2013 - Autumn Weekend in Eastbourne – Report
The Old Time Dance Society held its 2013 Autumn Weekend from Friday 25th October
till Monday 28th October at the beautiful Sussex seaside resort of Eastbourne.
Our hotels for the weekend were the Chatsworth and its sister hotel next door, the
Mansion Hotel. Both hotels were situated right on the sea front just a short walk
from Eastbourne’s Victorian Pier and the town’s main shopping centre. Our dance venue
for each evening was the magnificent Assembly Hall in the Town Hall with a wealth
of Victorian architecture, huge statues and a very grand staircase leading to the
beautiful Ballroom. Only two days before our weekend began, we heard the unfortunate
news that our musician for the weekend Malcolm Wilce had become unwell and would
be unable to play for us. To get a replacement at such short notice was bound
to be extremely difficult if not impossible but at the last minute David Ingley was
able to adjust his very busy schedule to play for us on the Friday night. The remaining
two evenings the leaders and MC’s brought with them their own selection of recorded
Our leaders and MC’s for the Friday evening were David & Wendy Griffiths. Along
with 121 members who had travelled from far and wide and also local dancers from
the Eastbourne & East Grinstead dance clubs they got the weekend off to a good start.
On Saturday morning the Old Time Dance Society held its AGM in the Assembly Hall.
The meeting commenced at 10-30am with a large number of the members in attendance.
As James Forster had decided not to re-stand this year and no other nominations
had been received the 4 existing Committee members were reinstated to serve for a
further 2 years. This now reduces the Committee to 8 members as agreed.
The leaders and MC’s for the Saturday evening were by Tradition the societies Chairman
and his wife - Paul and Hazel Harding took to the floor and for the first time in
decades the leaders had to rely on recorded music (provided by themselves at very
short notice). We needn’t have worried as Paul and Hazel rose to the challenge
magnificently and an excellent evening of dancing followed. During the evening
a raffle was held and £220 was raised, sincere appreciation to everyone who supported
the raffle and so generously donated prizes. As we went to bed on the Saturday
evening we were reminded to put our clocks back by 1 hour. Some clearly misunderstood
the old adage of “Spring forward & Fall back” as some members had time for a very
long walk before breakfast!!
With all the news bulletins and newspaper headlines warning us of “UK BRACES ITSELF
FOR THE WORST STORM IN YEARS” although some members did venture out some members
decided staying in seemed to be the best option. As the Society is dedicated to
the enjoyment of Old Time Music and Dance it was these members who ignored the weather
outside and promptly gathered around the piano with the very talented pianist (and
dancer) Jonathan Grewcock in the chair and with choir master Pete Jephson at the
helm “they kept calm and carried on singing”
Sunday evening leaders and MC’s were the Society President and his wife – Fred &
Joyce Boast armed with a great and varied programme of traditional Old Time dances
and recorded music. An excellent evening of dancing with 8 sets up for the Caledonians.
By the time the coaches arrived to take us back to our hotels the “worst storm
in years” was in full cry with torrential rain lashed by gale force winds was attacking
us from all sides but - We really didn’t care!!! We had just enjoyed 3 nights of
great traditional Old Time Dancing what could be better than that?