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Heston Morris

Heston Boys Morris 1953/4 - 1978
Heston Morris Men 1977 - 1980
This page is for information about Tony Pegram and the side he established at Heston Secondary School known variously as Heston Boys Morris, Heston Boys Morris & Sword or just Heston Boys or Heston Club.  It also considers Heston Morris Men, an evolution out of Heston Boys.  In time this page may mature into an article.
Heston Boys Morris Team circa 1974/5: L to R: ?, Terry Smith, Mark Smith (I think), Nicholas Muir, Eddie Newell, Roland Orton, Andrew Young, Chris Armstrong, Philip Walters (Horse), David Bryan (Fool) and Mr. Pegram.
Terry Hewett, one of the 1960 Albert Hall team, provided these scanned images:
- The souvenir programme for the 15/16 Jan 1960 EFDDD Festival at the Albert Hall
- Tony Pegram's notes for the Albert Hall shows
- Newspaper article on Heston Boys with a picture of John Meiling as "Hoofie" from a 1959 summer tour
- Performer's ticket
- Newspaper photo of Westminster Morris Men taken when Heston Boys danced with them at the Tower of London
Click on slide show to see the Picasa album

Heston Boys Morris and Sword 1960

1953 - In a 1960 newspaper article Heston Boys is reported "After six or seven years of existence as a team performing in public...".  At what time Tony Pegram established started teaching morris to the Boys at Heston Secondary School is not known.
From the English Folk Dance and Song Society

1960 - EFDSS 1960 New Year Festival included in the Saturday matinee Morris Dances by Heston Boys

From the Logbook of the Thames Valley Morris Men
1963 11 December; Boxing Day attended by Tony Pegram of the Heston Club

1963 20 April; TVMM Ale attended by Heston Boys

1964 23 April; TVMM Ale attended by Heston Boys

1965 23 April; TVMM Ale ... Tony Pegram and some of his Heston boys. Tony was glad for his boys to share in this sort of Morris occasion.

1965 17th July; Based on the London Apprentice pub we danced the afternoon away on the towpath at Isleworth Regatta. Heston Boys were with us.

From the Morris Ring
Logbook of the the Morris Ring
1961 The 77th Meeting of the Morris Ring held in London at Cecil Sharp House (attended not as a side but as representatives)
1966 The 104th Meeting of the Morris Ring held in Thaxted From Friday 20th May to Sunday 22nd May 1966
The Morris Ring Archives Photographic Collection
CW259 Heston Boys Team, Rye Tour, Whitsun 1970
CW260 Heston Boys Team, Rye Tour, Whitsun 1970
CW261 Heston Boys Team, Rye Tour, Whitsun 1970
CW262 Heston Boys Team, Rye Tour, Whitsun 1970
The Morris Ring Animal Archive
Heston Boys Morris - Horse
From the Heston Community School page of Friends United
Heston Boys Morris Team -- The Video
We normally practised a couple of days a week in Mr. Pegram's class room before school began. Heston Comprehensive was asked to take part in the filming of a video to promote Country Dancing within English schools.  The venue was the school hall -- at lunchtime.  Before the cameras started rolling, the windows of the hall were blackened to simulate a dark, early morning.  Members of the crew ushered us into the hall in two's and three's at random intervals to simulate our arrival on a normal practice morning.  We then went through a series of practice sessions and dances -- all in our school uniform.
Ritchie Blackmore
The guitarist for Deep Purple now has a band called Blackmore's Night and on the album Ghost Of A Rose, in memory of our music teacher at Heston is the instrumental "Mr. Pegram's Morris and Sword".
From a MySpace entry by Chris Armstrong
Was taught my Morris by Tony Pegram the music teacher at Heston Comprehensive in West Middlesex. I first performed out at Cecil Sharp House at an EFDSS National Gathering in 1972. I was the 'Fool' or 'Tommy' for Heston Boys Flambourough Sword team. Have performed all styles of Morris over the years. Heston Boys Morris & Sword 1972-77 Heston Morris Men 1977-80 Datchet Morris Men 1980-1999 Taeppas Tump North West Morris (Drummer) 1996-98 Old Star Morris 1999-2001 Hunters Moon Morris 2000-2010 Practising with another side at the moment hoping to dance out in 2011

From The Morris Dancer vol 1

NORRIS WINSTONE( Kemp's Morris Men), himself a man with some thing like a half-century of the Morris, writes about two others who served their fellows for a long time: -

TONY PEGRAM did an awful lot for the Morris through Heston School Morris, teaching boys to dance, play accordions (often loaning these to boys). Also his school had a country-dance band, which played for local dances. I first met him at Goldsmith's College in 1933 when we appeared to be the only men there interested in Folk Dance. We did mainly country dancing, but also attended courses at Cecil Sharp House on Sword and Morris.

