Morris dancing is a big tradition in Oxfordshire and members of some Morris sides are getting back together to practise for public performances at a later date.

The advice for Morris dancing sides from The Morris Ring, the founding national association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs, is that coronavirus restrictions are still limiting activities.

The website says: "Instructions have been issued by the Government regarding the coronavirus epidemic.

"They advise against unnecessary travel or social contact for the foreseeable future.

"Although these restrictions are voluntary, we as an organisation must put the welfare of our members, their families and our communities first.

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"Many sides are postponing practices and events even some months ahead are being cancelled.

"We have urged all sides to take this Government advice seriously and act accordingly and it is highly unlikely any traditional events will be performed - other than virtually on Facebook!"

The Morris Federation said earlier that May 17 was a date for the diary for Morris dancing as from that date up to 30 people would be allowed to meet outdoors, and up to six people or two households would be be able to meet indoors.

Morris dancing has a long history in the county and William Kimber was an influential enthusiast.

In 2011, the descendants of Mr Kimber were among 200 people who gathered in St Anne’s Road, Headington, for the unveiling of a blue plaque on the home he built for his family in 1905.

On Boxing Day 1899, Mr Kimber and the Headington Quarry Morris Dancers were out performing to earn some extra money.

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Folk song collector Cecil Sharp was staying at Sandfield Cottage in the village, and when 27-year-old Mr Kimber arrived with his concertina and dancers, Mr Sharp asked him to return the next day so he could write down the tunes.

The meeting helped inspire Mr Sharp’s lifetime of work, recording dances, folk tunes and songs, and introducing them to the wider public.

It prompted a huge revival in Morris and folk dancing, which had been in decline, and Mr Kimber dedicated the rest of his life to promoting traditional dances.

Mr Kimber’s great-grandson Chris Kimber-Nickelson, marked the unveiling of the plaque with a solo Morris dance, accompanied by his ancestor’s famous concertina.

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The chartered surveyor said at the time: “It is nice that he is being recognised with a blue plaque, because it is important to remember these things.

“Our dances are important local traditions, and it is good they are kept going. I am proud of the family connection.”

June 21 is a date which has been mentioned for the end of lockdown restrictions but this could be put back.