Latest News

Summertime's Old Time Dance October 2016

Summertime Old Time Holiday September 2016

Summertime's Old Time Dance September 2016

Barbara's 80th Birthday

Summertime's GO Annual Sequence Dance August 2016

Richard's 70th Bash

Post Southern Ball Tea Dance 2016

OTDS Spring Weekend in a Nuttshell - Bob Nutt

Southern Ball 2016

OTDS Spring Weekend - Easter 2016

Summertime's Old Time Dance July 2016

Summertime's OT Dance February 2016

Summertime's Bryan Smith Vinyl Tea Dance June 2016

Sylvian's 80th

OTDS Ball of the Year 2016

Summertime's OTH January 2016

Jacqui and Mike's Golden Anniversary

News 2015

We are pleased to announce that the third “Southern Ball” of Traditional and Classical Old Time Dancing will take place on the 15th July 2017 at the Guildhall Winchester.  Music will be provided by David Last and the MC will be Richard Purcell.  The Leaders will be Hazel & Paul, Richard & Joyce, Hilary & Nigel, Terry & Diane.  More details can be found here.

Summertime's Christmas Party 12th December 2016

Monday 12th December was the date of the annual Summertime Christmas Party.  There was a good turnout.  Joyce and Richard were aided in leading off by Hilary & Nigel, Hilary & Tony, Shirley & Gordon, Bernard and Jill.

Bernard & Joyce started the dance programme with the Sindy Swing.  Other dances on the programme included the Classic Gavotte, Waverley Two Step, La Chappeloise, Winter Waltz, Melody Foxtrot and other old favourites.

During the interval we had a Bring and Share feast which was enjoyed by all.

After the raffle a presentation was held of gifts to several of the many volunteers that help to keep the Club running smoothly - Rhona, Jacqui & Mike, Shirley, Dorothy, Pat and Hilary & Nigel.

It was an excellent afternoon's dancing to get us ready for the rigours of Christmas.

Photos of the event can be found here.

Summertime's Old Time Dance October 2016

IMG_7296-1.jpgLast Saturday 22nd October there was a very good turnout for Summertime's Autumn Old Time Dance.  MCs were Richard and Joyce and the music was provided by the excellent David Last who played out of his skin for the evening. creating a fantastic atmosphere.

The programme started with the Mayfair Quickstep before switching to more Traditional Old Time such as the Regis Waltz and Rene Two Step.  The programme was the usual mixture of newer dances such as the Greystone's Gavotte and the Tiger Eye Tango and older dances such as the Doris Waltz and Boston Two Step.  The set dance was the Quadrilles.  Barry had considerable trouble keeping the seven ladies in his set in order.  The progressive dances were the Mexican Swing and the Alpine Stroll.  The Leaders' dances were the Tango Serida and the Classic Gavotte.  

Joyce and Richard were helped in leading off by Shirley & Gordon (Summertime Blues), Hilary & Nigel  (Rene Two Step & Ragtime Swing) and Hilary & Tony (Boston Two Step).  The evening ended with the Winter Waltz.  All in all another excellent evening of dancing.

Summertime's next Old Time Dance is a Tea Dance on Sunday afternoon 19th February with David Last.  More photos can be found here

Summertime's Old Time Dance Holiday Bournemouth September 2016

IMG_7225-23.jpgFriday:  Arrived at the holiday hotel, the Wessex, to bright sunshine.  The holiday was a sellout.  The holiday started with the customary sherry party where friends could meet again and gossip exchanged.  Dinner was filling despite there being no crumble.

Dancing on the first night was to CDs.  The first night was a request night with the dances on the programme being selected by the guests, some of whom volunteered to lead them.  The evening started with the Variety Swing and included dances such as Tiffany Saunter (Gordon & Shirley), Premier Two Step (Hilary & Nigel), Saunter Serenata (Pauline & Robin), Ragtime Swing, Wedgewood Blue Gavotte (Wendy & Joy), Sovereign Saunter (Vivienne & David),  Classic Gavotte (Herbie & Pauline).  Altogether there were 21 dances.  However the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the Crinoline Gavotte led off by Joyce and Bob Nutt (photo left).  The progressive dance was the Progressive Quadrilles.

It was also a special evening for Jean & Keith who were celebrating their Emerald Anniversary.  The evening ended with the Shimmering Waltz.

Saturday:  A pleasant sunny day.  After an excellent breakfast we reconvened in the ballroom for the morning's teaching.  After some general dancing Joyce and Richard recapped the Regency Saunter and taught the Greystone's Gavotte.  The Regency Saunter was written by 1969 by Rita Pover and is a pretty saunter.  The Greystone's Gavotte is a newish dance and was written by Ellen Harrison & Kelly Sloan in May 2016.

