++What people thought about it
This is a page for people you give their impressions, thoughts. feeling and memories of the reunion weekend. You can post them yourself but the first is from one of several emails thanking the organisers.
"It was great to see the memorabilia, to dance (and forget the moves!) again, to see the university but, most of all, to renew old friendships and acquaintances. It was interesting to see that we had all changed physically but how everyone's mannerisms and the way they talked really had not changed. I counted 10 out of the 16 English team from the Strathclyde IVFDF there. Jan enjoyed it too - she was a bit apprehensive before going as she knew no-one but her comment was how friendly and welcoming everyone was - it was nice to see that that had not changed at all!"
We asked a few people to write a bit that could go in the Alumni magazine. Here are some contributions -
"A myriad of memories, a day of delights! Arriving at Childs Hall to greet strange faces that metamorphosed into familiar friends as the intervening years evaporated. Trekking down to Whiteknights Lake for a glorious picnic and discovering more long lost souls. Preliminary dancing practice and a nostalgic slide show. Memorabilia galore to savour \x96 photographs, programmes, tickets, newspaper cuttings, costumes, letters from absent friends. And the main event \x96 the dance! A wonderful evening of socialising, Playford demos, entertaining reminiscences from our senior members, and most importantly, dancing to the excellent band with splendid direction from our past Master Callers. Over a hundred people attended, including smaller gatherings for a meal on Friday evening and a barbecue on Sunday. Congratulations and thanks to Brian, Judy, Andrew, Jane and Steve for organising a brilliant weekend." Peggy Hill
"There was the same enthusiasm and friendliness despite the greying hairs,
when the Reading University Union Folk dance Society met for a reunion in
September. Child's Hall rang again to the strains of some really super Folk
tunes from an accomplished band and the standard of dancing was excellent
although some of us had not kept up our practice.
In 1964 the old dance club members left en masse and there were just a
handful of scottish dancers meeting. A newly arrived postgraduate, a fourth
year linguist and a fresher initiated a new beginning and the club
flourished, becoming the largest club in the University. In its 25 year life
it covered English and Scottish dancing, Playford (historical ) and Morris
dancing and went on several foreign tours as well as performing at Festivals
Forty years after that first meeting we met again to remember all the ups
and downs. A few of us went out for a meal on Friday evening before braving
the now rather tatty accommodation at Childs. Saturday's picnic was full of
joyful greeting of well, or not so well remembered people. The photos
reminded us of just how much we had changed outwardly and how many of the
dances we could no longer dance without a reminder. After the evening dance,
the third floor kitchen must have wondered what was happening as it was
filled with middle aged youngsters with stories of irate Auberge owners
threatening to call the Belgian police, Rhubarb being served as a vegetable
in Holland, the team dancing over benches and tables in a traditional
farandol and other bizarre events.
As with many University clubs this was also a marriage market. It was good
to see that so many of the marriages had lasted more than 30 years and
people were still dancing with their spouses. Thank you to the committee for
organising such a wonderful weekend and we do not intend to leave it so long
before we meet again." Mary Meeks
"The Folk Dance Reunion in September 2004 was a timely reminder that, if you thought everyone else was looking rather old and wizened, you hadn\x92t been looking at yourself in the mirror recently. Lavish mutual compliments flew about: \x93I recognised you straightaway\x94, \x93 Your hair always was a little grey\x94,\x93 Your stoop really suits you\x94 and so on. Sometimes, it took a lot of social skill to hide that fact that you had no idea who you were talking to but mostly at least the voices were recognisable.
All this embarrassment was quickly lost in the excitement of coming together with a group of people that you hadn\x92t seen in many cases for nearly forty years. The years fell away as the dancing started, and, if the memory was not quite intact, little prompting was needed. Some of us still had our Playford costumes and, more astonishing still, could still get into them, despite the fact they had \x93shrunk\x94, which is, presumably, what really impressed the assembled company, rather than the quality of the dancing that followed \x85.
Our hosts at Child\x92s Hall did us proud and, for those of us, who had started our student days there in the year the Hall was opened, it was revealing to see that the dining hall furniture was, in part, original! The magnificent magnolia, on the other hand, is a new and beautiful addition to the courtyard, which was, thirty five years ago, a starkly bare space [see photo].
Thanks must go to our organiser, Brian Jones [1965 \x96 1968] who, for the second time now, has been the guiding hand behind the organisation of the event. We look forward to meeting again, sooner rather than later \x85\x85." Trevor Rigg [1965 \x96 1969]
What stuck in your mind?
- 17 Sep 2004