The Morris Ring ARM was extensively supported by both Monmouth Town Council and the Welsh Assembly with politicians from both bodies represented on the Sunday when public dancing occurred. As a result the local media ran a number of pieces on the weekend and the choice of Wales. Amongst the many published pieces, the following may be of interest:-
The Morris Ring 2003 Annual Representatives Meeting
Press Coverage and Other Comments Received
Published in the Monmouthshire Beacon
Thursday 20th March 2003
Finally, on a lighter note, Morris Dancers from all over the country gathered last week to hold their A.G.M. hosted by the Isca Morris helped by the Lion at Trellech and by Monmouth Rugby Club. Personally I think it is wonderful that in a world of mass marketed music, a tradition which goes back beyond the days of Henry VII is alive and well.
On arriving to see the Morrismen perform on Sunday I couldn't have been happier on being handed a glass of Welsh real ale, until the leader announced that there were some politicians in the audience who wanted to join in. At this point our Mayor, Sue White, showed her superior political experience by retreating to the back of the crowd, whilst I was handed two large sticks and pushed into the middle of the group!
The Isca Morris meet every Wednesday in Newport and are looking for new members. Anyone interested can contact Gareth John on 01633 790274 for details.
and from another local paper:-
Published in the Monmouth Free Press - Wed 12 Mar 2003
Welsh first for morris dancers"
and finally a last word from who else but Tim, just received by email:-
For the first time in it's history the Isca Morris hosted the Morris Ring annual meeting in Wales, choosing to host the prestigious event in Monmouth.
The Isca Morris who are based in Newport and have members all over Gwent, recently played host to over 100 members who came from England and Wales to spend the weekend at the Bridges Community Centre.
Secretary of the group, Dr. Gareth John said: "It was a highly successful weekend with in excess of 100 members representing the Morris sides. The meeting is held each year to discuss affairs of the Morris Ring.
The Squire of the group felt that it was about time that we showcase the area so that the other Morris sides could see what Wales has to offer and Monmouth is an ideal location for our meeting."
Mr. John added: "The weekend was fantastic. All at the Bridges Community Centre treated us superbly and we were served good local Welsh food. Over the weekend we had entertainment from a harpist, a female group called Conspirito and enjoyed a five course feast on the Saturday evening."
On Sunday the event was opened up to the public when they could join in and watch Morris dancing in front of local guests that included Monmouth Mayor Cllr Sue White.
There was also a display of traditional dancing from a local dance team - Cwmni Gwerin Gwent.
"As promised I have kept my side of the bargain, the picture speaks for itself and is of me depositing my money (£5) in the collecting box at Exmouth Lifeboat Station.
(Editor's note - the £5 was by way of recompense after comments made at the ARM !!)
Well after quiet reflection on my return home, your ARM was not all bad, there were some very encouraging points to come out of it . . . the debate in the meeting was good all round, and some very positive things came out of the Advisory council meeting on the Sunday. TheFeast was of a very high standard and the entertainment was a welcome addition, perhaps something to bear in mind for future ARM's."