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Maureen Robson Tribute 2019

Maureen in the centre set dancing More than Friends – a dance she devised

A great contingent of Johnsonville dancers joined Tawa Club at a special dance on 7 December at Ngaio Town Hall to pay tribute to Maureen Robson who is retiring after teaching the Club for 38 years.

The eight sets on the floor, together with other friends and former dancers as spectators, enjoyed a programme of dances specially chosen by Maureen.

Some were dances she had devised, others were of special significance and one, The King of Spain’s Daughter, was devised for her by local devisor Iain Boyd.

Dancing Busy B

One of the dances of significance was Busy B, devised by Maureen for her granddaughter Brianna who was busy training to be a nurse.

The dance was the winner of the Scottish Country Dance Club of Canberra 2018 Scottish Country Dance Devisers’ competition and is published in The Second Canberra Book of Scottish Country Dances.

Special dancing friends of Maureen and fellow tutors, Philippa Pointon (Johnsonville Club President 2001-2003) and Melva Waite, briefed the dances while Hilary Ferral and Aileen Logie provided the music—which for dances from Maureen’s book From North to South included tunes composed by Peter Elmes and arranged by Aileen.

Melva and Désirée Patterson gave speeches of thanks to Maureen for her dedication to Tawa Club along with anecdotes of her dancing life. One outstanding feature was Maureen’s commitment to ‘theme nights’ at the Club, both for arranging programmes of relevant dances that were appropriate to the themes and for her marvellous costumes.

John Patterson produced posters of photos Maureen had taken over her years of tenure at the Club and these were displayed on the walls of the hall. also developed a visual photo show which dancers could watch between dances.

Maureen with her Tribute from the Wellington Region. Barbara Kent, a former Johnsonville Tutor, is sitting next to Alan Robson.

Ann Oliver, RSCDS Wellington Region President, presented Maureen with a framed Tribute in appreciation of her support, commitment and dedication to all dancers, tutors and musicians of the Region.

Maureen and husband Alan are originally from Northumberland in England.

A highlight of the evening was A medley of tunes from North-East England … with some ‘different’ lyrics – by musicians and singers from Tawa Club.

The ‘different’ words to songs well-known in the North-East of England were written by Moggie Grayson, who both sings and plays guitar.

Watch a video of the item filmed by John Patterson below.

One spectator particularly welcomed by Johnsonville dancers was Barbara Kent, a former tutor of Johnsonville Club.

Maureen and Alan were also Johnsonville Club members in years gone by, also tutoring and serving on the committee, so we too have benefited from their service to Scottish Country Dancing. See more about Maureen’s contribution to dancing

Thank you to Tawa Club for arranging such as special and happy evening as a tribute to Maureen’s contributions to Scottish Country Dancing.

Click here to see more of Loralee Hyde’s photos

See Pat Reesby’s videos of the evening below.

Rod and Kristin Downey: Honorary Life Memberships

Rod and Kristin with their Honorary Life Membership certificates

To great acclaim from the nine sets of dancers at Johnsonville’s Tartan and Final Night on 25 November 2019, Club Tutor Rod Downey and President Kristin Downey were awarded Honorary Life Memberships of Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club.

Rod and Kristin both started dancing at Johnsonville in 1991. Club member Loralee Hyde (Club President 1998-2000) has known them since that time and she undertook considerable research to prepare extensive commendations for their Honorary Life Memberships—which she presented during the evening.

As well as detailing Rod and Kristin’s significant achievements during their time at Johnsonville, the commendations provide a comprehensive history of the activities and the essence of our very successful Club over the last few decades.

Rod Downey: Tutor

Within a couple of  years of starting dancing, Rod began training as a tutor. He got his full RSCDS certificate in 1996 and very soon after that, Rod took over from Marjorie Crawford as Club Tutor at Johnsonville.

For 23 years now, Rod has dedicated considerable time and energy to develop dancers at Johnsonville and contribute to Scottish Country Dancing in the Wellington Region, New Zealand and internationally.

In a piece Rod wrote in 2016 about what he most enjoys about Scottish Country Dancing, he said:

  • The wonderful music, the rare instances where you are completely in sync with the music as a dancer, and the flow of formations of a really well constructed dance, together with the technical challenge of making less well constructed dances work
  • Teaching and seeing people happy and improving in their dancing
  • Seeing the club develop into a supportive and caring environment with the necessary sense of humour.

This year, in his paper Mathematics, Computer Science and Scottish Country Dancing, Rod said, “To me the music is the core of Scottish Country Dancing… As a dancer I love a great set of tunes… As a teacher, I consider the musical structure of my programmes for social dances as a key element.”

