Crosskey was formed in 1982 by the Peterborough dancers of Northampton based clog side Poly Olbion. They, having danced with Poly Olbion for some time, decided to form a local side.
Dancing in the Northwest tradition of morris, i.e. with traditional English clogs (not to be confused with Dutch clogs, that’s a whole new ballgame.. !!) Kit is distinctive red and navy plus a leather badge showing the crossed keys, these being part of Peterborough City’s Coat of Arms and symbolises St.Peter’s role as the keeper of the keys to heaven.
Dances are of a traditional nature rooted mainly from the Northwest when cotton mills were in abundance. The clogs haven’t changed much over the years – leather upper, wooded sole and with, to the underside of the soles, either rubbers or irons. When clogs were worn in the munitions factories the irons were made of copper to prevent sparks coming off them !
Over the years Crosskey have become well established and have been seen at various events locally and nationally, from local pubs and fetes, to festivals such as Whittlesea Straw Bear, Rochester May Day, Scarborough, Sidmouth, the late lamented Expo Steam and others, plus TV appearances most recently in May 2018 when Crosskey appeared on Blue Peter!
1992 was the 10th anniversary and also the year they danced in Portugal both as buskers on the streets and as representatives of English dance in a festival organised to incorporate song and dance from different nations
Like many organisations, Crosskey have had a number of changes, perhaps the most notable was the change form an all ladies to a mixed side, men came in to dance. Initially it was the partners and husbands – once either part of the band or part of rent-a-crowd – who came in to dance. While this did boost the number of available dancers, it did reduce the size of the band. A clog side is best presented with a big band – in days of yor it was the local brass band that played for the dance – it adds lift to the dances, punch to the presentation and just plain welly !! ( and who can forget that infamous Expo Steam “Big Band” when our own Mike Hurry fronted clog musicians, local ceilidh band musicians, plus other borrowed musicians to number in the region of 26 !!) They always say you can hear a good clog side band about three streets away !!!
Do YOU dance ? Would YOU like to try clog dancing ? If you know left from right you’re half way there. Its not that difficult, we will show you the dances, a bit at a time so it’s easier and everyone will help you. We have all got it wrong to start with, its part of the leaning curve, there’s nothing to worry about (some of Crosskey have been dancing 20 plus years and still get it wrong !!). Its enjoyable, social and a bit of fun, lets face it, if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be doing it !!!
Practice nights are Wednesdays, September through to May, for a couple of hours, then retiring for a beer, then in the summer months we dance out at different places. There’s events to dance at, pub nights, weekends away, it can be a very social family affair. If you don’t like it, at least you can say you gave it a go !!
We are ALWAYS looking for musicians. Do you play an instrument ? Fancy bolstering the clog band ? Well, same applies come alone to a practice night or event and see what you think. We can supply most of the dots if you want. We are still aiming for that three streets away big band !!!