About Kettle Bridge Clogs

Kettle Bridge Clogs was based in Maidstone, Kent but had members from a wide area of Kent and beyond.

[Picture of May Day Procession]

May Day dance over the Kettle Bridge
at Barming by Kettle Bridge Clogs

Our name originated from the 'Kettle Bridge' an ancient wooden bridge which used to cross the River Medway between Barming and West Farleigh. By tradition, we danced in procession across the new 'Kettle Bridge' each May Day evening at 7.15pm prompt to mark the start of the dancing season and then moved on to The Bull Inn - the nearest pub - to dance and celebrate.

Kettle Bridge Clogs specialised in the Morris dances of the North West of England, where it was customary for teams to dance in procession through the streets, wearing their usual working footwear clogs! The dances the team performed were a mixture of traditionally based dances which took the names of the towns in Cheshire and Lancashire where the dances originated, as well as dances created by the team in the North West style. For our 20th anniversary, we arranged a tour of the North West, to take our dances home!

[Picture of KBC Band]

Kettle Bridge Band at Marlboro Ale 2009
Photo by Jeffrey Bary

Our performances sometimes included Appalachian clogging, a form of step-dancing from the USA, for which the dancers wore tap shoes rather than clogs, accompanied usually by a single fiddle. This dance style had its origins in the north of England, but incorporated influences from other cultures, including French, Irish, African and Native American.

The Kettle Bridge band played a combination of the instruments which traditionally accompany North West Morris, including accordion, melodeon, fiddle and concertina as well as percussion (to keep the dancers in step!). The tunes played for the dances were a mixture of traditional English folk tunes, military marches and more modern tunes from sources as diverse as Music Hall and the world of pop.

The team performed all over Kent at local events and venues, but also travelled further afield. We danced at festivals and Morris gatherings all over England as well as in Canada, France, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Scotland, Turkey and the United States. For our Silver Jubilee in 2009, we were delighted to be invited to the prestigious Marlboro Ale in Vermont, USA.

At the end of the 2019 season, Kettle Bridge Clogs decided that it was time to retire gracefully while we could still perform to a high standard. Our final year included a trip to the Ossett Beer Cart Festival, a weekend dancing in Norfolk and an appearance at Hop Hoodening in Canterbury. This brought the curtain down on 35 very successful years of dancing.

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Kettle Bridge Clogs web site by Stephen Cordery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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