Why start a Molly team?
While out at an event (dancing a different style of Morris) we saw a Molly team dancing, fell in love with the style and became eager to learn it. The Molly tradition has its origins in East Anglia/The Fens and although there are many teams in these areas, when we started looking we found that in the South/South East there are very few teams. These turned out to be not mixed teams, too far away for us to join or have remained true to the Molly tradition of dancing for only a few weeks during the winter (originally the ploughboys danced to earn money in the winter months).
With no local team to join, we finally realised the only way forward was to create our own team. We wanted to start a mixed gender team that would dance throughout the year. With this in mind we decided, like the more modern East Anglia Molly teams, not to keep to the custom of just dancing up until Plough Monday.
Why Madder Mill?
We live, and practice, in the vicinity of the River Wandle, so we decided that a team name associated with the river would be appropriate. After much research we discovered that in 1790 there was a madder and snuff mill on our part of the river. We didn’t much fancy the ‘snuff’ part given the modern connotations of the name, but the madder and mill parts went well with the word Molly. As a bonus, the madder root was used to make red dye, so this made choosing a team colour really easy.