A decommissioning celebration of Mercian Labels’ Xeikon digital label printing machine using traditional English Morris dancers


On 1st December 2011 we decommissioned our Xeikon 330 digital label printing machine after many years of great service and upgraded to the latest Xeikon 3300 version.  Whilst the retiring machine was destined for recycling, we could not let the occasion pass without a celebration of its achievements over many years.  So we got our thinking caps on, and our sales team suggested we organise some celebratory dancing in a quintessentially English style

Enter The Jockey Morris Men of Birmingham, who performed a series of traditional English “farewell” dances to see off our old machine into the sunset….

Among the dances performed were:

  • Vandals of Hammerwich – a stick dance from the Lichfield tradition. The title comes from some inhabitants of Hammerwich (near Mercian Labels in Cannock) who set fire to a wood in Staffordshire in the Middle Ages – hence the placename of Burntwood.
  • Lads a Buncham – a traditional fighting dance from the village of Adderbury in Oxfordshire. Danced with long sticks (quarterstaffs)
  • Laudnum Bunches – a handkerchief dance from the village of Headington Quarry – now a suburb of Oxford. The title comes from Laudanum – a popular opiate!
  • Highland Mary – a handkerchief dance from the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. It is sometimes danced to the tune of ‘Norton New Bell Wake’ which comes from a poem in St Nicolas Church, Kings Norton which celebrates the installation of new bells in 1783.

We recorded some of it and have uploaded it to Youtube.



  • As one of the dancers involved I’d like to thank The Mercian Labels Group for inviting us along to perform dances from the little known “Printers’ Tradition” of Cotswold Morris 🙂

    Thank you very much for your hospitality and joining in – don’t forget to come along to join us for practice on a Friday night!