The afternoon was spent raiding the shops or sightseeing.  Unfortunately, when we went to shower ready for the evening prior to dinner, we discovered there was no hot or cold water.  It appeared many of the guests were in the same boat but triple layers of deodorant did the trick.  There was still no water after dinner in our room but we could still get drinks from the bar.  The evening's dancing was to the music of David Last whose playing is always outstanding.  The theme for the evening was Tartan.  The programme was the usual good mix of Traditional and Classical Old Time dances including the two dances taught in the morning.  Richard and Joyce were aided in leading off by Wendy & Joy (Liberty Two Step),  Diane & Terry (Tiger Eye Tango and Waverley Two Step), Gordon & Shirley (Crystal Blues) and Hilary & Nigel (A Waltz for the Queen, Royal Empress Tango, and Glengarry Swing).  David Last played the original music for several of the dances including that for "A Waltz for the Queen".  Richard was suffering with hip problems over the weekend.

Afterwards we unwound at the bar where a very helpful bar manager provided buckets of water to those still without water.  Fortunately ours came back on before we retired for the night.  The remainder of the rooms were reconnected before breakfast.  It should be noted that those of us who had no water and gave our names to Richard received £30 refund each from the hotel.

Sunday: A free day for shopping or sightseeing.  We went to  garden centre with several others including Joyce & Richard as is customary on these holidays.

Dinner actually included Crumble so I could have my first dessert of the holiday.  Dancing was again to the wonderful music of David Last.  Again Joyce and Richard were supported in leading off  by Wendy and Joy (Gainsborough Glide),  Terry and Diane (Rialto Two Step), Sylvian and Nigel (Empress Mazurka), Shirley and Gordon (Saunter Shiraz) and Hilary & Nigel (Tango Las Vegas & Marine Four Step).  The Elimination Dance was the Marine Four Step and was won by Peter and Eileen.  Altogether there were 19 dances.  A large raffle was held which raised £101 for the Alzheimer's Society.

The holiday Quizzes were won by Shirley and Herbie & Pauline.

Monday:  Returned home after another excellent holiday with superb music to dance too in the form of David Last.  The next Summertime Old Time Holiday is on the 6th to 9th January 2017 at the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth.  A photo page can be found here.

NJC 2/10/16

Summertime's OT Dance September 2016

IMG_7178-10.jpgFortunately the heat wave had finished before Summertime's September Old Time Dance and the temperatures had recovered to a more comfortable level.  Over 60 visitors descended on Normandy for the event hosted by Richard and Joyce.  The musician for the evening was David Last whose latest CD featuring the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber has gone down a storm in the area.  Richard insisted he played some of the tunes from it during the evening.

The evening started with the Helena Quickstep rather than the customary waltz or swing.  The programme consisted of the usual mixture of Traditional and Classical Old Time.  Amongst the twenty dances on the programme were newer dances such as Let's Swing, Tiffany Saunter and the San Rio Saunter.  Amongst the older dances were the Veleta, Valse Louise, Wedgewood Blue Gavotte and the Marine Four Step.  The progressive dances were Let's Swing and the Progressive Quadrilles.  The set dance was the Lancers.  The Leaders' dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Tayside Tango.  Helping in the leading off were Shirley and Gordon (Tiffany Saunter) and Hilary & Nigel (Waverley Two Step and Marine Four Step).

The evening was also extra special as it was Jenny's 70th Birthday and Joyce & John's 56th Wedding Anniversary.  In the photo above Richard can be seen presenting an orchid from Summertime Dancing to Jenny.  Jenny brought a large cake which she ceremonially cut and was distributed amongst the attendees.  

The evening was a resounding success.  A photo page of the event can be found here.  The next Summertime Old Time Dance is on Saturday the 22nd October with David Last.  

Summertime's GO Sequence Dance August 2016

IMG_7163-8.jpgAugust 20th was the date of  Summertime's Annual Sequence Dance featuring popular sequence (in the area).  Over 70 dancers turned up for the event.  Music was provided by the excellent David Last.  During the summer, Summertime Dancing runs a Sequence Club which concentrates its programme on proven stayers in sequence dancing rather than one week wonders.  Attendance has been good with attendance varying between mid 30s to 50s depending on peoples' holidays.

Dancing started with the Lace Agate Swing and the programme of some 20 dances included a mixture of old and not so old such as the Fragrance Foxtrot, Queen of Hearts Rumba (photo left), Mamma Mia Cha Cha Cha, Promenade Gavotte, Jasper Quickstep, Tiger Eye Tango, Blue Angel Rumba and the Snowberry Foxtrot.  Dancing finished with the Bluebird Waltz.  The progressive dances were the Alpine Stroll and the Caribbean Calypso.

An extensive raffle completed the evening.

Despite the summer warmth of the evening the lively event was a great success.   Photos can be found here.