As tutor, Rod endeavours to help members understand and master phrasing to enable the flow of the dance from one figure to the next (and thereby increase their happiness and improve their dancing).

Rod works hard to give all dancers a good time, no matter the level of dancing experience. He brings energy, enthusiasm, experience and great music to beginners’ classes, Club nights, and social events.

As a bonus, Club members are also privileged to dance the ‘world premieres’ of his new dances and progressions. Thank you Rod, for all you bring to the Club.

Download the Rod Downey Honorary Life Membership Commendation

Kristin Downey: President

Rod and Kristin with Loralee

Kristin has always loved dancing of any sort, and things Scottish—the pipes, the music, the song and dance—so Scottish Country Dancing was a natural choice of activity.

Once she began, Kristin was hooked, loving the sheer joy of dancing, of working hard physically, of learning new things and how to do them well.

Along with her love of the dance, the music and the laughter and the spirit that is Scottish Country Dancing, Kristin has dedicated many years of service to the Club. She was Acting Secretary in her early years, served as Secretary for three years, Treasurer for three years and President since 2009.

Over her terms as President, Kristin has kept the Club aim of ‘fun, fitness and friendship’ to the fore while implementing innovative and appealing activities that help build Club membership and community spirit.

And it is important to note that at all times, Kristin credits the committed teams working with her (including the tutor, office bearers, committee members, supper team and many other volunteers) for the success of a wide range of endeavours.

In her 2018 paper, Recruitment and Retention of New Dancers at Johnsonville, Kristin detailed an extensive array of strategies she and the Committee and tutor have put in place since 2012 to actively recruit new dancers each year and retain experienced dancers.

Results speak for themselves—the Club has increased membership from 23 dancers in 2012 to 78 this year.

Johnsonville Club’s underlying philosophy is one of good humour, having fun, and increasing participation with a goal of building an inclusive community of dancers.

Kristin’s significant contributions have helped ensure the Club community spirit continues to shine through, growing stronger every year. Thank you, Kristin for the great impact you have made.

Download the Kristin Downey Honorary Life Membership Commendation

Click here for more of Loralee’s photos of the evening

Tartan and Final Night

Dancing Jim Dougal of Eyemouth

What a final night we had on 25 November, our last ever night of dancing at Johnsonsonville School Hall.

With MC Rod at the helm, the hall was alive with dancing fun, fine music, chat and laughter.

Nine sets of dancers made for a very special night, with toe-tapping music by Lynne Scott, Sharlene Penman, Richard Hardie and Ann Goodbehere.

It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without the three sets of dancers from other clubs who joined us in marking the end of our 49 year relationship with Johnsonville School.

Rod and Kristin with their Honorary Life Membership certificates

The highlight of the evening was the awarding of Honorary Life Memberships of Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club to our Tutor Rod Downey and President Kristin Downey.

See the details of their significant achievements during their time at Johnsonville and their full commendations

The commendations also provide a comprehensive history of the activities and the essence of our very successful Club over the last few decades.

Many thanks to all the Johnsonville Club members who pitched in as always to make it such a successful night.

See more of Loralee Hyde’s photos of the evening here

Download the Johnsonville Final Night 2019 Programme

Becoming a double agent

Désirée and Robert recently shared their experiences of having Double the Fun dancing at both Johnsonville and Tawa clubs.

Below, Moira Broughton writes about dancing at her second club – Ngaio, and the advantages of being a ‘Double Agent’.

Moira with other Ngaio dancers dressed in colours of the rainbow at Tawa’s fun night in May 2015.

I discovered Scottish Country Dancing in February 2014 when I attended the beginners classes at Johnsonville club.

I was quickly enthralled and keen to improve my dancing but could not attend the Region’s evening classes which are always held on Tuesday nights.

I decided that the next best thing was to dance at another club so I began dancing on Thursday nights at Ngaio club which meets at the Khandallah Presbyterian church across from the New World supermarket.

There are many benefits to dancing at another club, quite apart from being able to dance twice each week. You are instructed by a different tutor who has a different style of teaching and emphasises different aspects of dancing, you learn more dances and you develop a wider circle of Scottish Country Dancing friends.

Ngaio is a small club (a full two sets is a good night!), there is a good ratio of experienced dancers to beginners and each dance is walked several times until the dancers are confident, which makes it an excellent club for beginners. I can still recall that on one of my early visits to Ngaio, Melva patiently demonstrated the footwork for ‘advance and retire’ and we all practised this movement. It is not always possible to do this in large, busy clubs.

