We are pleased to announce that the fifth “Southern Ball” of Traditional and Classical Old Time Dancing will take place on the 20th July 2019 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.
Terry Harris 27th April 2019
We were very upset to hear that Terry Harris had passed away last night after battling an illness for some time. Terry along with his wife Dianne are the Area Reps for Somerset and Wiltshire on behalf of the Old Time Dance Society. They are staunch members of Bath Old Time Dancers and joint leaders at the Annual Southern Ball. Terry and Dianne were very popular and well liked throughout the Old Time Dancing world. Terry and Diane attended many Summertime Holidays and dances.
Terry was a very kind and sympathetic man always willing to give help where needed and he will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences go to his wife Dianne and all his family.
Summertime's April Dance 2019
Saturday the 6th of April was Summertime's first live music dance of the season. It was a special occasion as the music was provided by keyboard player Jonathan Allen who normally attends Summertime's dances as a dancer. However he has started playing for dances around the country as he is an accomplished organist. He played some lovely music primarily from the musicals. I am sure we will see more of him.
MC's for the evening were Richard & Joyce and their was a better than expected attendance.
Dances ranged from old Traditional Classical such as the Heather Waltz to newer classical dances such as the Promenade Gavotte. Progressive dances were the Imperial Two Step and the Mayfair Quickstep. The Leaders' dances were the Classic Gavotte and the Trelawney Tango. Helping Richard & Joyce lead off were, Hilary & Nigel, Shirley & Gordon and Hazel & Paul.
There was a sizeable raffle. It was a very enjoyable evening.
The next formal dance will be to Bryan Smith's Records on the 1st June.
Pat Lewins 2nd April 2019
We were very saddened to hear that Patricia Lewins passed away last night (2nd April 2019) after a long illness. Until she gave up dancing last year, Pat was a great supporter of Summertime Dancing and Holidays. She was also a loyal member of Cove Sequence Dance Club.
She will long be remembered for her happy go lucky character, always up for a joke. She also enjoyed her glass of wine.
Pat will be sorely missed and our deepest sympathies go to her family.
The funeral will be at 11:00 on the Thursday 25th April at East Hampstead Crematorium, South Road, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham, RG40 3DW.
Final Summertime Holiday January 2019
The weekend of the 4th to 7th of January 2019 was the date of the final Summertime Old Time Holiday at the Marsham Court Hotel. These have been running for many years and my wife and I have been going to them for over 10 years. However Richard has finally decided to give up running them going out on a high. The holiday was full with 56 guests attending. Music was to CDs for the first night but the Saturday and Sunday night were danced to the wonderful live music of David Last. You cant beat the atmosphere generated by live music. The weather for the weekend was cold but fine.
Friday: Arrival day. Following the customary drinks party we all had a good dinner and retired to the ballroom for an evening of requests. The requests consisted of the Ragtime Swing, Tayside Tango, Sherrie Saunter, Crystal Blues, Imperial Two Step, Fylde Waltz, Idaho Foxtrot, Royal Empress Tango, Viennese Swing, Selby Swing, Edwardian Gavotte, Southern Two Step, Kaymar Sway, La Chappeloise, Midnight Tango, Crinoline Gavotte and the Doris Waltz. Assisting Richard and Joyce in leading off were Hilary & Nigel, Shirley & Gordon, Veronica and Linda, Margaret & Clive and Tony & Christine.
Saturday: After breakfast, Richard held a practice morning. Apart from general dancing, Richard & Joyce taught the Floral Blues and recapped the Stardust Gavotte, both of which seemed to go down well. The afternoon was free for sightseeing or shopping. After dinner there was a full dance programme this time to the live music of David Last. The dress code was Black & White. The dances were a good mix of new and old varying from the newer dances such as the Elizabethan Waltz and the Floral Blues to old favourites such as the Waverley Two Step and the Chrysanthemum Waltz. The set dance was the Quadrilles. The Leaders' dances were the Bambi Blues and the Saunter Shiraz. The progressive dances were the Alpine Stroll and the Sindy Swing. Afterwards a few of us retired to the bar to put the world right.
