The side was formed in January 1983 by Ursula Griffiths. Her daughters were interested in learning to dance, as there was nothing for younger people in the area, they decided to form their own group. There were 12 members when the side was originally formed, with an age range from 14 to 40 years. The side was originally known as Maids of the Mill. The existing name of Hips and Haws Clog wasn't decided on until their first AGM in September 1983. We still have one founding member in the side today, Jan Field.
Practice nights have always been in Chippenham, as it was the most central. Firstly at The Bridge Centre until 1990, when we moved to The Sea Cadets, Long Close until 2002 before relocating to the Old Road Tavern. We now practice in Biddestone Village Hall as we needed more space.
Some of the first dances learnt were Pipers Ash, Knutsford, Runcorn and Grenoside, which are all North West Clog dances, and a Stepping dance - the Lancashire Hornpipe. Grenoside is still occasionally danced out today. All our dancers wore clogs supplied by Walkley's of Hebden Bridge costing about £15 a pair (now no longer in business, since there was a huge fire at the mill). Nowadays most of our dancers have their clogs made to measure costing £80 - £100.
We perform traditional and contemporary dances from around the British Isles. This includes Garland, North West, Stepping and our own choreographed traditions. Annually we perform at Chippenham, Wimborne, Swanage and Oxford Folk Festivals. Our aim is to provide colourful and entertaining displays at events ranging from country fairs to larger international festivals. In recent years some of our members have danced in Ireland, France, Germany and the Monastic Island of Caldy.
We celebrated our 35th Anniversary in 2018.