Milestone Birthdays at Summertime

IMG_1989-1m.jpgIMG_0372m.jpgWe have recently celebrated two milestone Birthdays at Summertime Dancing during our Monday Old Time Club.  First was Mike Jessop celebrating his 80th Birthday.  Mike and his wife Ann travel up from Waterlooville to attend our club meetings.  Mike provided cakes for the celebration .

Our second birthday was Ethel's who celebrated her 85th Birthday.   Ethel has been a member of Summertime for sometime and celebrated the occasion with a ceremonial cake cutting.  Several of her friends from the Addlestone Sequence Dance Club attended and were able to enjoy "proper" dancing.

We take this opportunity to wish them many more years of dancing.

Richard's 2016 Garden Party

IMG_7136-15.jpgSunday July the 31st was the date of Richard's annual Garden Party at "Highfield Towers".  Following the old maxim "the sun shines on the righteous", it was a gloriously sunny afternoon.  The garden looked very good, considering the wet summer, with magnificent arrays of colourful blooms (see the photo page).   The design of the garden means it is easy to hide away amongst the vegetation in the various nooks and crannies.

Visitors enjoyed copious amounts  of cakes and scones washed down with gallons of tea dispensed by Joyce and Hilary.

All in all it was an excellent afternoon.  Photos can be found here.

Summertime's Post Southern Ball Tea Dance July 2016

IMG_7093-8.jpgThe day after the Southern Ball, Summertime hosted the second Annual Post Ball Tea Dance.  Despite being a warm afternoon it was a full house of over 80 who turned up for an afternoon of Old Time Dancing.  Live music was provided by Antonair and the hosts for the afternoon were Richard and Joyce.

Dancing commenced with the Alison Waltz followed by the Dinky One Step.  Other dances included newer ones such as the Saunter Surfinia, the popular Tiger Eye Tango and the Selby Swing and older dances such as the Idaho Foxtrot, Waltz Camay, Crinoline Gavotte and the Rene Two Step.  

The progressive dances were the Mayfair Quickstep and the Mexican Swing.  "Valuable" spot prizes were distributed by Richard's spot prize assistant Jonathan who exhibited his rebellious streak again defying Richard's instructions.

The Leaders' dances were the Tango Solair and the Serene Saunter.  The set dance was the Quadrilles which was danced amazingly free of disasters.

The interval consisted of a feast of cakes and various savouries made by volunteers which were devoured with gusto.  There was also a very large raffle.

Despite the majority of the dancers having attended the Southern Ball the previous evening, they shook off their tiredness and threw themselves into the afternoon and an excellent atmosphere pervaded the afternoon.  It was a great afternoon of Old Time dancing and the event will be held again following the Southern Ball next year.  A photo page can be found here.

The Southern Ball July 2016

IMG_7035-6.jpgSaturday July 16th 2016 was the date of the second Southern Ball dedicated to Old Time Dancing.  This event is organised by Paul and Hazel Harding supported by Richard & Joyce, Dianne & Terry and Hilary & Nigel who all also shared the leading.  The event is held in the magnificent Guildhall in Winchester.  Richard was MC for the evening.

Over 90 turned up for the event from all corners of the UK and they were treated to an excellent evening of Old Time Dancing to the outstanding music of David Last.  We were also delighted to welcome the Chairman of the Old Time Dance Society (OTDS) to the event along with several other committee members.  

Shopping was catered for with the popular Holbrook Shoes being in attendance.

The evening started with the playing of the French National Anthem whilst everyone stood in silence to show their support for the people of France, following the terrorist attack in Nice on the 14 July.

IMG_7082-46.jpgDancing commenced with all the evening's leaders dancing a formation Mexican Swing.  The four sets of leaders then took it in turn to lead off the programme.  The dances on the programme ranged from Traditional Old Time, such as the Wedgewood Blue Gavotte and Waltz  Debonaire, to Classical dances such as the Saunter Shiraz and the Summertime Blues.  The Leaders' dances were the Wedgewood Blue Gavotte and the Bermuda Foxtrot.  The progressive dances were the Anniversary Two Step and the Progressive Quadrilles.  The set dance was the Lancers expertly called by Joyce.  Other dances included the Venetian Foxtrot, Saunter Reve, Southern Two Step, Trelawney Tango, Helena Quickstep and the Desmond Blues.  Altogether there were 25 dances on the programme with an extra dance, the Melody Swing, added.

There was an extensive raffle which was well supported.  It was an excellent evening of Old Time Dancing and music and Paul and Hazel are to be congratulated in all their hard work in organising the event.  The event will be held again next year in the same location on the 15th July 2017 with music again by David Last by popular demand.  A link to more photos can be found here.

Summertime Dancing's Old Time Dance 9th July 2016

IMG_7026-7.jpgThere was an excellent turnout of 60 from all across the South of England for Summertime's latest Old Time Dance with music provided by the incomparable David Last who was at his best.  The evening was hosted by Richard and Joyce supported in leading off by Hilary & Nigel and Shirley & Gordon.