Sunday: The day was free for sightseeing and shopping. The evening's dancing was moved to the newly refurbished Solent Suite and there were pre-
The weekend was, as usual, very successful and its a shame there will be no more Summertime Holidays. Grateful thanks go to Joyce and Richard for all their hard work in organising the holidays.
On a final note, my wife and I had to leave early for family reasons and we would like to thanks all those present for their card and messages of support.
A photo page can be found here.
Christmas Party 10th December 2018
On the 10th December Summertime celebrated the end of the 2018 dancing season with its customary Christmas party. The dance programme was interspersed with fun dances such as La Chapelloise and Four Hand Star and Wandering Three Step. There was also an elimination dance. Dress code was as pictured left. There was a large Bring and Share tea.
Richard and Joyce handed out gifts to members of the Club who have helped out over the past year: Shirley, Gordon, Rhona, Jacqui & Mike and Hilary & Nigel.
The party marked the end of a successful year of dancing. Hopefully next year will be just as successful.
Happy 90th Dorothy Walton
At the Club meeting on the 15th October we celebrated the 90th Birthday of long standing Club Member Dorothy Walton.
Dorothy has been a stalwart at the Club for many years being chief tea maker until recent mobility problems curtailed her dancing and tea making. Dorothy still regularly attends the club to enjoy a chat and the music. Cake was provided for all the dancers and Dorothy was presented with an Orchid from Summertime.
Saturday 6th October was the date for Summertime's Autumn Old Time Dance. Although the attendance was a little down because of holidays and sickness, there were enough to generate a good atmosphere. Music was this time provided by Larry Green who did an excellent job.
The programme was the usual mix of Traditional Old time (eg Empress Mazurka, Waltz Debonair and the Doris Waltz) and Classical Old Time (eg Variety Swing, County Gavotte 2014 and the Black Country Blues). The Leaders' dances were the Trelawney Tango and the Sherrie Saunter. The progressive dances were the Serene Saunter and the Wandering 3 Step.
Our MCs and Leaders were Richard and Joyce. Others helping lead off were Jill, Wendy and Geoffrey and Hilary and Nigel.
There was a large raffle.
Our next Old Time Dance will be on Saturday 17th November 2018 (19:30 to 23:00) with music by David Last.
Maxine Court 1943 -
We were very upset to hear that Maxine had passed away on the 17th August after a long illness.
Maxine and her husband Peter have been good supporters of Summertime coming to many of our dances and holidays. They were also loyal supporters of the Old Time Dance Society. Despite her long illness Maxine remained cheerful.
Maxine will be greatly missed and our sincere condolences go out to her husband Peter and family.
Once again the sun shone on Purcell Tower's for the Annual Garden Party. Despite our summer of drought, Richard had managed to keep most of his lawn green and the flowers still alive which is more than I had done in our garden. In fact the undergrowth was quite dense in places but nothing that couldn't be managed with a machete. Guest of Honour was David Last, who for once, didn't have to play for his tea and cake.
There was an excellent spread of scones and cake washed down with copious quantities of tea from Gordon. Richard received a text from his neighbour stating he didn't realise OAPs could be so noisy and he thought one lady had a very dirty laugh. Richard's cat agreed with the neighbour's sentiments and spent the afternoon in hiding.
All in all it was a very enjoyable afternoon if you didn't suffer from hay fever.
Summertime held its Annual Modern Sequence Ball on Saturday 18th August. MCs were Richard and Joyce and music was by the brilliant David Last. The hall had recently installed air conditioning thus the temperature was kept comfortable all evening.
The programme concentrated on those dances which had demonstrated longevity rather than "two week wonders". However a couple of newer dances which have proven to be very popular in the area were included. These latter dances were the Black Country Blues, Speedwell Saunter and the Amarone Tango. Other older dances included the Variety Swing, Apricot and Blue Angel Rumbas, Fragrance and Glenroy Foxtrots, Wedgewood Blue Gavotte, Bossa Nova Blues, Kelly & Hoabie Quicksteps and the Bluebird Waltz. All together there were 21 dances.
There was only one disaster all evening and that was when the tea urn blew the ring main for the kitchen. However by running back and forth with kettles from the other kitchen, the kitchen team led by Gordon kept the tea flowing.
