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.

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 17:53
Eliott Diffley

A data stick full of child porn fell out of a pervert’s bottom in Islington Police Station.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50
The most sureal moment at the Commonwealth Opening Ceremony was the sight of some giant dancing Tunnocks tea cakes (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Did you watch the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony last night? It made us misty-eyed for London 2012, when the whole world was watching our city, so we decided to compare Glasgow 2014 to Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony. Be prepared for a blast from the past!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:17
The Eid al-Fitr party in Trafalgar Square promises to be fun, fantastic, and free! (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Check out our five-minute guide to celebrating the end of Ramadan in London.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more
Guess the manager quiz. Here's a hint, it's not these four.

The managerial merry-go-round spins quickly these days so do you think you’ve got the knowledge to recognise the faces of all these football bosses?

Read more
A normal day at London Liverpool Street station

This quiz is for people who think they know the Tube and rail inside out.

Read more