Woodvale IFDG

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*** 15th June 1986 ***

Dancing in the Embankment Gardens London, with Merton Park. A bit of a challenge, 8 of us joining Merton with no joint rehearsal, a long and narrow stage and one of the hottest days of the year.

*** 28th June 1986 ***

Benenden Chest Hospital. A bit of a disaster. The first people to arrive got there a few minutes before we were supposed to start. We had a “cupboard” to change in, with no air!! We managed to delay the start for an hour as 4 people still hadn’t arrived and hastily rearranged the programme and began part way through. We were dancing two flights of steps from the nearest place we could get the music. A long run to start the tape and join in.

*** 4th October 1986 ***

President’s Evening for Soroptimist International Maidstone in Corpus Christi Hall. 45mins late starting, In Bourée Pastourelle (with 4 couples) we had 3 men going one way and 5 girls the other. They ended up with the wrong partners. In Picking Up Sticks David went wrong.

By the time we finished the bar was shut and 4 dancers missed the table they had booked for a meal afterwards. The evening was a success and we had a wonderful letter of praise.

*** Archive Spot 1980's ***

The demos, walks, and barbecues are now a well established feature of the calendar. This decade saw our first Folk Safari with Merton Park, our one and only jumble sale, our first meal out and the start of our very popular annual outings.

Costume wise we debuted some new costumes in 1984. They represent the French regions of Auvergne, Bordeaux and Burgundy.

1980 - Our First Folk Safari

We joined Merton Park for a Folk Safari in June 1980. We started off on Meopham Green, then Offham Green and the Quintain, then via Tonbridge Castle to The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells. This became an annual event, and nowadays it is every other year.


In October we performed our most ambitious demo since "See How They Dance". We were dancing for the Tunbridge Wells and District Retired Post Office and Civil Service staff. 4 sets with a quick change between each one.

Scandinavian - 7 dances in Norwegian costume.

Israeli - 6 dances in Israeli costume.

Austrian & German - 4 dances in Austrian costume.

Mixed session - 6 dances (Czech, Romanian, Greek, French, English and Italian).

We also had them joining in with Kasibah, Djatchko Kolo and Virginia Reel.


*** 3rd July 1985 ***

Royal Victoria Hall Southborough. On the tickets it was billed as (and I quote) “An Evening Of Food And Dance with The Milk Marketing Board and The Woodvale International Folk Dance Group” – what a combination !!

Disastrous Demos & A Cancelled Dance

20th Anniversary Celebrations

*** 20th April 1985 ***

C.C.P.R. Golden Jubilee show, Royal Albert Hall, London.

*** 17th/20th May 1985 ***

Visit to Chalons-sur-Marne for the International Arts Festival. It was their 15th anniversary celebrations.

*** 26th October 1985 ***

Autumn Dance. Musician Wilf and M.C.s Ian and the Gruesome Twosome. £2 All proceeds for Folk Against Famine. We sent them £70 for 70 blankets for use in a refugee camp on the Sudanese / Etheopian border. The whole campaign raised over £12,000.

*** 1st February 1986 ***

Wye Agricultural College for a new venture for us. We ran a teaching session and a barn dance + a demo.

*** 10th May 1986 ***

S.I.F.D. 40th Anniversary Dance. M.C.s Charles Steventon, Simon Guest, Frances Horocks and demos by Merry Andrew and Zivko Firfov.

*** 22nd April 1989 ***

Blisworth W.I. Our biggest demo for several years. We performed dances in four “sets” – Tyrolean (Austrian costume), Scandinavian (Norwegian costume), French (French costume) and a mixture from other countries in a mixture of costumes. We also revived Hopak as a demo dance and it went down very well.

*** 25th / 27th March 1988 ***

What an ambitious way to celebrate our anniversary, a whole weekend of events.


25th March – Friday – meet French guests from Chalons, have a fish and chip supper and a dance swap. The French visitors didn’t arrive because of a docks strike.

26th March – Outing to Chartwell House and Westerham. 14 of us went and met Pete, Penny and Mark there, lunch in the cafeteria. 6:00 up at the hall getting ready for the Anniversary dance at 8:00. We had a special anniversary cake with our logo on it. The tickets were £4.00 but this was because of a champagne toast. We presented our helpers with some special gifts including a waistcoat for Wilf (and a Folk Dance book and Life membership) and some pottery goblets with the Woodvale logo on them. Ian, Jean and Eileen cut the anniversary cake.


27th March – Afternoon walk in Knole Park, tea (American supper style) at Alan and Jenny’s.

*** 9th December 1986 ***

Borough Green Christmas Lights switching on evening. We were asked to do this at very short notice. We did 4 energetic dances as it was a cold night. Another minor panic as one person didn’t turn up and two others came in the wrong costume. Still it went down well.

*** 17th October 1987 ***

This was to be the evening of our Autumn dance, but the night before there had been “The Worst Storm Ever” raging over the South of England. We could not use the hall and so cancelled the dance. Many roads were blocked and several places were without electricity for hours. Borough Green didn’t have any electricity until Saturday night, which is why we could not hold the dance.

Disastrous Demos continued







1980's - Odds And Ends

Romance Blossoms

Sevenoaks Chronicle photo shoot and article entitled “Romance blossoms on the folk dance floor” The paper came out on 16th April 1983. The front cover picture was of Heather (marrying Gordon on the 9th April), Pete & Penny (9th April), John & Geraldine (18th June), Alan (marrying Jenny on the 27th August)



1980 October Dance Ticket pushpin1 1980 January Cecil Sharp Group2 1980 December 31st Norwegian