The programme was a mixture of Traditional Old Time and Classical Sequence dances commencing with the Alison Waltz and ending with the Winter Waltz.  Amongst the other dances on the programme were the Dinky One Step, Idaho Foxtrot, Selby Swing, A Waltz for the Queen, Tiger Eye Tango, Crinoline Gavotte, Venetian Foxtrot and the Rene Two Step.  The progressive dances with "valuable" spot prizes were the Mayfair Quickstep and the Mexican Swing.  Jonathan was tasked with awarding the prizes and enjoyed himself by rebelling against Richard's guidance.  The leaders dances were the Serene Saunter and the Tango Solair.  The set dance was the Quadrilles which passed off relatively successfully.

A Waltz for the Queen, which was on the programme,  was promoted by the Old Time Dance Society in their last newsletter and has recently been taught at Summertime.  This dance was written in 1953 by Sydney Thompson and his wife to commemorate the Queen's Coronation and is a fairly simple dance which appears to have gone down well.  I'm not sure if it has ever been danced at Summertime before.

Altogether their were 20 dances on the programme.IMG_7023-4.jpg

During the evening, Richard attempted to be a stand up comedian quoting "Grandad" jokes from a book written by one of the crew on his last cruise.  The general consensus was he shouldn't give up his day job although Hazel appeared to appreciate them.

A large raffle was held in which Milford continued their successful run.

It was a great evening with an excellent atmosphere.  The next Old Time Dance at Summertime is a Post Southern Ball Tea Dance with Antonair on Sunday 18th July.

NJC 11/7/2016

Summertime's Brian Smith OT Tea Dance to Records June 2016

IMG_6997-1BW.jpgOn a sultry June afternoon around 70 turned from far and wide to watch Richard try and play records featuring the music of Bryan Smith.  This annual  event has proved very popular.  Many records have been donated to him including some which have never been played.

The programme featured mainly older Old Time dances starting with the Fylde Waltz and ending with the Veleta.  The one new dance featured was the Lace Agate Swing which is popular but not strictly Old Time as it features a fishtail although the Millbrook Foxtrot also contains this figure and was also on the programme.

The progressive dances were the Georgella Blues and the Mexican Swing. The leaders dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Saunter Reve.  The set dance was the Quadrilles.

The food was provided by a magnificent Bring and Share tea with copious amounts for everyone.

There was a large raffle and Richard was happy as he won.  More photos can be found here.

Nigel 8/6/2016

Old Time Dance Society's Ball of the Year in Stoke on Trent May 2016


IMG_6836-2.jpgThe journey up was a normal Bank Holiday Weekend Drive with the M3, M25 and M6 having lengthy delays.  It took us 4.5 hours instead of the estimated 3 to make the journey to our hotel, the Best Western Moat House.  At least the weather was dry.  The hotel was modern and in a good standard of decor.  The rooms were good as well.  All allocated rooms were sold out for the event.  Three of us from Summertime made the intrepid journey north of Watford, Hilary & myself and Joyce.

Dinner was OK but not exciting and there was no crumble.  We were coached to the magnificent King's Hall for the first night's dancing led off by the excellent Christine and Robert Haywood whose footwork and leading was again impeccable.  Music for the weekend was played by David Ingley whose playing exceeded all my expectations.

Dancing commenced with the Northern Star Waltz.  The programme was made up of Old Time dances which such favourites as the Kaybee Saunter, Idaho Foxtrot, Vesta and Chester Waltzes, Rialto Two Step and the Kaymar Sway.  The Leaders' dances were the Desmond Blues and the Edwardian Gavotte.  The progressive dance was the Progressive Quadrilles.  There was one newish dance on the programme, the popular Crystal Blues.  Altogether there were 20 dances on the programme.  The set dance was the Quadrilles well called by Hazel.

The evening was an excellent start to the weekend.  There was the customary wind down in the hotel bar afterwards for those of us with enough stamina left.


IMG_1786-6.jpgAwoke to fine weather.  After a good all you can eat breakfast, the three of us drove out into the lovely countryside and visited two stately homes.  The first was Biddulph Grange Gardens (photo left).  Although you can't visit the house the Victorian gardens were magnificent with the Rhododendrons and Azaleas in  full bloom.  

We then moved onto another National Trust property, Little Moreton Hall.  This timber-framed building, curled around with a scenic moat, has defied logic for over 500 years having been built on inadequate foundations but is still standing albeit with some recently added reinforcements.

Both properties were well worth a visit.

Dinner again was average and there was no crumble.  The evening's dancing was led by multiple inventive competition dancers John & Ann Rainey.  Amongst their more recent prize winning dances were the popular Hatty Boo Blues, Evening Star Saunter and the Promenade Gavotte.  During the evening they gave a demonstration of their latest winner, the Evening Star Saunter, which I have taught at our Sequence Club this year and I quite like it.