There are a number of us who attend other clubs. I was tickled pink when Elena Lark, one of Johnsonville’s class of 2019 and an extremely competent dancer, referred to herself as a ‘double agent’ who dances at both Johnsonville and Tawa. It seemed very apt since she is Russian (I apologise in advance for this Cold War era racial stereotyping, Elena – no offence is intended).

I recommend you try it out and become a double agent – try the clubs at Ngaio, Tawa or Capital City (Thursday), or Kelburn (Wednesday). You will see several faces that you know from Johnsonville and you will enjoy meeting other dancers in the Scottish Country Dancing community.

from Moira

Double the fun!

Johnsonville Club members Désirée, Elena, Maureen and Hilary dance ‘Farewell to Tawa’ at Tawa’s Final Night

How can you have even more fun than dancing at Johnsonville? You can dance at a second club as well!

Many of our members do just that – as club members or as visitors. Sandy, Rod and Stephen dance at Capital City Club.

Elizabeth N, Moira B, Moira S and Nancy dance at Ngaio Club as do Bruce and Fiona, who’ve recently been coming along to Johnsonville.

Johnsonville club regulars Désirée and John P, Elena, Maureen, Pat, and Robert, as well as Bob and Hilary dance at Tawa Club.

Find out more below about the advantages of dancing at two clubs from Johnsonville Club members Robert and Désirée.

Being a member of two clubs

Robert and Brenda dancing at the top of the set at the New Dancers’ Celebration 2018

Writing as a fairly new dancer with lots to learn I think it’s really good to belong to more than one club if you get the chance.

The obvious point is that you get to dance twice as much and there’s no doubt that the more you dance the more it starts to make sense, but there are lots of other advantages.

Different tutors teach in different ways and give different explanations of how things are done.

When you dance at two clubs seeing the same things from more than one perspective definitely makes them easier to understand. You get that “Oh, that’s how it works” moment when some figure has seemed very confusing the last time you tried it.

Clubs have different favourite dances so you get to learn more dances if you dance twice a week. Clubs prepare for each other’s Tartan Nights and celebrations so if you go to two clubs you get to repeat dances – they become more familiar and you become more confident doing them.

Finally, if you dance twice a week you will definitely be fitter! Lots of Johnsonville members, experienced and less experienced, dance at other clubs and it’s definitely worth doing if you can.

from Robert

Tawa Club’s Final Night

On Thursday 14 November, Tawa Scottish Country Dance Club had their final club night for the year. This was an especially final ‘final night’, as it was the last time that retiring tutor Maureen Robson was at the helm.

The programme consisted of club members’ favourites, and there was a demonstration of a new dance Maureen had devised for the occasion, called Farewell to Tawa. Watch Pat’s video below.

John P took photos during the evening – view them on the Tawa Club Facebook page

It was a busy night with six sets on the floor, a bit of a squish, but we had fun. Members from three other small clubs had been invited to join us (Ngaio, Kelburn and Linden). The reason we can’t extend the invitation to all clubs, is that the Redwood Hall is small, and six sets is about all it can cope with.

Ngaio/Johnsonville member Moira B attended, as did Ngaio members Bruce and Fiona, who have been dancing at Johnsonville lately. Several Johnsonville members – Maureen S, Hilary, Elena, Robert, Pat, Bob, John P and myself – are also members of Tawa.

I can thoroughly recommend belonging to more than one club. You get to dance more often, and so you learn more quickly. It is also very good to be exposed to different teachers, as all have their own styles.

from Désirée

Thanks for all the dancing

Aileen, Hilary, Maureen and Désirée

Tawa premiered a new dance at their penultimate club night for the year.

Called Thanks for All the Dancing, the dance is dedicated to Tawa’s tutor Maureen Robson, who is retiring from teaching Tawa after having been the club’s tutor for 38 years!

Désirée Patterson devised the dance and Hilary Ferral composed the music. Musicians on the night were Hilary and Aileen Logie. Watch Pat’s video below.

Photos: John Patterson
Videos: Pat Reesby

Dancing with Robert

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).

AGM and Samhain/Halloween 2019

Johnsonville Scottish Country Dance Club AGM 2019

As in the last few years, we combined the Club AGM with a celebration of the Scottish tradition of Samhain (Halloween).

With Rod dancing we had five sets on the floor, and a good smattering of witch’s hats, capes, pitchforks and themed t-shirts adding to the atmosphere.

We also welcomed a few unwary visitors who patiently waited through our AGM for the second half of the dancing programme – nice to see Bruce and Fiona, Kair, and Tom.  Commiserations to two of our dancing witches (Désirée and Loralee) who were missing due to illness.

