Greatham sword dance a success despite downpours

The Greatham sword dance underway.
The Greatham sword dance underway.
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A traditional sword dance turned into more of a rain dance in Greatham on Boxing Day.

The folk dance, which is unique to Greatham and dates back to the mid 19th Century, was performed on Saturday by the Redcar Sword Dancers.

And despite the downpours, the spectacle attracted a healthy crowd of people of all ages.

Brian Pearce, known as the King of the team, said: “We were very pleased with the turnout considering the weather. It was the first time in 49 performances that it has snowed or rained.”

The dance plays out the story of a character who dies and is revived by a travelling quack doctor.

Among families watching was Yvonne and Anthony Wilcox, from Seaton Carew, and their daughter Rose and her boyfriend John Terschak, who is from America.

Yvonne said: “I thought it was absolutely brilliant. It is wonderful to see the traditions being kept alive.”

John added: "I thought it was fantastic. It was a lot of fun, there is nothing like it in the Sates."