IMG_6869-21.jpgJohn & Ann's display of Old Time technique was outstanding and it was a joy to watch them demonstrating the 26 dances on the programme for the night.  I haven't enough years left to come within a hundredth of their skills.  Joyce was enraptured by John's old time waltzing technique and it takes a lot to impress Joyce.  John and Ann generated a great atmosphere and the programme consisted of many medal/competition dances which should have pleased the Traditionalists amongst us.  The programme started with the Fylde Waltz and ended with the Regis Waltz.  Amongst the dances ont he programme were the Gainsborough Glide, Liberty Two Step, Wedgewood Blue Gavotte, Saunter Reve, Waltz Camay, Valse Martine, Premier Two Step, Empress Mazurka, Britannia Saunter, Veleta and La Mascotte.  The progressive dance was the Balmoral Blues and the set dance was the Lancers.

A very large raffle was held which raised an excellent £263.  Bernice and Grahame celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary at the event at were showered with cards from the attendees and a presentation from the Society.

We also celebrated three birthdays for Ann, Joy and Carol - see photos.

A wonderful evening of dancing followed by a lengthy unwinding session at the hotel bar where we continued to celebrate Bernice and Grahame's Golden Wedding Anniversary with cake and drink.


Another glorious day and an excellent large breakfast.  I am developing a liking for black pudding.  I thought it was supposed to be grim and wet up north.  We spent a quiet day wandering along the canal to the Wedgwood and Royal Doulton Outlet Store where I bought a beer mug.  We then wandered back to the marina and the local hostelry where we had coffee and met other members of the OTDS taking in the sun.

Dinner failed to impress me.  Apple crumble was on the menu and I ate it but it was a culinary disaster.  Its a shame as the hotel and staff were excellent but they need a decent chef.  They were running at least two wedding receptions a day so perhaps the best chefs were diverted to them.  

IMG_6961-10.jpgThe evening's dancing was well led by Michelle Boddy and Barry Rogers who generated their unique sense of fun and personality into the evening.  We started with the Heather Waltz and ended with the Alison Waltz.  There were twenty dances in all including the Bermuda Foxtrot, Sherrie Saunter, Pride of Erin Waltz, Festival Glide (with elicit hand holding and hops), Chrysanthemum Waltz, Southern Two Step and the Crinoline Gavotte.  The set dance was the Caledonians and the Leaders' dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Bambi Blues.

An excellent and very enjoyable evening's dancing.

We then went back to the hotel for the customary wind down drinks in the bar.


We drove home with less delays than the journey up.  Another excellent BOY with a great friendly atmosphere.  Bernice (Events Secretary) is to be congratulated for her hard work in a thankless task.  Photos of the event can be found here.

Nigel 6/6/2016

Jacqui and Mike's Golden Wedding Anniversary

Good news for a change.  At the Monday Old Time Club we celebrated Jacqui and Mike's 50th Wedding Anniversary.  Jacqui and Mike have been members of Summertime Dancing for some years and Mike is the current Club Chairman.

Jacqui and Mike provided a large cake which was ceremoniously demolished during the interval washed down with a cup of tea.

The Club presented Jacqui and Mike with an Orchid.

Here's hoping they spend many more years together.

Barbara's 80th Birthday - April 2016

 IMG_1755-1.jpgThis Monday we celebrated Barbara Chitson's 80th Birthday.   Barbara and her late husband, Bob, have been members of Summertime for some time as well as members of several sequence clubs over their dancing years.

Barbara provided a large cake which she ceremonially cut.  Joyce presented Barbara with a miniature rose bush from Summertime.

We all wish Barbara many more happy years of dancing.

Richard's 80th 70th Birthday Bash

IMG_6785-8.jpgToday, at Summertime's Monday afternoon's Club Meeting, we celebrated in style Richard's 70th Birthday.  Some 85 people from all over the country descended on Normandy including from Bath, Bristol, Leicester, Oxford, Wolverhampton and  Cambridge showering Richard with gifts; many of which were bottle shaped.  The Old Time Dance Society Committee was well represented with Michelle, Sue, Paul and myself being present.

Live music was provided by the excellent David Last.  Despite his advancing years Richard was in scintillating form as MC and accompanied by Joyce started proceedings by leading off with the Sindy Swing.

The dance programme contained popular classical and Old Time Dances such as the Gainsborough Glide,  Liberty Two Step, Shimmering Waltz, Waverley Two Step, Tiger Eye Tango and the Serene Saunter.  Altogether there were 20 dances.

David Last played all Richard's favourite tunes and managed to stay in tune despite Richard's singing.  

A photograph was on display showing Richard and Gordon in their youth which was almost unrecognisable.

