On the Saturday after the first Sunday in January, the
team tours the
village on foot, dancing at different locations. The first ‘Traipse’ as
it has come to be affectionately known, took place on 8 January, 1994.It was an attempt to recreate, in a
modest way, the well-documented walking tours of previous teams.
records confirm that the Grenoside team used to tour a large area on
foot, visiting many of the large houses en-route. It is reported that tours
would begin on or around Christmas Eve and continue to the end of
The 'tribute' was considerable and an article in the Pall
Mall Gazette, recalling a visit by the team to Wortley Hall in 1895,
reports that each man could expect between 30 and 35 shillings over the
After the Great War, the length
and duration of the walking tours were less ambitious than those
reported in 1895. However, in an interview with John Mitchell
circa 1973, Harrington Housely, who danced with the Grenoside Sword
Dancers for 51 years, said
team would go for many miles on foot to perform for the local gentry,
calling at all the public houses on the way. Even if they arrived home
at 2 or 3 in the morning, they still insisted on their white trousers
being washed and pressed for the next day’s outing."
Eventually, Boxing Day became the
focal point of the Christmas outings. Fred Myers, who also danced
with the team for over 50 years, recalls his first Boxing Day tour in
"At , the Captain
rapped on the door of Sharp’s shop and the dance began.After
that, we rolled our white trousers up over our knees and were ready to
start our round, dancing at all the big houses, Greno Lodge, Whitley
Hall, Chapletown Club and Dr Moles at Ecclesfield, where we finished
our long and tiring day. I would like to add, that
we walked from place to place."
The traditional outing has been slimmed down even further
to a single event outside the Old Harrow on Main St. where guest teams are invited and the Grenoside dance is
performed twice in front of large crowds on Boxing Day morning.
In addition to Boxing Day, the Traipse is an attempt to
promote the dance in the village and gather to it friends and
benefactors and, it is hoped, some new recruits.