In 1975 a group of young men in the village of Harthill, the most southerly village in Yorkshire, came together to form part of the entertainment for a village event. The group learned the basics of Morris dancing and, following a positive reception to their performance, went on to form Harthill Morris in 1976. The side went from strength to strength and were proud to be accepted for membership into The Morris Ring,
the founding National Association of Morris and Sword Dance Clubs, in 1981. During the 1980's the side had the honour of dancing before the Queen in Worksop, and also the Prince & Princess of Wales in Chesterfield, while performing at Opening Ceremonies. More recently, Harthill Morris have appeared on The Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2, and on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown on Channel 4.
Harthill Morris mainly perform Cotswold Morris dances, so-called because the dances originate from villages in the Cotswolds, although they have also been known to perform the occasional Border Morris, North-West and Longsword dance when the mood takes them. Over the years they have performed all over the UK, and in continental European countries including Spain, Poland and the Netherlands. On summer Thursday evenings Harthill Morris visit local pubs in South Yorkshire, North-East Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire, giving displays of the Morris before retiring inside for the singing of communal folk songs. The side also attends various events, festivals and days of dance, usually as guests of other Morris sides, and are available for booking for a wide variety of other occasions such as weddings and carnivals for a negotiable fee. This income, along with Thursday collections and sponsorships, helps to offset club expenses including the maintenance of costumes and instruments.
Harthill, a village situated in the metropolitan borough of Rotherham between Killamarsh and Thorpe Salvin, plays host to an annual summer Well Dressing and a Carnival, both in July, and Harthill Morris perform at both. Since the side's formation in 1976 they have danced on Boxing Day outside the two pubs in Harthill, The Beehive and Blue Bell Inn, and are proud to say they have never missed a year since. On the Thursdays between
Armistice Sunday and Christmas, after practice, the side join in local sessions of singing Sheffield Carols, and finish their Boxing Day performance in the same way.
Once the summer dance-out season has ended in September, the side meets on Thursday evenings from 7.45pm in Harthill Village Hall to practice before retiring to The Beehive for some well-earned refreshments. They also hold their AGM some time in September or October, where important decisions are made regarding the direction of the side, and officers are elected.