The progressive dances with valuable spot prizes were the Mayfair Quickstep and the Alpine Stroll.  The set dance was the Quadrilles with four sets taking part.  Leaders' dances were the Tango Serida and the Balmoral Blues.

Hilary made a two tier cake birthday cake copiously impregnated with brandy which was ceremonially cut by Richard at the start of the afternoon.

Apart from the official birthday cake, a magnificent range of savouries and cakes were provided at the interval with scones and cakes from Joyce, sausage rolls from Hilary T,  a wide range of cakes be Lisa and a large cream cake by Sue Hamm's sister June.

IMG_6816-35.jpgAfter the interval Richard opened the largest of his gifts courtesy of Hilary and Tony Thompson which turned out to be a non-PC ageist T shirt and a zimmer frame (photo left); the latter will become increasingly useful as he progresses through the next decade.

A large raffle was held during the afternoon with Jacqui pulling out the tickets.  This was bad news for the Milford corner as they failed to win a single prize.

The afternoon was a great success with an excellent atmosphere generated by the Richard and the large number of guests present.   A side benefit was that the Old Time Dance Society gained a new member during the afternoon.

A photo page can be found here.

NJC 11/4/2016

OTDS Spring Weekend Torquay in a Nuttshell

If this was not the perfect weekend, then it must have been as near as makes no difference. The hotel was superb.  The ballroom was excellent. The four night set-up was spot on.    The four dance programmes were excellent.    Nigel and Hilary on the Friday, Richard and Joyce on the Saturday, Wendy and Joy on the Sunday and Richard as MC and the committee and weekend leaders on the Monday were excellent. The early morning dances on the Sunday and the Monday were great and David Last throughout was brilliant.

The breakfasts were excellent and the evening meals were fine.     The company was excellent and Richard was as great as only he can be.   All in all, an excellent weekend.

Bob Nutt

Footnote: Obviously Bob enjoyed the OTDS holiday and no money changed hands for such favourable comments!!


Old Time Dance Society Spring Weekend in Torquay March 2016


Drove to Torquay a day early for the Old Time Dance Society's long Easter Weekend at the Victoria Hotel in Torquay.  The hotel is part of a five hotel complex and it was easy to get lost wandering around the complex.  It was a sunny day rounded off with dinner that included apricot crumble.


Another sunny day.   My wife, Hilary, and I had been invited to lead the first evening of dancing so we practised our programme in the morning and spent a relaxing afternoon while the other guests arrived.   Some 75 were booked on the holiday.  

After dinner, dancing commenced.  The music for the weekend was provided by the brilliant David Last who played out of his skin for the whole holiday.  As this was our first evening for the Old Time Dance Society (OTDS) we had been allowed to choose our programme first.  The programme consisted of many old favourites with no "new" dances on the programme Commencing with the Fylde Waltz and ending with the Doris Waltz.  The progressive dances were the Georgella Blues and the Mexican Swing.  Spot prizes were provided by the OTDS for the progressive dances for the whole weekend.  The set dance was the Quadrilles and the Leaders' dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Saunter Reve.  The interval dance was the Valse Martine.  There were 20 dances altogether on the programme including such dances as the Kaymar Sway, Wedgewood Blue and Edwardian Gavottes and La Czarine.

As we were very nervous on our first night for the Society we were very grateful for the tremendous support given to us by all the attendees present.


A showery day but after breakfast took the tourist train down to the shops to relieve ourselves of some cash.  We got back just in time before the heavens opened.

After dinner the evening's dancing commenced.  The MC and leaders for the evening were Joyce and Richard who generated a great atmosphere running a fun filled light hearted evening.

The programme started with the Veleta, an old favourite and finished with the Valse Louise.  The Leaders' dances were the Sherrie Saunter and the Tango Serida.  The set dance was the Caledonians with five sets taking part.  The progressive dances complete with spot prizes were the Imperial Two Step and the Mayfair Quickstep.

Richard was recovering from knee surgery but was still able to lead off all the dances including the the Two Steps apart from the Viennese Sequence Waltz which I led off with Joyce.  Again there were twenty dances during the evening including such favourites as the Rialto Two Step, Desmond Blues, Tiger Eye Tango and La Mascotte.

There was an excellent raffle which raised £143.  It was another great evening with superb music from David Last.


A showery windy day.  As it was Easter Sunday, many of the dancers wore rabbit ears for breakfast (the Pound Shop had been cleaned out of them the day before) and were greeted at the door by a fully dressed rabbit dispensing Easter eggs.

Monday night's dancing was to be a request night but as more than enough requests had been sent in it was decided to have dancing Sunday and Monday mornings especially as the weather was not hot and sunny.  Music was again provided by David Last.  

