GREEN GINGER

Green Ginger Clog was formed in 1975 in Kingston-upon-Hull.  The name came from the area in Hull known as The Land of Green Ginger. Two of the founder members are still dancing, Lynnette Eldon and Sue Jenkinson, along with long-time member, Wendy Bolton.  The team were - and are - well known for their precision performances of the north-east style, learnt particularly from Johnson Ellwood *, a champion clog dancer from Tyneside, his daughter, Mary, and Johnson's pupil, Shelagh Illingworth. Other influential teachers have included Viona Marhoff, Sammy Bell, Ivy Sands, Doris Hawkes and Sam Sherry.
Lynette won the Northern Counties Clog Dancing Championship Belt at Durham in 1982 and in 1983 she won the Northern Counties Pedestal Clog Dancing Trophy.  All have won medals at competitions in that region and they have continued over the years to act as competition adjudicators too, including for the Northumberland Clog Dance Solo Championship, Morpeth, and the Northern Counties Clog Dancing Championship, Northumberland.  Lynette's own freestyle stepping stepping earned her 2nd place in the Dartmoor Stepdancing contest in 1984.

In the early days, Green Ginger Clog appeared with the Folk Dance Road Show, which included Green Ginger Garland team, Green Ginger Morrismen and Green Ginger Country Dance Team (and Green Ginger Ceilidh Band?).  The Road Show toured in Holland in the 1980s.  It was not unknown for dancers to be in more than one of these teams, including some of the clog dancers, and there was a strong connection with Folk Union One, one of the first folk clubs in the country, founded by the renowned Waterson family, initially at Hull’s Blue Bell pub.  
 
Original musical accompanists for the team included Arthur Raw and Pete Fletcher, but Ken Watson has also accompanied for them for many years and now plays in his expert and dynamic style for Duke’s Dandy too.

Green Ginger Clog have taken their craft to festivals, community celebrations, traditional dancing events, and from pubs to notable places like London South Bank's Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as radio and television and abroad to Europe and Canada.  They have also performed with many fine folk performers.  In 1982, the team were invited to dance for the prestigious EFDSS Folk Spectacular concert at the Albert Hall.  The routine of hornpipe steps that the side created for this has been shared with Duke’s Dandy and we still dance it today – it is entitled “Albert”!  We have also learnt a waltz routine known as “Sidmouth”, which was choreographed originally by Green Ginger for a Sidmouth Folk Festival arena performance and “Whitby”, a set of steps taught at the Whitby Folk Week in 2007.  It is good to keep these dances alive and kicking. 
 
Green Ginger dancers have passed on their knowledge and skill at many a workshop over the years, especially for the Reading Step and Clog group and the Newcastle Cloggies weekends in the past, the Lancashire Wallopers’ annual workshop weekends at Leyland and for Whitby Folk Week.  Lynette also performs with her husband, Jim, who plays fiddle and sings traditional songs.  Many of their early performances have been recorded by Dr Tony Barrand for the traditional dance archives of Boston University, Massachusetts (now an online resource).

Although the Green Ginger ladies joined forces with Duke’s Dandy in 2007, enabling both by-now much-reduced teams to share their steps and learn fresh material, they still retain their identity and have revived their fine reputation with performances and workshops, especially at Whitby Folk Week in August and at Lancashire Walloper's February clog weekends.

* For information on the Ellwood family see http://www.folknortheast.com/learn/clog-dancing/styles-of-clog-dancing 

For more detailed information on Lynette Eldon see: http://insteprt.co.uk/lynette-eldon/

Green Ginger dancing at Felixstowe Folk Festival 1998: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAMG81kmsV0  / http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6wS49FiFCo .  Pete Fletcher playing the melodeon.

Green Ginger at Holmfirth Folk Festival 1990 – musician Pete Fletcher. Video by Alan Morley.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4zQKteh0b8

Photos of Green Ginger dancing and Ken Watson playing at Whitby Folk Festival 2001:  http://www.efngallery.co.uk/Whitby/w0101.htm 

Lynette Eldon dancing, with Jim Eldon playing fiddle and singing at East Anglia Traditional Music weekend 2012:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTAqj1BusdM









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