Open Morris began in 1979 as a loose organisation of East Anglian dancers, following efforts by one of the (then) few mixed Morris sides in the country to find local friends and sympathisers.
At that time there was much rivalry between members of the all-male Morris Ring (founded in 1934) on one side and the Women’s Morris Federation, which came into being in the mid 1970’s on the other. Both organisations agreed that Morris Dancing shouldn’t involve a mixing of the sexes! (Later the “WMF” became the Morris Federation and expanded its membership to include male and mixed groups).
Interest in Open Morris began to spread further afield, and the organisation now has about one hundred and forty five member sides from all over Britain, as well as a few from overseas and some individual members.
Open Morris, as a member of the Joint Morris Organisations, is now regularly involved in discussions and conferences with the The Morris Ring and the Morris Federation.