The Buttercross Belles

The Buttercross Belles Constitution

1. Name

1.1 The team shall be known as Buttercross Belles ("the Team")

2. Objects

2.1 The objects of the Team are:

  1. to maintain a women's Morris side in Otley dancing mainly North-West style
  2. to promote and encourage the practice of Morris dancing
    3. Membership

    3.1 There shall be the following categories of membership:
  1. Dance Members - Women considered by both the Squire and Dance Teacher to be capable of dancing out in public. Such members are eligible to vote at all meetings and on all matters.
  2. Musician Members - Men or women considered by the Squire and Principal Musician to be capable of playing out in public. Such members are eligible to vote at all meetings and on all matters.
  3. Musician/Dancer – Dance Members who are considered by the Squire and Principal Musician to be capable of playing for the Team in public without the presence of the Principal Musician.
  4. Probationary Members - Those who are learning to dance and/ or play. Such members are not eligible to vote on any matters but may attend any meetings.
  5. Junior members - Children of Dance and/or Musician members. Must be accompanied at practice nights and at dance outs by their parent/s or legal guardian/s who will be responsible for them at all times. Such members are not eligible to vote on any matters but may attend any meetings.
  6. Co-opted Members. Men or women who are invited by the Team to fulfil a specific role. Such members are not eligible to vote on any matters but may attend any meetings.

3.2 Dance, Musician, Probationary and Co-opted members of the Team must be over 18 years of age. Junior Members must be a minimum of 13 years of age.

3.3 In this document "Voting Members" shall mean Dance Members and Musician Members.

3.4 All members, apart from Co-opted Members, must attend regular practice and dance outs and will work together to present each dance to its best effect

3.5 All Dance Members must dance out in Team dress, as detailed in Schedule One. All Dance Members have a duty to ensure they have the correct Team dress and that they keep it and wear it in good and presentable order.

3.6 The Squire, Dance Teacher and Principal Musician are entitled to ask any member not to dance or play at any event if those officers consider the member to be out of practice or not competent to take part and the decision of the officers shall be final.

3.7 If considered by the Voting Members to be in the best interests of the Team the Team may join the Morris Federation and/or such other organisation membership of which is considered to be of benefit to the Team.

4. Fees and Subscriptions and other payments

4.1 Subscriptions are calculated by adding together the costs for hiring the practice hall, the Team’s insurance, membership of the Morris Federation and any other appropriate costs. These costs are divided between the Members.

4.2 Subscriptions are due annually and paid in two instalments, one at the beginning of the autumn term and the other at the beginning of the spring term.

4.3 No fees: Musicians and Co-opted Members Half fees: Musician/Dancers, Junior Members

Full fees: Dance Members. Probationary members: have a free half term trial; they then pay the remaining subscription.

4.4 Members who are temporarily incapacitated for any reason may, at the discretion of the Squire, be exempted from paying subscriptions during a period of absence. Such a period cannot exceed a continuous period of more than 12 months without the express agreement of the Squire.

4.5 Membership shall be deemed to have lapsed where any member has failed to pay subscription in full by the end of the Summer Term.

4.6 When payment is required for any item of kit or for dance outs the payment is the individual member’s responsibility. Payments should be made to the Treasurer.

4.7 Subscriptions can be paid in cash, by cheque or by bank transfer, either in two payments or in instalments.

5. Finance

5.1 The Team's financial year shall begin on 1st September and end on 31st August.

5.2 A bank account shall be opened and maintained in the name of the Team and all cheques shall be signed by any two from the Squire, Deputy Squire, Secretary or Treasurer.

5.3 If it is considered appropriate by the Treasurer a savings account shall be opened and operated according to the conditions set out in 5.2.

6. Officers of the Team

6.1 The Team shall have 14 officers, details of which are contained in Schedule Two, elected by a majority vote of Voting Members at the Annual General Meeting ("AGM").

