Dancing shoes with a Royal connection

Two pairs of donated dancing shoes recently arrived in our club secretary Robert’s mailbox. Read about the history of these shoes from the donor’s daughter Pru Galloway.

It’s really nice to pass these on and it turns out there is a royal connection (well almost!).

My parents Jean and John Galloway bought the shoes for Queen Elizabeth II’s royal visit in January 1954.

Prior to that my dad had danced in his ‘sand shoes’ and they were mum’s first dancing shoes (she was a very recent convert to Scottish dancing after marrying Dad in 1953).

Jean and John Galloway in fancy dress in the 1970s. Jean is wearing her dancing shoes!

My mum is now 91 and dad is deceased, but mum remembers they were members of the Caledonian Dancing Club in Wellington. They were invited to dance for the Queen at the Basin Reserve as she was staying close by at Government House and it was thought she could easily attend. On the day, they danced as planned, but the Queen didn’t appear!

In mid-1954 mum and dad left Wellington for Mangakino (Dad was a hydro dam engineer] where there was no Scottish Country Dancing club, so the shoes were never worn much. I believe the laces are original. They have been living safely in mum’s camphor wood chest ever since. She has just moved into a rest home so we are pleased to hand them on.

They don’t fit me or I might be tempted to join your club!

A little more on the Scots connection. Dad was born in Banff in Scotland and grew up in Perth, he studied engineering at Glasgow University and emigrated to New Zealand after the war to take up a lectureship at Victoria University. He met mum in Wellington.

Pru Galloway

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