The Ironmen's red and black kit is symbolic of the coal fires and heat of the furnaces that existed
along the Ironbridge gorge and the clothing style is typical of Border Morris dancers with a waistcoat
layered with strips of fabric to become a tatter jacket, breeches and, notably, clogs.
The Ironmen are the only modern Border side to dance in clogs.
. Border Morris originates from the Welsh borders (Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire) and involves lots of noise, stick clashing and energy. It was initially performance to gain money when work was scarce for farm labourers and boatmen, however begging was at that time illegal. They got round this by disguising their faces, probably initially with soot or burnt cork.
Today the Ironmen use a mixture red and black face paint to reflect their kit and it also emphasises that the individual dancers are part of a team.
Copyright Ironmen & Severn Gilders 2017