The ladies morris dance team, Betty Lupton’s Ladle Laikers, was formed in 1977 – the year of the Queen’s silver jubilee. The kit of the dancers reflects the national colours; red tights, white smocks and blue dresses with black shoes and bell pads.
The team took its name from a local character from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, who was responsible for ladling out the medicinal spa waters to the visitors to the town during the 19th century. She was based at the pump room, now a museum, where you can still sample the waters and see a model of Betty Lupton.
They perform a wide range of English dances inspired by various morris traditions. Some of their dances come from the north west of England, the Cheshire and the Lancashire Plain. These usually take the name of the town of their origin. So, they have dances called, Failsworth, Lostock and Abram.
Also included in the repertoire are some new dances written by the team based on traditional figures and style. These have generally been given local names, hence Hookstone Hey and Skipton Road.
They use a variety of “implements” to accompany the different dances; short decorated sticks, hankies, garlands and shakers.