Dancing with Robert: Eastbourne and Carterton

Club members Mandy and Pat dancing at the Carterton Annual Dance. Photo: John P

Our new Club secretary Robert is a keen dancer, travelling with wife Brenda (a Tawa Club member) throughout Wellington and to the Wairarapa to get his fill of dancing.

He was joined by Désirée, Maureen, Sandy and Wendy at Eastbourne’s final night, while Désirée and John P, Jeanette, Mandy and Pat also made the trip to Carterton’s Annual Dance.

See more about Robert’s experiences at Eastbourne and Carterton below.

Eastbourne Final Night

Several Johnsonville members enjoyed the drive round the bays to Eastbourne on the night before Hallowe’en  (Wednesday 30 October) to enjoy Eastbourne’s Final Night at the Muritai School Hall.

The dances were themed round a journey, so after warming up at Rona Bay and attending the Highland Fair, we caught the Royal Deeside Railway to Balmoral for a Strathspey.

After that  we clocked up an awful  lot of air miles (via the City of Belfast, a Trip to Bavaria, and some Australian Ladies, among others) and ended up back home with Pelorus Jack.

The dances were walked in advance which made it a whole lot easier and a delicious meal was provided at the end. Many thanks to Eastbourne Club for entertaining us so well and to Aileen Logie and Hilary Ferral for some great music.

Carterton Annual Dance

On the Saturday night of the same week, quite a few Johnsonville members were “over the hill” at the annual dance at Carterton, The Scarecrow Caper, held during the annual Carterton Scarecrow Festival.

As well as members who came from around Wellington, former Johnsonville Secretary John Munro who lives locally was in attendance.

We danced in the very smart and spacious Carterton Events Centre accompanied by Scottish musicians Marian Anderson and Max Ketchin. We had at least eight sets, presided over by scarecrows Petronella and Fair Donald plus quite a few of their scarecrow friends.

There were lots of dances, and nearly all of them were familiar from Club nights, (although that did not necessarily mean that I got them right!). Just over half way through the evening  the Carterton Club laid on a huge and delicious supper out in the foyer.

After the supper interval one of the dances was a new one written for the Scarecrow Caper called appropriately The Capering Scarecrows. Fortunately we got to walk that one, as it was a bit complicated, but there were lots of experienced dancers among the sets to offer advice.

We finished soon after 11:00pm with the very popular Reel of the 51st Division. At that point those who had been wise enough to book somewhere for the night could go back to their motel while the rest had to face the trip back to Wellington, but it was a lovely starry night and there was hardly any traffic at that hour.

Thanks to Carterton Club for a  great night’s dancing. my only regret was I had to get up at 7:00 the next morning.

The Capering Scarecrows

Enjoy watching  Johnsonville members (and our guest tutor Catherine) dancing in Pat’s video of The Capering Scarecrows at the Carterton Annual Dance – you can catch glimpses of Robert and Brenda dancing in the set to the left).

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