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HomeNewsLeeds Morris Men set to run Leeds 10k

Leeds Morris Men set to run Leeds 10k

By Dianne Craven

On Sunday 23 June 2024 honorary Yorkshireman, Alastair Hutchinson and several friends, including Simon Matthews (Matti) and Stuart from Leeds Morris Men are running/dancing the Leeds 10k.

They are doing it to raise both awareness and money for two charities, in memory of people very close to their hearts.

The first is Sue Ryder and is in memory of Alastair Sayles – dancer, musician, singer, Foreman (dance teacher), Bagman (secretary) and Squire (leader) for Leeds Morris Men – who we sadly lost in 2022.  Alastair was also a runner, and his eldest daughter, Ellen, will be joining them.

The second charity is Leeds Mind.  This is in memory of Marie-Claire Oakley – daughter of one of our longer serving dancers, friend and keeper of the history logs, Joe Oakley.

You can donate via this link.

You can sponsor one or the other – or even both. All donations are very much welcomed.  The team have already raised £849.

They have not worked out whether to call it ‘drunning’ or ‘rancing’.  However, they will be in full Leeds Morris Men kit – complete with bells and handkerchiefs and flowery hats. It’s going to be a very noisy affair! 

Alastair said: “Morris Dancing is England’s national folk dance, and while some of the dances are quite old, it is an evolving living tradition with new styles and dances being created all the time.  

“We always need to be recruiting new dances and to do that it is good to get out and about and meet people.  

“A few of us have also been running, and I complete Leeds Marathon last year.  And there hatched the idea of a full team of Morris Dancers ‘drunning’ or ‘rancing’ Leeds 10k, which is actually quite hard work.  I am not sure how far we’ll get!  Matti didn’t take much convincing.  It must have been a good idea because there are eight of us in total!”

Matti added: “Well it seemed like a good idea at the time. We’ll let you know how it went afterwards when we reflect over a much deserved pint.”

If you are feeling inspired then Leeds Morris Men dance out on Thursday nights through the summer, and we will be at Kirkstall Festival this year. Practice usually starts in September in Headingly. They are active on Facebook and contact details can be found on our website.

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