Photo: Ian Morrison
Photo: Bob Wilkinsonn
The name ‘The Buttercross Belles’ comes from the ‘Buttercross’, a roofed open structure which stands next to the Clock Tower in Otley Market Place. The Buttercross was used by farmers selling their farm products at market in times past. Now it is used as a covered seating area and by organisations fund raising on Saturday mornings.
Jenny Liston and a group of enthusiastic friends founded the team in January 1992. Jenny had been a member of Betty Lupton's Ladle Lakers, a women's Morris side from Harrogate and wished to form a similar group in Otley. The Belles made their debut at Westgate School on May 1st 1992 with only two dances to their name, but have gone from strength to strength during the succeeding years.
Annual events include Mother's Day at a local venue such as Harewood House or Fountain's Abbey. May Day involves dancing up the dawn on Otley Chevin on May 1st followed by children's Maypole dancing in Otley late afternoon. Boxing Day is the team's firm favourite with friends and families at The Woolpack. The Belles also support Otley events such as the Carnival, Folk Festival and Victorian Fayre.
In addition to the annual events outlined above the team dances throughout the year at a variety of events both locally and nationally. Previous years have seen the Belles venture across the Channel to France and Switzerland.
The Belles are currently involved in the Otley Maypole Restoration Project.
The Belles are available for hire to perform at your event.
Please contact the Squire or the Secretary.
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