6.2 Nominations for a position as an officer of the Team must be supported by a proposer and a seconder who must be a Voting Member of the Team. Nominations must be received by the Secretary a minimum of two weeks before the date set for the AGM. In the event more than one nomination for a post is received a secret ballot of all members present at the AGM eligible to vote will take place.

6.3 Each officer's post is held for a period of two years. In the event an officer is unable to fulfil their position for two years they may resign and a replacement officer will be elected at a meeting of at least 50% of Voting Members. The proposed replacement officer must be nominated by a proposer and a seconder. In the event more than one nomination is received a secret ballot of the Voting Members present at the meeting will take place. The replacement officer will hold the post until the AGM at which the position would have been due for renewal had the original officer not resigned.

6.4 Any Voting Member may be eligible to be elected to be an officer of the Team. Any officer may be re-elected to their position after holding the position for two years provided their nomination is supported as in clause 6.2.

6.5 All Members are expected to support the elected officers and other members of the Team and to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities and activities.

6.6 Any officer unable to attend any meeting or event shall ensure a Voting Member will deputise on his/her behalf for that meeting or event.

7. Meetings

7.1 The Annual General Meeting ("AGM") of the Team must be held in the Autumn term in each year on a date and time to be fixed by the Voting Members.

7.2 At the AGM Voting Members must:

  1. receive a report from the Squire, Secretary, Dance Teacher and Principal Musician and a report, balance sheet and statement of accounts from the Treasurer for the preceding financial year and an estimate of the receipts and expenditure for the current financial year;
  2. receive a report from any other officer invited by the Squire to do so;
  3. appoint the officers to any vacant posts;
  4. decide on any resolution which may be submitted to the meeting in the manner provided for below;
  5. review membership subscriptions and other fees;
  6. decide the donation to be made to the charity selected to be supported for the preceding financial year, if any, and if considered appropriate having regard to the financial resources and any future financial needs of the Team to select a charity to be supported by the team for the current year;
  7. consider any other business.

7.3 The Secretary must be give or send by post to all Members four weeks notice of the date and time set for the AGM. Two weeks prior to the AGM the Secretary must give or send by post to all Members a copy of the agenda and the accounts.

7.4 No business other than that of which notice has been given may be brought forward at the AGM unless the Squire considers the business to be of such importance to the interests of the team that it should be brought forward at the AGM.

7.5 Matters to be included in the agenda must be forwarded to the Secretary at least three weeks before the date set for the AGM

7.6 Any decisions shall be decided by majority vote of Voting Members present at the AGM unless clause 7.10 below applies.

7.7 Changes to the Constitution or to dissolve the Team should, wherever possible, be made at the AGM and must be supported by a named proposer and seconder who must be a Voting Member. If an officer of the Team or a Voting Member considers a change to the Constitution should be made in the interests of the Team before the AGM an emergency general meeting ("EGM") must be called giving all members at least four weeks written notice, and providing details of the proposed change. Any change must be decided by majority of Voting Members.

7.8 A meeting of Members may take place each week between September and May during the practice sessions and as necessary during dance out sessions between May and August. Routine decisions may be taken by simple majority vote, whether the meeting is quorate or not. Policy decisions may not be made during such meetings unless all Voting Members have been given notice of the proposal at least two weeks beforehand or unless at least three-quarters of Dance and Musician Members are present.

7.9 In the event of a tied vote at any meeting, other than a vote to change or amend the Constitution or on policy matters, the Squire shall have an additional vote that will be final and binding on all members.

7.10 Where a meeting is to be held to discuss and vote upon changes to the Constitution or on policy matters a proxy or postal vote should be made available to Voting Members who are unable to attend. Any postal vote must be received by the Secretary at least 24 hours prior to the meeting in a sealed envelope marked "Buttercross Belles Postal Vote" and with the Voting Members name. The envelope/s shall be opened by the Secretary at the meeting at the time the Voting Members cast their vote.

7.11 A quorum at the AGM and at any emergency general meeting shall be 50% of all Voting Members.

8. Team Property

8.1 Ownership of any property (other than cash which must be under the control of the Treasurer) owned by the Team shall vest in the Squire, Secretary, Equipment Officer and Treasurer for the time being who shall hold such property as bare trustees (the "Trustees") on behalf of the Team Members.

