Breaking News – Rapper Sword dancing started on the Wirral, not the North East

A few weeks ago, we unearthed the following information in a local archive:-

In 1882, a flood in one of the Neston collieries resulted in the death of nine pit ponies. As a result the pit had a surplus of the two handled blades used to scrape the coal dust and sweat off ponies at the end of their shifts.

Wirral Morris Men (who later merged with Liverpool Morris to form Mersey MM) decided they could use these in dances and the rap-a-tap-tap of their boots on the wooden floors of the day led to the dances being called Rapper.

Mersey’s Scally Rapper can still be seen performing to this day. As miners moved to find work, the dances then spread through other mining communities, especially those in the North East, where dancers now lay claim to originating the dances.


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