Performing in the Albert Hall

Yes, I have been part of a performance in the Albert Hall. It must have been about 1959 and my junior school were invited to have a dance troupe to perform in the interval of an English Folk Dance and Song Society concert.  I was involved in a sword dance which, from our school was an all-male affair. The local press photographer came to the school to take a photo of us.


Maybe maypole dancing was part of the Albert Hall event as well, but I don’t remember that.

I’m the chap holding the star of swords (OK they were thin laths of wood in our case. I recall that the high spot of the dance was when we grouped in a circle and interlocked them and then danced around in a circle with me holding the assembled swords above my head.

Two of my best friends from junior school days are amongst we bobble hatted swordsmen. Second from left is John Duggan and second from right is Allan Barren.

The amazing thing here is that I may well have been appearing on the floor of the Albert Hall along with my future and then unknown wife. For her school, too, did a sword dance at an English Folk Dance and Song Society event in the Albert Hall. At her school, they had a mixed gender group and she was in it. In fact loads of schools were doing this sword dance, all at the same time.

My wife recalls that one of the eight in her troupe got lost and ended up with another school. That meant they couldn’t interlock swords successfully until the missing member was shunted back into place by what must have been a Morris dancing ‘fool’.

Happy days!


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One Response to “Performing in the Albert Hall”

  1. Janet Says:

    Reblogged this on Janet’s thread and commented:
    Morris Dancing has always fascinated me. I like all folk dancing but Morris dancing especially. Old England an atmosphere of Thomas Hardy in Dorset or Constable in Ipswich.

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