8.2 The Trustees may be indemnified against risk and expense out of the Team property.

8.3 The Trustees may arrange insurance for any property if they consider it appropriate to do so and the costs of the insurance premium or premiums shall be paid by the Team but no Trustee shall be personally liable for any loss or damage however caused in the event any property is not covered by insurance

8.4 The Trustees may delegate physical control of any property to any Voting member of the Team. Any property so held by a Voting Member remains the property of the Team at all times and must be returned as soon as possible and in any event within 2 months in the event the Voting Member leaves the Team. No Voting Member shall be personally liable for any loss or damage to any property delegated to them.

9. Dissolution

9.1 A decision to dissolve the team may be made at any meeting to which all members have been given four weeks notice and may be carried by majority vote of at least three-quarters of the Voting Members.

9.2 In the event the Team is dissolved for whatever reason any monies held by the Treasurer or any other person on behalf of the Team shall be donated to the last charity selected by the Team. In the event there is no charity capable of receiving the monies they will instead be donated to the Morris Federation or, if no longer in existence, such other organisation as most nearly fulfils the aims and objects of the said Morris Federation.

9.3 Any equipment and other assets held by the Team shall be sold and the proceeds donated in accordance with clause 9.2 or, if it is considered the items are of no economic value they shall be donated or disposed of as decided by a simple majority vote of members present at the meeting held to dissolve the Team.

Officers of The Buttercross Belles


Co-ordinates the Team as a whole. Chairs all meetings or nominates another Team member to do so in her place. Organises and leads the programme of dances on a tour or at a booking. Must be a Dance Member.

Dance Teacher

Teaches new dances and ensures existing dances are rehearsed and maintained to a high standard. Organises the practice meetings. Teaches dances. Proposes a vote on the dance repertoire at the AGM. Recommends Probationary Members to the Squire for Full Membership. Must be a Dance Member.

Deputy Squire

Assists the Squire and takes some responsibility for the organisation of the Team. Would normally be expected to deputise for the Squire in that officer's absence absence. Up to four Members may share the role of Deputy Squire. Must be a Dance Member.

Deputy Dance Teacher

Shares responsibility for organising the practice meetings and teaching. Deputises for the Dance Teacher in that officer's absence. Must be a Dance Member.


Keeps minutes of all meetings. Arranges bookings, dance-outs and tours. Acts as Open Morris  correspondent. With the Treasurer arranges public liability and such other appropriate insurance cover on behalf of the team. Arranges distribution of notices for meetings and of agendas where appropriate. Keeps an up-to-date list of all members together with their address, telephone number and where possible e-mail address. Circulates members names and contact details to all members. Deals with all routine correspondence on behalf of the team.


Maintains accounts for all income and expenditure of the Team, and ensures these are presented at the AGM. Maintains bank and savings accounts and holds the petty cash. Collects subscriptions and tour/booking fees and is responsible for payment of any expenses. Liaises with the Secretary to ensure insurance subscriptions are paid. Liaises with the Squire on practice dates, then organises the hire and payment of the practice hall. Has the responsibility for discussing and collecting arrears of any payments with Members.

Principal Musician

Shall lead the musicians and co-ordinate music practices. Selects and arranges music for the dances. Liaises with the Dance Teacher at practice sessions and with the Squire at dance-outs. Is responsible for ensuring a high standard of music and assisting and advising Musician Members where necessary and for ensuring all musicians have copies of the music. Recommends Probationary Members to the Squire for Musician Membership. Must be a Musician Member.

Wardrobe Mistress

Responsible for keeping a stock of dress and smock materials, ribbons, bells, bell pads, patterns and sewing instructions (where available) and ensuring any person selected by the Team to act as dressmaker has a supply of any materials required in the making of the Team dress. Ensures all members have a list of the team dress and offers help and advice to team members making or purchasing their dress. Ensures all members are aware of the team dress rules and that they dance in correct dress. Issues the team t-shirt to new full members. Keeps a record of cardigan hire and of issue of any other items of dress to team members. Liaises with the Treasurer to ensure team members have paid for any items of dress for which payment is required.

