Greatham date for dancers

Front Street, Greatham nr Hartlepool  -  Redcar Sword Dancer perform the Greatham sword dance.
Front Street, Greatham nr Hartlepool - Redcar Sword Dancer perform the Greatham sword dance.

A TEAM of sword dancers are sharpening up their skills ahead of their traditional Boxing Day appearance in Greatham.

The Redcar Sword Dancers will perform the Greatham Sword Dance and Play in the village on Monday for the 45th time.

Brian Pearce, from the group, said: “This tradition is a unique survival of an ancient custom that was once widespread across the north of England.

“Interwoven with the dance is the ‘beheading’ of one of the actors and his revival by the use of miraculous cures by a much-travelled doctor.”

The group revived the tradition in 1967 after it was last performed in 1953 for the Queen’s Coronation celebrations.

To see the dance head to the Hospital of God gates in Front Street, Greatham, at 12pm on Boxing Day

Redcar Sword Dancers are nationally recognised as among the best examples of longsword dancing in the country.