Our waistcoats are unique. Not many Morris teams wear a waistcoat, and out of those, we are the only team that has the distinctive red, white and blue pattern, which has become as synonymous with Saddleworth Morris Men as our hats of fresh flowers.
The waistcoat was not originally part of our kit and was introduced in 1976. It is now a part of our tradition and a Saddleworth man can only wear the waistcoat if they have danced for it – it has to be earned! This “rite of passage” is the Greenfield dance, which is usually our first dance of a season on Maundy Thursday on Road End opposite the King William IV pub in Greenfield itself. The dance must be performed perfectly to earn the waistcoat – on only a few occasions has a man been told he has to dance again!
We have supplied our own material to make the waistcoats. The last bolt was produced by the Saddleworth Museum in the 1990’s, and only now in 2014 are we coming to the end of that batch. A new stock has been produced this year by Mallalieus of Delph. This should keep us with waistcoats for the next 20 years!