Equipment Officer

Keeps a full list of all equipment. Arranges individual monitors to be responsible for keeping individual items or sets of equipment and ensures a list of monitors is maintained. Any monitor may delegate their role on a temporary basis but if this is to be for more than two consecutive weeks or two consecutive events the Equipment Officer should be notified (telephone call is acceptable). Equipment monitors shall inform the Equipment Officer if any equipment requires replacement or repair or is lost. Liaises with the treasurer to ensure any equipment is insured if appropriate.

Publicity Officer

Ensures the activities of the Team are publicised as widely and as imaginatively as possible. Is in charge of organising press releases or arranging media publicity. Ensures a supply of publicity material is available for distribution at any dance outs or other events.


Keeps an album and archive for each season and ensures regular entries. Ensures a camera is available at every tour or booking and is responsible for the camera. Liaises with the Treasurer to ensure the camera is insured if appropriate.

Newsletter Editor

Shall co-ordinate and edit the newsletter. All team members are expected to assist in providing information to be included in the newsletter and to contribute articles where requested to do so.


Maintains and keeps the Team Website up-to date.

Evening Programme Co-ordinator

Organises the programme of evening dance spots during the summer months

The above list of officer's duties is not intended to be exhaustive and they may be required to take on additional duties appropriate to their office where this is in the interests of the Team as a whole.

The Buttercross Belles Kit list

Green Smock

  • Made to official pattern only and to be 13" (32.5cm) from the ground when wearing tap shoes.
  • Official fabric only
  • Pleated or smocked front
  • Two rows of purple ribbon at bottom
  • One piece of purple ribbon on back of smock to prevent smock blowing open in windy conditions.
  • Ribbons to trim in purple and/or white:
  • Pleated - three sets
  • Smocked - one set either side of smocking attached with loop or single rose
  • All ribbons to trim the smocks must be of the approved width and colour available for purchase from the wardrobe mistress.
  • White Dress
  • Made to official pattern only and to be 9" (23cm) from ground when wearing tap shoes.
  • Official fabric only.
  • Hat
  • Straw with brim - brim should be between 5cm to 6 cm wide.
  • Decorated with flowers in team colours - real or artificial - not to excess
  • Black Shoes
  • Tap Shoes - maximum heel height of 5cm.
  • Bell pads - provided by team. Remain at all times the property of the Team and must be returned when leaving the Team.
  • Petticoat and/or Bloomers
  • White
  • Victorian style
  • Bloomers to be just below knee - not visible below dress
  • May be trimmed with green or purple ribbon
  • Neither underskirts nor bloomers should show below the white dress when standing.
  • Black Tights
  • Must be opaque
  • 70 denier
  • Hold-ups may be worn but must be with bloomers
  • Cardigans
  • Supplied by team. £10 non-refundable charge.
  • Remain at all times the property of the Team and must be returned when leaving the Team.
  • Badges
  • Smocks - not more than 3 badges
  • Cardigans - a reasonable number to a maximum of one row down each side
  • In addition to the above a badge purchased at a dance out may be added to the smock or cardigan but may only be worn for the duration of that event.

Unless stated above or otherwise agreed by the Team the cost of any fabric and other items of kit is to be paid for by the Dance Member. The cost of making any dress, smock or other item/s is to be paid for by the Dance Member

The Buttercross Belles Officials 2021/22


Jaci Bowman

Deputy Squire

Rachel Hill


Janet Hindle


Maggie Forder

Dance Teacher

Serena Hardman

Dance Teacher

Sue Latham

Lead Musician

Izzi Wade

Publicity Officer

Evening Programme Organisers

Mary Klemm/Julie Parr

Wardrobe Mistress

Christine Green


Izzi Wade

Equipment Officer

Izzi Wade

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