The naked truth about Morris dancing in Bexley

13:12 12 October 2012

The Gong Scourers

The Gong Scourers

Archant

Forget all you know about Morris dancing. Toss out the bells, discard the braces and prepare for the lesser known, wilder side of traditional folk dancing.

Glenna DemeterGlenna Demeter

The Gong Scourers are a Crayford based troupe who follow the ‘‘border’’ side of Morris dancing – with an emphasis on individuality and self-expression.

Usually dressed in all-black, this Gothic looking lot continue to subvert conventions by releasing a naked calendar in aid of charity.

With little other than bandanas, boots and stockings to cover their modesty, the Scourers aim to raise £5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society in a show of heart – albeit a black one.

Group member Glenna Demeter, 52, is spearheading the project after she received great support from the charity when battling for care for her father, Bert, who suffers from dementia.

She said: “I was taking part in a project where we were asking to think of ideas that we couldn’t achieve, so I thought of a naked calendar.

“It was difficult twisting their arms but I just kept saying ‘I’m doing it anyway, so you might as well be in it’.

“Alzheimer’s Society have been so good in helping to get my dad the care he needs.”

Most assumed Glenna was joking up until the moment they had to strip for the shoot in an eerie graveyard on April Fool’s Day.

The group are active between November and May each year and have been so sought after this summer that they have had little time to focus on their raunchy fundraising project.

With 500 printed and ready, Glenna added: “We’ve just been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to sell any but hopefully they’ll all be gone by Christmas and if there’s more demand, we’ll just print up some more.”

Her husband Chris, also a member of The Gong Scourers, explains that the group have always had a slightly “unconventional” side, but their look has been an ever evolving process.

Named after medieval toilet-cleaners, the dancers formerly wore masks and more traditional hats before opting for a punk-inspired look.

“We always dressed in black and white”, Chris said. “But we decided about 10 years ago to update our appearance. We changed our hats to bandanas and our masks to sunglasses.”

“Border dancing is quite undisciplined, you can write your own dances and we are always prepared to push the boundaries, as you can see in our calendar.”

Chris and his fellow Scourers recently featured at the Bexley Beer Festival and practise twice a month at the Crayford Drop In Centre from 8.30pm.

The calendar, featuring 15 of the group’s men and women, is priced at £10, with £7.50 of every sale going straight to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Those looking for an alternative Christmas gift or simply a flash of flesh can visit www.gongscourers.co.uk to order a copy.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, March 27, 2015
The app has rapidly become both widespread and controversial [Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for SOBEWFF]

The fate of the popular car-booking app hangs in the balance as TfL asks the High Court to decide if it is operating illegally in the capital.

Friday, March 27, 2015
The news means at least nine girls travelled to, or wanted to travel to, Syria after attending the coeducational academy [Image from Google StreetView]

The High Court has banned five teenage girls from travelling abroad after they expressed an interest in going to Syria – just weeks after three of their schoolmates left to join the Islamic State.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Mr Packman went missing from the Dennis Scott Unit of Edgware Community Hospital in 2012 [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A young man who was receiving treatment at a mental health unit in Enfield has absconded, and police have warned the public not to approach Joshua Packman if they see him.

Friday, March 27, 2015
The roof of the double deck bus was torn off by the impact of the collision (Pic: Twitter/David Marsh)

Eleven children were injured when the roof of the double decker bus they were travelling in was ripped off after crashing into a bridge, ambulance services have confirmed.

Friday, March 27, 2015
McDonagh has been jailed for four years [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

A conman has been jailed for locking a 90-year-old man in his basement in order to burgle his Fulham home.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...