Richard actually allowed smart casual to be worn rather than evening dress in a major break from tradition.
It was a very enjoyable evening with a great atmosphere.
Last weekend we enjoyed a weekend of Old Time Dancing with the fourth Southern Ball in Winchester on Saturday and the Summertime Post Southern Ball Tea Dance at Normandy on the Sunday. Music for the weekend was provided by the excellent David Last.
The Southern Ball is organised by Paul and Hazel supported by Terry & Diane, Hilary and Nigel and Joyce and Richard. Richard was the MC for the Ball. It was very warm over the weekend but fortunately the Southern Ball was held in the Guildhall Winchester which has air conditioning. The Ball was well attended and was a great success. Much of this was due to the efforts of Paul and Hazel. Terry and Diane organised a magnificent raffle. A full write up of the Ball and photographs can be found here.
The next Southern Ball is being held on the 20th July 2019 at the Guildhall Winchester.
On the Sunday, Joyce and Richard held the Post Ball Tea Dance at Normandy. Unfortunately the air conditioning was to be installed two days later so it was very warm dancing. Over 80 attended the event which was a sell out. It was a full programme for an afternoon dance with some 20 dances in all on the programme. The dancing commenced with the Sindy Swing and was the usual mixture of old favourites with a few newer classical dances included such as the Elizabethan Waltz, which is a new classical Championship dance, The Black Country Blues and the popular Tiger Eye Tango. The Leaders' dances were the Tango Serida and Saunter Together so not too challenging! The progressive dances were the Georgella Blues and the Alpine Stroll.
There was a large raffle.
Seven past and present members of the Old Time Dance Society Committee were present including current Chairman, Nigel Carter, Joyce & Richard (past Chairmen), Sue Hamm (past Press Officer), Michelle Boddy (current Secretary), Paul Harding (Membership Secretary and past Chairman and Grahame Baldwin (Archivist, Director and past Chairman), (see photo below). All in all it was an excellent weekend of dancing.
Saturday 2nd June was Summertime's Annual tribute to Bryan Smith. The evening consists of Old Time Dancing exclusively to the records of Bryan Smith.
A good crowd turned up, from all over Southern England, on a warm evening.to enjoy Bryan's music. The evening was run as usual by Richard and Joyce. Richard found it harder to find the right tracks on records compared with CDs but he battled manfully.
The programme consisted of mainly older Old Time dances with the Black Country Blues being the only modern Classical dance. The reminder contained old favourites such as the Empress Mazurka, Wedgewood Blue Gavotte, Waltz Debonair, Kaymar Sway and the Fylde Waltz. All together there were some 20 dances.
The progressive dances were the Sindy Swing and the Serene Saunter. The Leaders' dances were the Balmoral Blues and the Classic Gavotte.
Refreshments were an American Supper and an extensive range of food was provided by those present.
A photo page can be found here. Our next Old Time Dance is on Sunday 22nd July with David Last but this is wait list only.
Almost 70 from all over Southern England were present for Summertime's April Old Time Dance hosted by Richard & Joyce assisted by Jill. The dance marked the return of Joyce to the dance floor at Summertime following her accident in December last year. Joyce was able to lead off four dances with Richard. Jill partnered Richard for the other dances. Jill has been standing in for Joyce at Summertime whilst Joyce recovered. Hilary & Nigel and Shirley & Gordon also helped leading off.
David Last provided the music and sounded better than ever on his new keyboard.
The dances were a mixture of old and new ranging from the Alison Waltz, Empress Mazurka and Dinky One Step to new dances such as the Variety Swing and the Elizabethan Waltz. The progressive dances were the Alpine Stroll and the Georgella Blues. The Leaders' dances were the Tango Serida and the Saunter Shiraz.
There was a very large raffle.
Our next Old Time Dance will be held on the 2nd June and is our annual event; dancing to Brian Smith records.
More photos can be found here.
Richard started teaching with Jill in 1971 and is also a Member of the United Kingdom Alliance of Teachers of Dancing, The Guild of Professional Teachers of Dancing and of course the Old Time Dance Society.
Joyce Palmer 1927 -
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.
Friday: 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.