|There are newspaper accounts of the dance
taking place in 1850 which also includes references to it having taken place
in 1832, 1814 and 1794 and the account also states that many of those who
remembered the dance in 1796 wee told by their fathers that before then the
dance took place almost annually. This would appear to confirm John
Leyland's reference in The Memorials of Abram to expenditure of 6s in 1737
on a Town's staff and Truncheon which he supposed was carried before the
Town's dignitaries at "the annual Morris dance".
the best known descriptions of the Abram Morris Dancers and their Maypole date
from 1880, the Ordnance Survey map of 1846 records the existence of the
plot of land in Park Lane known as the Morris Dancers’ Ground. This is
adjacent to May Pole House, a farm that took its name from the dancers’
Maypole. When a coal pit was opened on Park Lane in 1895, it was named
Maypole Colliery because of its proximity to the Morris Dancers’ Ground.
The customary use of the Park Lane plot for the erection
of a Maypole and Morris dancing around it almost certainly dates back to the eighteenth
century (or earlier) and the tradition in Abram may be contemporary with
the Maypoles in other Lancashire towns and villages. Interestingly there
are no records of the dance ever having taken place on, or even about, May
Day. The traditional time for the Morris Dance is at the end of June or in
early July. This coincides with the local Wakes Week.