As requested at last year’s AGM, minutes and reports were emailed prior. Less reading of reports moved the meeting along and allowed more time for discussion, especially the topic of change of venue for club night.

Kristin took great pleasure in honouring four of the 2019 committee members with service awards – read about awards to Elaine Rowse, Allison Kay, Maureen Sullivan and Nancy Tay.

Our new committee for 2020 was elected. Congratulations and many thanks to Allison, Charles, Elizabeth N, John H, John M, Maureen and Robert for offering your time and energy in the Club’s service. And of course to Rod who continues as our tutor.

Thanks to all those who came along to make up a quorum, help with decision making, and enjoy our fun night of Samhain-themed dances, music and supper treats.

As usual Rod brought us excitement on the dance floor. We ran the gamut of werewolves (The Scottish Werewolf), fairies (The Fairy Dance), snakes (Slytherin House), witches (Dancin’ Witches), the ghostly music of the big grey man in Ferla Mor and finally the frantic fun of Ellwyn’s Fairy Glen.

Elizabeth made our supper very special, this year managing to create both Halloween and Guy Fawkes themed goodies! Thank you Rod and Elizabeth for your efforts.

And thanks to John Patterson for his photos of the night – dancing fun, and AGM deliberations. See more of his photos here

2019 Presentations: To members in recognition of service

It is always a pleasure to honour the contributions members have made to the club across the year.

Elaine Rowse (service as secretary and newsletter editor)

Elaine is standing down from the committee after two years as club secretary and newsletter editor. She generously took on the role at the end of 2017 before she had even completed her first year of dancing with the club.

This is quite a demanding job, especially as a new dancer, when you are still finding your way in the dancing world. It means you’re not free to focus just on your own dancing, you need to be thinking about many other things on club nights.

The secretary’s role is pivotal in keeping us all informed. For Elaine it has involved keeping abreast of all the events in the region, keeping up a flow of information, and the weekly commitment of producing the club newsletter. This is in addition to correspondence, collation of membership information, attending committee meetings and contributing to club events.

Elaine has brought her great organisational skills to the role, while continuing to run her own business. She also made life much easier for new dancers over the last two years, kindly bringing a selection of her dancing shoes along to club for dancers to try on and purchase (missing out on her own dancing to do that).

Her final contribution to the committee was the excellent suggestion that we split the secretarial and newsletter responsibilities of the role, which is what we have done for the new committee. By separating the administrative and communications aspects, it creates two more manageable roles each with its own focus.

Thank you Elaine for all you have given to the club.

Allison Kay (service as treasurer and more)

Allison took on the role of acting treasurer in 2014 when Barbara Thompson was no longer well enough to continue. She has continued as treasurer for 5 more years since then, and is a great asset to the club for much more than her weekly banking duties.

She reliably keeps the accounts up to date, has an intimate knowledge of the finances, and pro-actively advises the committee in our financial decision making.

Over time her role has become busier. Increasing numbers of club members each year, and increased numbers of social events mean she has to manage and monitor more payments of both club subs and registration fees.

With the move to a shared annual dance over the last two years, Allison has been part of the joint annual dance sub-committee, with responsibility for the budget and accounts. She is also responsible for processing RSCDS payments, never an easy task.

Separately from her treasurer role, over the last few years she has been kitchen co-ordinator for our winter social dance and dinner, and her mulled wine has become a highlight of the night.

Finally she is a great support and a “safe pair of hands” for the club when I am overseas. I have been overseas a lot in the last few years, leaving her with extra responsibility. Thank you Allison for your continuing commitment to the club.

Maureen Sullivan (service as committee member with special responsibilities)

Maureen has been a dedicated committee member for the last three years. If my memory serves me right, she has attended every committee meeting, tartan night and event and rarely (if ever) missed a club night. And that is despite the fact that she is also a member of Tawa club.

Since she joined the committee she has always been happy to help in any way she can, and has taken on many extra duties including:

  • co-ordinating the potluck contributions for the summer ceilidh
  • co-ordinating the hall volunteer roster when Rod and I have been away
  • taking on the responsibility for opening up the hall in our absence, and always being there for hall setup
  • giving event notices at supper, and all notices when I’m away
  • maintaining a listing of events for the noticeboard, and as a reference
  • standing in when no member of the executive is at club

She is always willing, completely reliable, and has made a great contribution to the smooth running of the club and to my peace of mind whether I’m here or away.

Thank you Maureen for all that you have done, and continue to do.

