Our society was originally formed in 1981. Over the years we’ve had many members and have had lots of folky fun. Over time the society has evolved and members have been keen to engage in different ways.
To start with we were simply Rag Morris; we did morris dancing. Rag Morris grew out of two other dance sides. Before the beginning there was BUMM – Bristol University Morris Men, a men’s student side attached to Bristol University Students’ Union. At the same time there was Whiteladies Morris, all women and also a university side. After a few years, numbers fell away and eventually elements from both sides combined to form a new, open to all society. The first public appearance was in 1981 at a university RAG Ball, hence the new side’s name: Rag Morris.
After many years of morris capers, in the early 2000s, a group of members decided they wanted to do some non-morris folk things within the society. They started a folk session, put on ceilidhs and hosted some gigs, and thus the Folk Club part of the society was born. In due course our society name was changed and we became: the Rag Morris & Folk Club society.
In the years since, the activities of the Folk Club have developed and members have given this part of the society a stronger identity. To reflect this, at the 2018 AGM we decided to give the society a new umbrella name under which the different sections of the society could collectively operate. We’re now officially the University of Bristol Folk Society.