American Morris Newsletter  

American Morris Newsletter

Volume 25, Number 3
October, 2005

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 AMN, Vol. 25, No. 3

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From: Dick Bagwell, dated August 8, 2005
Suggested additon to Marieke Thayer's very good article on making bell pads: I thread the leather through small split rings, available at your local bait & tackle shop, and then attach the bells to the split rings. This accomplishes (1) making the bells hang even freer, enhancing the jingle power, and (2) makes it easy to replace single bells when they lose their pellet, without dismounting and rethreading the rest of the bells. (A trick I learned from the late Terry O'Neal of Berkeley Morris.) This spring as season approached I discoverd to my horror I had 20 duds in an array of 50 bells! Danced hard last season, I guess...

Reply from: Marieke Thayer, dated August 30, 2005
I talked to Jim. He says that he knows of no reason not to use split rings and that some members of our team have. However, he says that he does not replace bells that have lost their pellet. He makes a new pellet out of a #8 or #10 nut.
Also from Marieke, on MDDL, 10/10/2005:
Thanks again for all your ideas for the bell pad materials. For anybody who is interested or anybody who might need to make non-leather-leatherlike bell pads, this is what happened.

The ultrasuede arrived at our house. It was a bit stretchy and a bit thin. Having seen everybody's ideas, I was pretty quick to get out the scraps from making our stick bag. Originally, I thought Jon Berger's idea of making a casing and inserting some canvas was a bit daft because the topology would never work. However, that is exactly what I did. It took me a minute or two to work out the topology. The bell pads will have a strip of canvas on the inside across the top, but the vertical strips of canvas will be connected at the bottom only after the legging strap is sewn on. If I had it to do over, I would do it slightly differently (see below), but after putting in 50 buttonholes, I am not turning back.

Jim thinks they might be a bit stiffer, so the wisdom of hindsight would prevail next time. I would cut out my canvas, so it would have 1/4" wide slots for the slits in a normal bell pad. I would realize that ultrasuede doesn't ravel. I would cut out 2 pieces of ultrasuede 5/8" bigger than the bell pad on each side (ie add 1.25" to the top and the side. I would thoroughly sew the canvas to the wrong side of one of these pieces. Hopefully this would stiffen up the two pieces. Then I would sew on the front piece of ultrasuede on such that the canvas would be sandwiched in the middle. I would stitch around all the places where I would have to make a cut; the outside edges, the vertical slits, and 50 buttonholes. Then I would trim the outside edge close to the seam, make any attachments to the bell pads, cut my slits and attach the bells.

You had a lot of good ideas. I think I used ideas from a lot of different posts. Thanks all.  

From: Dave Hunt, dated October 21, 2005
RE: Border Morris: Roots & Revival (Transcript of Talk)
Gordon Ashman

I was (and still am )a member of the Ironmen whom Gordon mentioned frequently in this article

There are a couple of corrections that need to be made .

Paragraph 3 three days should read three years! - no-one is Squire for three days!

Last but one paragraph of the article, last but one sentence should read 
Said Constable duly went to find out..... ! (Where did Julie Wendt come from????)

I would also argue with his description at the beginning of the article calling the Ironmen the 2nd worst Morris team - a cheap joke that was unfair and not true at all - I was Foreman at that time and although they were never a brilliant Cotswold side, they were pretty passable! And it was me who got them started doing Border Morris long before Gordon even joined the team.

Dave Hunt Ironmen Border Morris
(At various times in the last 28 years - several times Squire, Foreman, Bandleader, Publicity Officer)
Ed. Note: I printed the article as I had it, exactly, making only the changes needed to fix obvious typos. I felt that as Mr. Ashman had passed away since he wrote the article, I did not want to edit anything, and simply presented it as I reconstituted it off of a very damaged 3.5 inch floppy disk.
 AMN, Vol. 25, No. 3, October 2005  ISSN: 1074-2689