Nancy Tay (service as a committee member)

Nancy put up her hand to join the committee last year when we made a call for extra members. As with Elaine, it is quite a big ask to join the committee as a first year dancer, but Nancy is both a responsible and giving person, so she made that commitment.

It is always valuable to have a new dancer on the committee. Those of us who’ve been dancing a while can forget what it’s like, so we’ve really appreciated Nancy’s input and her caring nature. She is standing down from the committee this year to focus on family responsibilities, but she will continue to serve the club in whatever way she can help most. Thank you Nancy.

John Munro: Shooglenifty melodies

John Munro at the New Dancers’ Celebration dancing with Catherine McCutcheon who often teaches at Johnsonville

Past Johnsonville Club member (and current Carterton dancer) John Munro tells us about a Shooglenifty concert in Carterton and the Wairarapa’s Kokomai Creative Festival.

While Wellingtonians were immersed in WOW, us Wairarapa folk were diving into Kokomai – that’s not a local swimming hole it’s a 10 day Festival of music, writers, dance, art, etc.

I started quietly with a rare opportunity to visit the privately-owned Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration and view the interior. This little gem, built by a Greek immigrant who owned a fish and chip shop in Masterton, sits prettily in a field to the west of the town.

Every inch of the interior is decorated in glowing icons that give the effect of medieval stained-glass windows. There are over 800 figures that Stephen Allwood painted when he was a 19 year old student at Canterbury’s art school.

I ended noisily with the Shoogles. Shooglenifty are seven musicians from the Scottish Highlands, Orkney and Edinburgh. They fuse traditional and traditional-sounding melodies with the beats of modern music.

It’s high energy and high volume and the 210 (I asked) attendees were attentive but not inclined to dance out front in the first half. At the break the bar was busy and in the second half the vocalist Kaela Rowan invited someone to join her at the front to demo the Canadian Barn Dance

Curiously the first to volunteer was an older man with a walking stick! That wasn’t a great start but luckily some more agile people became involved and soon there were about 30 dancers happily leaping around, although ceilidh moves were in the minority.

Overall I found Shoogles traditional melodies hard to detect but I’m hanging out for Marian and Max at the Carterton Annual Dance.

From John Munro, 24 October 2019

New Dancers’ Celebration 2019

The Wellington Region New Dancers’ Celebration on 12 October at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was a lot of fun, with a festive atmosphere and a great turnout from Johnsonville.

Sixteen of our first and second year dancers attended, supported by fifteen of our experienced dancers, plus Hilary in the band.

Rod and Jeanette had prepared us well. Quite a few of our new dancers also took advantage of the two Region preparation sessions taken by Maureen Robson who was MC for the evening.

Thank you for the great effort by Tawa Club in organising such a successful event.

It was fantastic to see 18 sets of dancers up and enjoying their dancing to rousing music by Aileen, Don, Hilary and Terry.

Events like this give us the opportunity to catch up with dancing friends.

It was a pleasure to chat with with Johnsonville past secretary John Munro, and to see past members Judy and Don Keating amongst the dancers.

Thank you to John Patterson for his photos of the evening. Click here to see more of the fun our dancers had

Dancing in Heidelberg

Our tutor Rod Downey has visited Heidelberg many times over the years to work with colleagues at Heidelberg University, and has always been welcomed by the Heidelberg SchlossDancers – named after Heidelberg’s famous schloss (castle).

As in the United States, local dancers regularly travel quite long distances to dance at multiple neighbouring clubs (like Frankfurt and Darmstadt), and to attend special events like balls, weekend schools and highland games.

In 2017 and 2018 we were both in Heidelberg for extended visits relating to Rod’s Humboldt fellowship. Local dancers went out of their way to offer us rides to dancing in Heidelberg and Frankfurt and took Rod along to a ball in Karlsruhe.

Rod in the eurythmy hall at the Waldorf School

Dancing with the Heidelberg group gave us the opportunity to dance in the eurythmy hall of the Waldorf School, set amongst trees, with beautiful wood floors, and racks of colourful eurythmy capes used by the students for their movement classes. It had a really beautiful feel.

We quickly got into the local culture of trips to the ice cream parlour every week after dancing, and the local specialty of ‘spaghetti’ ice cream.

It may have taken a little longer to get used to our fellow dancers changing out of their day clothes and into their dancing clothes pretty much where they stood (and where you were standing too, without any expectations that someone was about to drop trews).

As well as the dancing, we loved cycling along the Neckar. We have strong memories of the smell of fresh strawberries growing in the fields we cycled through, and cows looking out from an ancient barn next to a favourite Biergarten stop.

Just makes you want to dance really.

Kristin Downey, 9 October 2019