Border Morris

Border Morris is dancing inspired by what we know of the traditional dances of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire. As these counties are on the border with Wales the term Border is sometimes used to describe this style of Morris dancing.

The Story

Isambard's Gasket Rats are a Border Morris Side based around Teignmouth. Our name comes from Isambard Kingdom Brunel's attempt to build a working Atmospheric Railway  between Teignmouth and Exeter.

What is an Atmospheric Railway?

Steam engines are heavy. Really heavy. If you can take the engine off the train and transfer the power by, for example, turning it into electricity, trains are a lot cheaper to run.

Before electricity Isambard Kingdom Brunel thought that using high pressure air in a pipe might be a good way of transferring the power.

The leather gaskets on the pipe running between the rails, which was the heart of the system, were kept bendy and airtight with grease. The local rats soon discovered greasy leather made a tasty meal and promptly ate the lot. The damaged gaskets let pressurized air out, and the railway never worked well.

After seven years of costly experiments Brunel finally gave up, but in the twentieth century Oskar Coester designed a system now in use for several short railways.

Atmosph Eisenbahn Buch-d-Erf

A German version of the same idea - Wikimedia Commons