23rd Oct, 2017

Bidford Folk Dance Group celebrate diamond jubilee

Stratford Editorial 15th Apr, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

DANCERS in Bidford are preparing for a celebration evening to mark their 60th toe-tapping year.

Bidford Folk Dance Group was formed in 1955 and will commemorate their diamond anniversary on Saturday (April 18)

being played for – as they have been for the past six decades – by the Bidford Square Dance Band.

From the beginning up until his death in 2003, John Chapman called the dances – prompting through the sequence of steps – and his wife Dee has kept the dancing going by arranging guest callers from all over England ever since.

Faces may have changed down the years but the group’s home at the Crawford Hall and the format of dance evenings has changed little.

Band member Phil Taylor said: “Both caller and band have travelled far and wide over the years to dances and festivals throughout the country, but Bidford is where it started and is still regarded as ‘home’.

“We have celebrated dances for every hundredth month and one for 21 years thrown in for good measure. And now we have reach our 60th year.

“It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of friendships have been made along the way, and its still going.”

The group has welcomed many dancers from home and abroad, and the band itself also provided music BBC radio programmes such as The Dancing English, Home Spun and The Archers.

And dances are as popular as ever with up to a hundred people packing into the Salford Road hall.

The special anniversary dance will include an appearance from former members including fiddler John Masterson, one of the original founders. There will also be a dance display by The Wayfarers.

The dance starts at 7.30pm and is a ticket only event. Visit www.bidfordfolkdances.co.uk for further details.

The Bidford Square Dance Band has been leading the dances since the start. (s)

The fashions may have changed but the music remains the same. (s)

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