Click for
Home Page

 
The Fools Gallery
Click the pictures with blue borders for bigger versions.
 
We can only put the pictures and details of Fools on this site if you tell us about them and preferably supply a picture.
Send details to
knotty@foolsandbeasts.org.uk
 
Picture   Name and Affiliation(s) Notes

Jack Brown

Stafford
also Uttoxeter, Men of Mercia, Lichfield, etc.

 

Jack has been dancing for over 50 years and was instrumental in the re-discovery of the Lichfield tradition. He has written books on the Lichfield dances as well as the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, in which he as long been involved.

His status as a fool is more recent, having taken on the role after the demise of Johnny Burke. The Cow's tail accoutrement was a new innovation for Stafford Fools.

For more pictures click here

Morris Sunderland

Offley
also Letchworth, and Bedford,

 
Morris was one of the founders of the Fools Union. His name was quite a coincidence. He was named after William Morris whom his parents held in high esteem, as they were very much followers of his Arts & crafts Movement. It was a happy coincidence that when living in Letchworth both Morris and his father became interested in the Morris dancing. He became Squire of the Morris Ring in 1974 as an Offley man, one of a long line of fools to hold the top office of the Ring. He brought fun and wisdom to all who met him and was a true ambassador for the Morris.

He died on 29th October 1989.

Roger Comley

Letchworth
and
Ring Squire's Fool

Roger has reached the questionable heights of Fool to the Squire of the Morris Ring. The relatively recent tradition of inheriting a Fool, whether you want one or not, has only been around since Tim Sercombe found out that the "King's Shilling" trick still works when he got himself a Fool with the "Free" pint he accepted.

Roger is one of the true characters of the Morris with a classic mix of wisdom and idiosyncrasy. He is a master of communication and body language whether dealing with toddler or Lord Mayors. 

Steve Lowe

Jockey

Steve had an unenviable start to his fooling career having to follow such an eminent fool as Moose. However he possesses some of the great mans talents being a skilled fiddler, a good rapport with the audience and the necessary degree of eccentricity.

He has moved away from the smock and floppy hat and sports a decorated Topper with a striking blue waistcoat. He has now established himself as 'The Jockey Fool' as is set to carry on the tradition of fooling in the Birmingham Area.

Paul Beaumont

Northwood

The first thing you notice about Paul is that moustache! The sort of thing to which any Edwardian Gentleman would aspire.

Coupled with the frock coat, an impressive waistcoat and cravat, and a top hat in the green and yellow North Wood Colours, as one of our taller fools, he is not likely to be missed.

Mendip

 

Dudley Binding

West Somerset

Dudley started Morris dancing with Mendip Morris Men in the early sixties, and became a Founder Member of The West Somerset Morris Men when West Somerset Morris Men were formed in 1965. He was a Member of the Morris Ring Advisory Council and represented the South-West and Wales Region for 21 years.
Both the late Trevor Hull and late Sonny Townsend were influential in his taking up 'foolery', and it was Trevor Hull who proposed Dudley into becoming a member of the 'United Fools'. Dudley still claims to have the best collection of Pigs Bladders in the country and says that he was responsible for presenting Roger Comley with his first ever 'decent' Bladder.

John Jenner

Cambridge
and
Travelling Morrice
 

John, seen here in Eccleshall, Staffs, during a Travelling Morrice event in 2006 wears the classic smock and still caries the traditional pigs bladder on a stick to encourage dancers and audience alike.

John is a long standing member of the Cambridge Morris Men and has held various post in the Ring organisation including Area Representative for the eastern region.

Pete de Courcy

Kennet

Morris Men

Pete has been fooling with Kennet since 1981 and joined the illustrious Order in the 1990s. This is the latest incarnation of his kit.

The last kit, which included the world famous Ale Connerís britches, lasted from 1981 when he began fooling with Kennet, until last year when it was finally retired, awaiting a restoration project.

Jenny Howard

Bedfordshire Lace

 Jenny has been a Morris dancer since 1973 and with Bedfordshire Lace Morris since 1984. She created the role of Fool for Bedfordshire Lace in 1986 and has been in it ever since. The highly-decorated tatter-coat is a big hit with small children, who love picking it over to see what they can find. The traditional mismatched hosiery a source of constant fascination to men, who like to imagine that suspenders may somehow be involved...)
 
There are pages about the Fool on the Beds Lace site at http://www.jehoward.webspace.surefish.co.uk/aboutus/fool.htm 
 

Cherry Simmons

Windsor Morris

 
Cherry Simmons is the Fool for Windsor Morris and probably the longest-serving female Fool.
 

 

 

Johnny Cope

Freelance Thaxted

(Jockey)

 

Johnny is continuing the Cope dynasty of fools and this current garb was on display at the Clevedon 2011 ARM where these pictures were taken.
  Philip Le Mare

Adderbury
Morris Men

Hello, I am Philip from The Adderbury Morris Men, not sure how long I have been a fool, some people say all my life, but it must be over 30 years now with Adderbury, so after wondering through your site of fools and beasts i have plucked up the courage to send you a picture of me as I was in 2011, my kit changes in little ways each year but I have now returned with my red feather boa after an outcry of protest from my squire.

 

We know of:

  • Clifford Yeldham, (Thaxted) who was Morris` inspiration

  • Bill Warder (Offley)

  • Trevor Hull (Foresters) the first Convenor and actually the one who dreamed up the whole thing,

  • Johnny Burke (Stafford)

Clifford Yeldham, Bill Warder, Morris Sunderland and Trevor Hull are all buried in Fools Corner at Thaxted Church. Others, including Johnny Burke, are commemorated by etchings in the nearby plain glass window.

 

Click for
Home Page