Here's an interesting clip on YouTube.
Three of the dances performed in the clip come from the English Scottish Borders,
researched and collected by members of the Group including Tom & Joan Flett.
The costumes are modelled upon that of bondagers - tied or bonded farm labourers from the
There is an old film from the 1930s that is well worth tracking down. It was made by one
Jamieson of his own dance troupe performing very similar dances.
The dances come from travelling dancing masters - who of course taught in communities
throughout the British Isles. They were peripatetic. They didn't make the distinction
that we do today of different stylised interpretations. They just got on with teaching and
Reading Cloggies - Dancing England - 1985
The Reading Traditional Step & Dance Group was the premier traditional social and clog
dance group in the British Isles during the 1960s-90s. Members researched, notated, filmed
and recorded old step, clog and social dances mainly from the old folk.
Here they demonstrate traditional social dances collected by members from the English /
Scottish orders. Their costume is of the bonded servants and farm labourers of that
The dances are:
1. Morpeth Rant in hard-soled shoes, with rant stepping throughout. Sometimes the
stationary rant steps were performed with shuffles or double shuffles.
2. Laurie Mulliner performing ex-coal miner Sammy Bell's 'Exhibition Hornpipe'
from the music hall stage of the 1930s. Performed in English dancing clogs (wood-soled
3. The 5th figure of the Kitchen Lancers performed in hard-soled shoes, with shuffles and
other steps. This would have likely been danced informally at a social gathering or party.
4. The Westmorland Three Reel - a true reel as a social dance with stepping and a weaving
figure - in this case a hey for 3. This was often a dance performed or demonstrated at the
evening ball at end of a dancing master's visit to teach local farm labourers social
dancing and clog / step dancing. Here performed with Westmorland or Lakeland clog steps
and in dancing clogs.