MORRIS dancers at Bishops Castle have started to raise money to help fund a tour of the USA next year, with events including a tabletop gala at Lydbury North Village Hall this Saturday, June 9.

The gala starts at 1pm and, as well as live music and entertainment, you can expect a wide variety of stalls including clothing, vintage, cakes, produce, toys, books, DVDs, plants, produce and lots more.

If you want to sell things yourself, call 01588 660513 and book a stall or car boot.

This is the first time the morris dancers have raised money for their own funds.

They generally pass round the hat for charity, the Midlands Air Ambulance in particular, but an American tour is an ambitious and expensive project for them

The Shropshire Bedlams men and Martha Rhoden's Tuppenny Dish women dancers have been invited to the USA in 2019 and about 10 dancers from each of the men's and women's sides want to go.

The American hosts have offered accommodation, but the air fare is still a lot for the younger dancers to find as some of them are still at college.

Their next big local event will be the Midsummer Rejoicing,at Bishops Castle on Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, when their guests will be the magnificent Earlsdon Morris Men

On the Saturday they will be dancing in Ludlow and on the Sunday in Bishops Castle, including the Rushbearing Procession to the church, and after the service and some dancing in the churchyard, and the procession to The Three Tuns for more dancing.

The Saturday ends with a ceilidh at Lydbury North Village Hall featuring Kirkophany band.

The Bedlams and Tuppenny Dish will both also be dancing this summer at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival on bank holiday Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26.

Both morris sides are also recruiting new members who will be welcome from September to Christmas.

You do not need to be an experienced dancer, but you do need to be at least 12 years of age. Just go along to a Tuesday night practice at the Three Tuns in Bishops Castle and make yourself known.

Joint practices are held on the first Tuesday of every month in the top room of The Three Tuns, between 8pm and 10pm. Martha Rhoden's Tuppenny Dish also meet on the third Tuesday in every month at Lydbury North Village Hall but otherwise at the Tuns, while the Bedlams meet on the third Tuesday in every month at the Tuns but otherwise at Lydbury North Village Hall.

If you are over 12 years of age, fairly fit and with a reasonable sense of rhythm, why not give Border Morris a go. To find out more contact the secretaries using the form on the 'Getting In Touch' page of the Shropshire Bedlams website.