We're Stone the Crows Border Morris from Leyland.
Stone the Crows are a Border Morris side from Leyland in Lancashire, but the Border dance tradition traces its origins to the English / Welsh border counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.
Many of the dances we perform come from border county towns, such as Upton upon Severn. Some of the dances we perform are traditional, collected and recorded by those keen to preserve Britain's rural, cultural heritage as the rise of industry, cities, transportation and even war threatened to wipe them out.
Other dances demonstrate a modern tradition, with collecting and sharing of tunes and dances between fellow Border teams.
We have a few dances we've created too, like "Sod Hall", "S.T.C" and "Ratty".
As part of a living tradition, our repertoire changes as new dances are learned and older ones given a rest.
Statement on facepaint
For a generation, Stone the Crows has entertained audiences large and
small with Border Morris, a tradition that has its roots in the
centuries-old dances and costumes originating from the English counties
along the border with Wales.
Part of our appearance is the disguised face, sometimes in black - traditionally (and practically) using soot to hide your identity. This has been a controversial feature of Border Morris, and Stone the Crows have debated the issue many times over the years. The team has a number of variations of facial disguise, including simple feather designs on the cheeks, and members can choose which they wish to use. We have never shied away from discussing the history and origins of our appearance, and received positive responses from audiences when we engage on the issue.
We have long been mindful of these issues and though we are non-political, we have supported good causes and campaigns for many years, including anti-racism events. However, the harrowing death of George Floyd in the US has shone a light on systemic and systematic racism across the developed world, and gives us a greater insight into the issues and how people are affected by them.
Protests here highlighted everyday discrimination and inequalities, as well as what it means to live in a society that continues to venerate (with statues, buildings and street names) those who profited and supported the international slave trade and slave labour in Britain and further afield.
Similarly, we must look at how our traditions affect our communities in the same way. Regardless of their origin, it is possible they are of equal consequence through their perpetuation.
We recognise the continued hurt and upset these symbols cause. As a living tradition, and as compassionate and considerate men, women and children, we have decided we will no longer use full black face paint as part of our disguise.
This decision took effect for all future events and appearances from Thursday the 11th June, 2020.
Musicians and dancers always welcome
Contact us if you are interested in joining! We practice on Thursdays 20:00-22:00 at Farington Prima[...]
Come and see us perform. Our next event is "(Saturday) Day of Dance with Powderkegs Morris and Clerical Error Morris" on the 23 March 2024.
For more details please see our Watch Us page.