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Summertime's Old Time Holiday January 2018

News 2017

We are pleased to announce that the fourth “Southern Ball” of Traditional and Classical Old Time Dancing will take place on the 21st July 2018 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.

Joyce Palmer  1927 - 2018

An era of fun and happiness is drawing to a close with the passing of Joyce Palmer. Joyce and her husband John have been friends for 56 years when I first started old time dancing at the Chiddingfold Club at the age of 16 with my Mum.

There are now so few people left that we knew from the start and losing Joyce is a big blow to those of us who remain – Joyce Hutchins (Summertime), Angela Gale (Milford), Jill Lewington (Alton), and Alfreda Puttock to name a few.

Joyce and John ran the Bordon and Grayswood Clubs for many years and were also strong supporters of Summertime Dancing both then and now frequently attending our summer sequence club as well as the Cove Club.

I sometimes hear people say they have been dancing for years but very few have contributed the time and dedication of Joyce and John Palmer.

My sympathy goes out from us all to John and the Family with happy memories of the wonderful dancing years we all spent together.


The funeral service is on the 6th March at 12oc at St Georges Church, Badshot Lea.  No flowers please.

Summertime's Old Time Holiday Bournemouth 2018

IMG_8756-12.jpgFriday:  Arrival day.  The holiday was sold out with a waiting list.  Our hotel was the Marsham Court which has been going through extensive refurbishment over the past couple of years. Currently the main dining room is being refurbished but the alternative dining room was perfectly adequate for us.  

MCs for the weekend were Richard and Joyce.  Unfortunately Joyce had suffered a fall just before Christmas and has a fractured wrist and pelvis and so is unable to dance at present. Richard therefore was partnered by Jill, who used to be his competition partner early last century.   The holiday started with a drinks party followed by a very good dinner although there was no crumble for the dessert.   

Dancing was to Richard's CDs and was a request night.  The dances requested were:  Mexican Swing, Sherry Saunter, Firefly Tango, Elizabethan Waltz, Empress Mazurka, Kaymar Sway, Marine Four Step, Caledonians, Doris Waltz, Winter Waltz, Wandering Three Step, Royal Empress Tango, Britannia Saunter, Selby Swing, Crinoline Gavotte, Balmoral Blues, Gainsborough Glide and the Cuckoo Waltz.  Richard was partnered by Michelle for the Marine Four Step and Christine and Tony led off the Britannia Saunter.  Shirley & Gordon and Hilary & Nigel also helped in leading off.

Saturday:  An overcast day.  The morning's dancing session was dominated by the teaching of two dances, one old and one new.  Richard and Jill taught the Black Country Blues which won the Classical Section of the Ada Unsworth Memorial Inventive Competition last November.  This dance has proved very popular with Sequence dancers and is easy to pick up.   Hilary & Nigel taught the Summertime Stroll which won first prize in the Old Time Section of the BATD in 1972.  This is an unusual dance with figures from gavottes, tangos, saunters and blues all mixed up.  I am not sure why it is designated a "Stroll".  The scripted speed is 40 bpm, however this is an impossible speed to do justice to the dance considering the complexity of the dance and our age group.  It was therefore danced at foxtrot speed and at this speed it is an enjoyable dance.  Everyone present had little trouble picking up both dances.  The afternoon was free and many raided the local shops.

Dinner was especially good as crumble was on the menu.  The evening's dancing was to the excellent music of Elizabeth Harrison.  This was the first time Elizabeth had played for Summertime and she did a splendid job.  The theme was "sparkling blue" so that Richard could make use of his sparking blue jacket procured in Blackpool.  The dance programme consisted of old favourites such as Saunter Reve, Waverley Two Step, Classic Gavotte etc. as well as the dances taught in the morning.  Altogether there were 19 dances on the programme.  The set dance was the Lancers expertly called by Joyce.  Helping Richard and Jill with the leading off were Carol & Michelle,  Gordon & Shirley and Hilary & Nigel.  

Sunday:  A fine day.  Many visited the local shops.  Several of us joined Richard on his annual pilgrimage to the garden centre to buy seed potatoes where he found an appropriate seat to drink his coffee (photo left).  Adjacent to the garden centre was the Edinburgh Wool Mill which just happened to have a sale.  Richard and Gordon took advantage of this restocking their wardrobes.  One of our attendees, Stephanie, exceeded both of them by buying 7 pairs of shoes in Bournemouth.

Dinner was again very good and another of my favourites, rice pudding, was on the menu.

The evening's dancing was again to the excellent music of Elizabeth Harrison.  There were 19 dances on the programme ranging from the fairly new, Variety Swing, to old favourites such as the Wedgewood Blue Gavotte and the Fylde Waltz.  The set dance was the Quadrilles again expertly called by Joyce.  Unfortunately one member of a set had gone missing in the toilets and had to be hastened along by a posse.

The winners of the elimination dance were Hilary and Lisa.  A large charity raffle was held which raised over £90 for Cancer Research.

The weekend's Dingbats Quiz, organised by Joyce, was won by Christine and Tony.

Monday:  After a filling breakfast we all returned to our homes after an excellent dancing holiday.  Thanks go to Jill for ably helping Richard out over the weekend.  However we all hope Joyce will be back to full strength and dancing again soon.  Photos of the event can be found here.