashire and Cheshire but ours are a little more decorated than theirs would have been!
Some of the dances we perform are traditional and may have been used by the mill workers in carnival processions or even in competitions between local sides. In Knockhundred we're lucky to have people with the skills needed to write new dances and some dances written in last 10 years or so have become firm favourites with dancers and audiences alike.
Why We Do It
Many people are first attracted to Morris Dancing because they see it as a little bit of "Olde England". For others it may be the fact that we often perform outside traditional english pubs! Whatever the initial attraction, the reason most people join and stay with the side is because they find that being a member of Knockhundred is good fun. We're a friendly bunch with a wide range of interests other than Morris Dancing and often get together without the hats, ribbons and clogs!
The dancing itself can be quite challenging, especially for beginners as there is a lot to remember. Which foot to start on, which hand to move, which way to turn and when or of course, which notes to play are just some of the questions a dancer or musician needs to ask themselves dozens of times during a dance. The effort we all put into practicing is well worth it though. The feeling of pride and exhilaration we feel after doing a dance particularly well, especially in front of a big audience, takes a lot to beat.
The various events throughout the year also give us the opportunity to make collections and make donations to local charities. A night shelter, day centre and palliative care nursing have all benefited from cheques totalling thousands of pounds from us in the past few years.
Much as we all enjoy the dancing, the social side of being a member of Knockhundred is just as important. Our away weekends at a folk festival or meeting sides from other parts of the country are often used as an excuse for a party. We've developed a reputation for having fun after a hard day's dancing with all sorts of themed parties being organised.
Do It Yourself
Now, we all know that Morris Dancing is sometimes given a very bad press and has been the subject of many jokes - usually told by people who've rarely seen the dances and certainly never tried it!
To become a dancer you'll need to be willing to devote a couple of hours each week between October and April to practice the dances. We meet on a Thursday evening in Elsted Village Hall which is about half way between Midhurst and Petersfield. You need to be reasonably fit but if you're not and you don't fancy the formality of a gym, two hours of morris practice might just help!
A morris side can't exist with just its dancers of course. Music is an essential part of the dances so if you'd prefer to play alongside the other members of the Knockhundred band, you'll be given all the encouragement and help you need.
Join Knockhundred and you don't just help to keep alive a traditional english entertainment; you'll be giving yourself the opportunity to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds and with a wide variety of interests and join in the optional social events.
Weekends away, camping trips, country walks and even a black-tie dinner and a murder-mystery weekend have all been amongst the informal social events organised within the side.
If we've whetted your appetite and you think dancing or playing with Knockhundred might be for you, please give us a call or send us an e-mail. If you'd like more detailed information and want to talk to someone, call the Squire, Hannah, on 01243 533398; she'll be happy to give you all the information you need.
If you want to book us for your wedding reception, check whether or not we're going to be at a pub or want to talk about join us, we'll be happy to hear from you.
Whatever the reason for getting in touch, our details are:
Our e-mail address: email@example.com
Our secretary: Diane Ruinet on 01730 816173
Please remember that Diane, like the rest of Knockhundred, isn't a full-time Morris Dancer and has other ways of keeping herself busy. She may sometimes take a while to answer your enquiry so please contact her in plenty of time and be patient!
You can keep in touch with us on Facebook too!
3rd, Midday: Market Square, Midhurst
18th, Midday: Brinsbury Show
26th, 1:30pm: Harting Festivities
7th - 8th: Barley Brigg Weekend, Suffolk
12th, 8pm: Square Brewery, Petersfield
19th, 8:00pm: Golden Lion, Southwick (with Victory)
21st: Walking Tour of Lewes, East Sussex
2nd, 8:00pm: Mill Tavern, Haslemere (with Pilgrim)
19th: Victory Day of Dance, Portsmouth
24th, 8:00pm: Bat & Ball, Clanfield (with Wickham)
31st, 8:00pm: Wheatsheaf & Bricklayers, Midhurst
16th: Wickham Folk Festival
27th: Bognor Folk Festival