Also, even when we left College, we always attended Lela Douglas' Whitsun courses at Settle in Yorkshire, where instruction was by such experts as Tommy Adkins, William Ganiford, with GEORGE TREMAIN playing for everything. I remember he had a little black note book with a few numbers on each page. From this he was able to play any tune country, sword, Morris, songs – wonderful. He played a single row melodeon, and when he was presented with a two-row instrument, played one row only, saying he didn't know what all the other knobs were for! Pegram and I often danced jigs to George's playing on these courses.We always had a Whit Monday (when it was Whit) tour of Yorkshire villages, dancing Yorkshire Long Sword (usually Boosbeck), the Gisburne Processional, Cotswold Morris, and the Yorkshire dances collected by Miss Douglas. Once on one of these tours our car broke down and Pegram and I, dressed in whites etc, had to walk several miles across the moors back to Settle. We got some very strange looks from passers-by, and discovered later on that two lunatics had escaped the same after noon, dressed in white.
Tony Pegram was taken ill while playing for dancing, and died of a coronary in hospital.     2.6.1980

Terry Hewett wrote on 21 March 2012:
Saw your exposition on Tony Pegram's boys morris group.  Well I danced in that troupe and we danced at Bampton, Cecil Sharp House, Morley College, Marlborough House, Hanwell loony asylum and the 1960 EFDS festival at the Albert Hall (Jaysus I have never been so scared since, walking out to dance in front of about 10,000 people): I got pictures to prove it.  We were reckoned one of the best troupes in the country regardless of age.  We also did sword dancing but never got on to Rapper.  We danced with Monkseaton and Westminster.  We always used to call him "Percy" Pegram, Lord knows why.  Tony Pegram was a great man and what he achieved is not really recognized today. 
David Green wrote on 16 April 2012:
(Dave Green has been an accordion player of note for 40 years) 
Tony Pegram and the Heston Boys Morris team has had a profound influence on me.  Tony (Percy) taught music and P.E. at Heston Boy's School.  He was a true luminary and beacon amongst teachers in those days.  I showed an aptitude at playing the accordion, turned up early before school started and practiced my playing.  Tony would take the team to Camden Town where we would take part in the Cecil Sharp tea dances which were held on Saturdays.  English dance and song was undergoing somewhat of a revival at that time tea dances and it was there that Tony explained the "purpose" of folk dancing i.e. to integrate socially with members of the opposite sex and to become proficient at dancing.  I was smitten and remember hearing Nan and David Fleming-Williams play the fiddle - David and Brian Wilcocks of course were members of the Ranchers folk band which was extremely popular back then, whilst his mother Nan was a popular folk violinist whose appearance at the House would ensure a loyal following.  Pat Shaw was also in his prime and used to teach dances to the general public.  Tony encouraged me and permanently loaned me a series of accordions, including of course a very fine Gallanti which originally belonged to Ali's father Norman Ellacott.  I was also lucky enough to have the use of a Ranco Antonio, an elaborate and ornate box, reckoned to be a classic now.  Tony also manged to let me use an Atlantic accordion and a fancy Morino V de luxe.  These instruments were all acknowledged to be classics now.  Our team would tour various villages and I remember spending a weekend at Oxford.  The highlight for me was performing at the Royal Albert.  Ron Smedley was the dance director and was also a producer for the BBC.   Happy days!

Mick Jenkins talked on 20 November 2016:
(Mick danced with Fighting Cocks Rapper in the 70s-80s)

Under Tony Pegram the rapper side danced out as The Bantam Cocks Rapper.  
[No relation to the Bantam Cocks Morrismen of Chelmsford started by Pete Saunders. Ed]