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North Skelton Sword Dancers

It tells on the photograph where it was taken but I don’t know when do you? Graham Harrison told us: ”The man behind the accordionist is Thomas Jackson of North Skelton, my grandfather”. He has also advised: ”I have just found a newspaper clipping showing the above photograph. It gives the dancers names (left to right): R. Wallis, J Hugill, J.T Hunter, B. Harrison, T. Batterbee, George Hugill, T. Jackson, G. Porte. Kneeling: Robert Evans and George Tremain.” Keith Thompson assists with: “The picture was taken in 1925 when the team won the Cowen Trophy at the seventh North of England Musical Tournament held on the 23rd May in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was a trophy presented by Miss Jane Cowen in memory of her father Frank who was a philanthropic owner of a Brick Works, he formed the first Co-operative Store in the North East based on the Rochdale model. The trophy was normally competed for and won by Rapper Dancing Teams (short sword or Pit Man’s dancing) by teams such as Winlaton or Newbiggin; their winning it caused a lot of upset. So much so that the next year 1926, Long Sword teams competed for a new cup presented by the same lady, The Cecil Sharp Memorial Trophy, which they duly won on 28th May 1926.The Cowen Trophy disappeared and resurfaced in 1998 the whereabouts of the Cecil Sharp Trophy isn’t known. Reports of the victory in 1925 were reported in The North Mail & Newcastle Daily Chronicle 25th May 1925 & similarly in the same papers there next triumph featured on page 2 on the 31st May 1926.”  Peter Appleton advises: ”Based of the facial features and the date, the R Evans kneeling on the left side of the photo will be one of my great-uncles: Robert Evans. He was born in 1900, married Melinda Muriel Thomas in 1927, had at least three children, and died in 1966.”

Image (from The Key magazine) courtesy of Eric Johnson and thanks to Graham Harrison, Keith Thompson,  Peter Appleton and Geoff Porte for the updates.

Well Done Boys

The newspaper cutting says it all, do you remember this, were you one of these dancers? We would love to hear your story.

Image and newspaper cutting courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

Relaxing Break

Bet you wish it was something stronger boys, the performance is over and after the strain of appearing in London’s Albert Hall the members of the Loftus Sword Dancers relax with a soft drink.

Image and information courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

London 1953

Feeding the birds in Trafalgar Square before dancing at the Albert Hall.
Back row: Eric Tyreman, Billy Kitchener, Maurice Wright, Arthur Marshall (Musician).

Front row: Mr H Norminton (Group Leader), Ken Taylor, Colin Beedle, Terry Boyes, John Hill.

Image courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle and thanks to John Hill for the names update.

Llangollen Eisteddfod

A lovey memory jerking newspaper cutting of the first team of sword dancers, with their trophy from Llangollen. The article continued with: “The Loftus sword dancing team which shared in the first prize in the folk dancing competition at Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Back row: Terry Boyes, William Kitchener, Mr. H. Norminton Headmaster of Loftus County Modern School who was in charge of the school party, Colin Beedle, Eric Tyreman, and Mr. A. J. Marshall (accompanist). In the front row are Kenneth Taylor and Maurice Wright.” Are there any of you out there willing to share your memories of that day?

Image courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

Mr Norminton With The Dancers

Nice to see all the faces of the dancers, 1951 when it all started for the Festival of Britain celebrations,  who thought these young men would have won so much. Pictured in Westfield Park (now known as Coronation Park):
Mr Norminton, Eric Tyreman, Colin Beedle, William Kitchener, Terry Boyes, Arthur Marshall. In front holding the lock: Kenny Taylor and Maurice Wright.

Image courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

Arty With The Dancers

A promotional photograph with the English Folk Dance Society logo. Janet Lingard said: “It looks like Coronation Park?” Colin Beedle told us: ”When the pictures were taken it was called Westfield Park but was then changed to Coronation Park.” (This change occurred after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.)

Image and details courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle, thanks to Janet Lingard and Colin Beedle for the updates.

Under the Swords

Lovely to see Arty under the swords. Not a normal part of the routine in sword dancing!

Image and details courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

Lovely Lock

Locking the swords is not easy to do. To get it so perfect, no sticky tape, no magnets; just the interweaving of the swords. Nice one boys.

Image and information concerning locking of swords courtesy of Colin and Malcolm Beedle.

Loftus County Modern – 1956 – Sword Dance Club

Back Row: David Robinson, William Morrish, Tony Walker, Robert Jackson, Donald Burdon, Eric Lancaster, Keith Wilkinson, Barry Johnson, Barry Starsmore, Tony Hardy, Herbie Holliday, David Bramwell.

Middle Row: Mr Harold Norminton, Derek Cuthbert, Eric Johnson, Peter Dobson, Mike Pearson, Wilf Hodge, John Jefferson, Mr Arthur Marshall.

Front Row: ?? , Roger Hall, Alistair Bailes, Frank Chapman, Colin Fenby, Neil Dales.

Image courtesy of Eric Johnson.