Molly good fun in Ely, Little Downham and Upware
- Credit: Archant
Molly dancers from across the region performed across Ely as a memorial tribute to a man who died in a road accident.
The dance day was a memorial tribute to a former Molly dancer who died in a road accident.
A total of nine Molly sides took part in the annual Mark Jones Day of Dance, which is organised by the Ouse Washes Molly Dancers in memory of Mark, a former member of their side who was killed in a road accident in 2004.
The dancers started off outside the Cutter Inn in Ely before moving on to Little Downham where they performed at both The Plough and The Anchor.
The sides, which included dancers from Kent, Bournemouth, Leicester, Chelmsford and Suffolk as well as local sides such as the Mepal Molly Men, then performed at the Five Miles From Anywhere No Hurry Inn in Upware.
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The event was named after Mark after he died in an accident while returning home from a dance practice.
Molly dancing used to be performed by farm workers when they had little work and times were hard in the winter months.
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They did it as a form of busking to raise money.
However, they didn’t want their employers to know it was them busking so blacked their faces with soot and dressed up in costumes to disguise themselves.
The broom dancers are a typical feature of Molly dancing which harks back to labourers of the day who were asked by employers to tidy stables when the land was frozen and could not be worked.
The broom dancing signifies them playing about when they should have been working.