The MC for the morning's sessions was Grahame Baldwin and the dances were led off by the Committee and the weekend leaders.  The morning's request dances consisted of the Northern Waltz, Tantevita, Millbrook Foxtrot, Regency Saunter, Tayside Tango, Dixie Swing, Crinoline Gavotte, Dinky One Step, Manhattan Guitar Tango, Progressive Quadrilles, Californians, and the Vesta Waltz..

The afternoon was free to relax around Torquay.

After dinner we retired to the ballroom.   

The evening's dancing was led by Wendy Cosh and Joy Lewis and I believe it was their first event for the OTDS as well.   They generated an excellent atmosphere with great support from the other guests.  

They commenced the evening with the Alison Waltz and finished with the Waltz Debonaire.  The Leaders' dances were the Liberty Two Step and the Bambi Blues.  The set dance was the Lancers.  The progressive dances were the Elizabeth Quickstep and the Progressive Tango again with spot prizes.  There were twenty dances on the programme including La Rinka, Latchford Schottische, Saunter Debonair and the Premier Two Step.

Wendy and Joy did a splendid job in giving us a very enjoyable evening.


After breakfast we had another "wet mornings'" dance programme run by Grahame Baldwin.  In addition we had teaching sessions on the Frederika Blues by Grahame and the Venetian Foxtrot by Richard and Joyce.  Both dances went down well.  Other dances danced included the Saunter Adele, Gainsborough Glide, County Gavotte(65), Harry Lime Foxtrot, Invitation Swing and the Cuckoo Waltz..  The rest of the day was spent wandering around Torquay.

Dinner was improved by having apple crumble on the menu.  The evening's dancing, to the wonderful music of David Last, was made up of requests.  The MC for the evening was Richard and the leaders consisted of the Committee and the weekend's leaders.  Richard looked dapper in his diamante encrusted jacket.  However he was somewhat taken aback to see Arthur Riley from Grahame's club wearing a similar jacket.  

The very varied programme consisted of the Regis Waltz, Winfield Quickstep, Venetian Foxtrot, Beat Barn Dance, Midnight Jive, Empress Mazurka/Bluebell Polka, Cameo Gavotte, Southern Two Step, Britannia Saunter, Virginia Reel, Manhattan Blues, Chester Waltz, Fredericka Blues, Tango Las Vegas, Rosetta Two Step, Saunter Together, Ascot Gavotte, Chicago Swing, Freda Foxtrot, Glyn Gary Swing, and the Lilac Waltz.  Again there was a great atmosphere.  Many of the ladies  and the odd man had made an Easter bonnet and a competition was held which was won by Cyndi.  The judge of the competition was Joyce Parry who celebrated her 96th birthday during the holiday.


Departed for home after an excellent holiday with great dancing and music held in a fantastic friendly atmosphere.  A photo page can be found here.

Nigel 3/4/2016

Summertime Dancing's Old Time Dance February 2016

We had a very good turn out considering it was an extremely wet and very windy evening with people from far afield braving the weather including from as far away as Bath, Bristol and Kingston Upon Hull.

As Richard was away recovering from his latest knee operation, the evening was run by Hilary, Nigel (MC for the evening) and Joyce.  The music was played by the excellent David Last with original tunes interspersed with some more up to date melodies.

All the dances were pre 1982 with the most modern dances being the Edwardian Gavotte 1981 and the Kaybee Saunter (1976).  The oldest apart from the set dance was the Fylde Waltz (1902) and La Czarine (1906).  The Leaders dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Saunter Reve.   There were two progressive dances complete with "valuable" spot prizes namely the Georgella Blues and the Mexican Swing.

The set dance was the Quadrilles which was called by Nigel (to give him practice) and it appeared to progress fairly chaos free.

Fortunately Richard should be back to full strength for the next dance which is on Monday 11th April with David Last to celebrate Richard's 70th birthday.  A few more photos can be found here.  There are not the usual number as the photographer was busier than usual with MC duties.

Sylvian's 80th Birthday

Today, 18th January, at the Monday Old Time Club, we celebrated Sylvian Elderton's 80th Birthday with cake and Bucks Fizz which Slvian supplied.

Sylvian and her late husband Geoff were the highest qualified professionals in the area holding Fellowships in Latin, Ballroom and Classical and were highly respected running Clubs at Addlestone and Fairlands.  Unfortunately with the passing of Geoff they had to give up running the Clubs.  

However Sylvian has continued dancing willing to give help and advice to all who ask (such as me) and her expertise is second to none in the area.  She loves Old Time Dancing although she also goes to Modern Sequence Clubs which she enjoys.

We wish all the best to Sylvian on her birthday and hope she has many more to come and "Keeps Dancing".

NJC 18/1/2016

Summertime's Old Time Holiday January 2016


20160108-IMG_6372.jpgWe had a good drive down with no major holdups to the holiday hotel - The Wessex for Summertime's January long weekend run by Richard and Joyce.  It was a showery day and sun reflecting off the road surface was dazzling at times, so much so that I wish I had had some Polaroids.

The evening started with the customary sherry party to meet and great newcomers and old stalwarts.  The waiter painstakingly measured each glass of sherry to the nearest 0.001 cc.

Dinner was good but there was no crumble!

The evening’s dancing was to CDs and was a request night with those making the requests “volunteering” to lead them off.  Those where there were no volunteers were led off by Richard & Joyce and Hilary & Nigel.

The programme consisted of: Sindy Swing, Cuckoo Waltz, Tiffany Saunter (Robin & Pauline), Crinoline Gavotte (Bob Nutt and Joyce), Waverley Two Step, Melody Foxtrot (Shirley & Gordon), Tango Solair (Linda & Rex), Heather Waltz, Selby Swing, Saunter Shiraz (Ann & Alan Grohs), Victoria Gavotte (Margaret & Clive), Crystal Blues, Tango Serida, Saunter Reve (Dianne and Terry), Dinky One Step (Herbie & Pauline), Alison Waltz.

The progressive dance was the Anniversary Two Step complete with valuable spot prizes.  The set dance was the Lancers with some 4 sets dancing to perfection.

20160108-IMG_6380.jpgThe two highlights of the evening (apart from Richard of course) were Herbie and Paulines’ Dinky One Step and who will ever forget Bob Nutts interpretation of the Crinoline Gavotte under Joyce’s careful steering.


Awoke to wind and rain.  After breakfast, the morning session consisted of Richard and Joyce teaching the latest swing, the Lace Agate Swing, and recapping an Old Time Foxtrot, the Venetian Foxtrot which I thought was an interesting dance which flowed well.  The swing was one of the last batch of dances which came out last year and is easy to learn but not "true” old time with its fishtail.  Other dances on the morning programme were the Variety Swing, Balmoral Blues, Promenade Gavotte and the Liberty Two Step.

The weather was atrocious with heavy rain and gales so only a few ventured out in the afternoon.  However, Richard had intercepted a lady who had been selling dance clothing and shoes at a large dance event at the Bournemouth International and she set up stall in the Wessex and our ladies (and some men) had a field day buying clothes and numerous pairs of dance shoes at reasonable prices.

The food at dinner was plentiful however there was no crumble or even rice pudding or sherry trifle.  Why do chefs think real men want desserts of cheesecake and its ilk.

The evening’s dancing was to the wonderful music of David Last.  The theme for the evening was "Red White and Blue" with most joining in the colour scheme.  The evening was dedicated to the memory of our Chairman, Larry Smith, who passed away earlier this month.  A short period of reflection on the life of Larry was held during the evening with David Last playing quietly in the background "When You Wish Upon A Star".

Dancing commenced with Let's Swing and was followed by the old standard, the Fylde Waltz.  The programme was varied consisting of older dances such as the Serene Saunter, Wedgwood Blue Gavotte, Doris Waltz and the Kaybee Saunter and newer dances such as the Shimmering Waltz and the Promenade Gavotte.  The set dance was the Quadrilles with some four sets taking the floor, one again being organised by Bob Nutt to the merriment of the observers.  Following the successful partnership of Bob and Joyce in leading off the Crinoline Gavotte the previous night, they led off the Festival Glide.  The Leaders' dances were the Gypsy Tango and the Kaybee Saunter.  The evenings fun dance was the Blaydon Races entered into with much gusto although it did not last long enough for Richard to properly check the weather.


A free day to those with the energy to go out.  Richard made his pilgrimage to a garden centre but we resisted the temptation and had a quiet day.

Dinner would have been good but ruined by the lack of crumble for the third night running.  There was not even a Sherry Trifle or rice pudding to lift my spirits, just the usual cheesecake and similar.  Why can't they cater for us real men.

 Dancing was again to the excellent David Last and was another varied programme of old and not so old ranging from La Czarine, Empress Mazurka, and the Chrysanthemum Waltz to the Summertime Blues and the Winter Waltz.  The progressive dances were the Imperial Two Step and the Alpine Stroll.  The Elimination Dance was the Saunter Together.  Also on the programme were the dances taught on Saturday morning, the Lace Agate Swing and the Venetian Foxtrot.  The Leaders' dances were the Sherrie Saunter and the Lola Tango.  The evening's fun dance was the Virginia Reel which gave Richard ample time to check on the weather.

The holiday quizzes were cleaned up by the Robert and Frances & the Bath contingent.  There was a very large charity raffle for the Alzheimer's Society which raised £94.

The weekend was very enjoyable and there were heavy bookings taken over the weekend for next year's January long weekend which will be held at a different hotel - The Marsham Court which Summertime have used before and has been recently refurbished.  It is a smaller ballroom so numbers will be limited.  Photos of this year's event can be found here.

NJC 17/1/2016