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RSCDS Wirral Branch Newsletter December 2009


									N EWSLET TER
December 2010                                RSCDS Wirral Branch         

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, Wirral Branch                            Registered Charity 1063531

Class Dates
                                                            Category        Subscription         Benefits
Spring Term 2011
Start Tuesday    4th January 2011
      Wednesday 5th January 2011                         Adult Single      £15               Membership
                                                         (25+)                               card and
End    Tuesday         12th April 2011                                                       magazines
       Wednesday       13th April 2011
                       (15 weeks)                        Adult Single      £7.50 - new       Membership
                                                         (25+) half year   members only      card and
Summer Term 2011                                                           (from January)    magazines
Start Tuesday   3rd May 2011
      Wednesday 4th May 2011                             Adult Joint       £24               Membership
                                                         (both 25+)                          cards and 1
End    Tuesday         5th July 2011                                                         copy of
       Wednesday       6th July 2011                                                         magazines per
                       (10 weeks)                                                            household

Class Fees & Subscriptions                               Youth (12-17)     £7.50             Membership
Fees are calculated on the basis of about £2.75 per                                          card and
week (1 class per week) plus an additional £1 for a                                          magazines
second class (payable on the night). Fees for the
SpringTerm will be:                                      Young Adult       £12               Membership
                                                         (18-24)                             card and
Tuesday OR Wednesday Class             £40.00                                                magazines
Each additional class per week         £1.00
                                                         RSCDS Wirral Branch Classes
For the Children’s Class, Margaret Kay will indicate     Class Venues and Times
the amount due based on the rate of £2.00 per class.     Prenton:
                                                         St Stephen’s Church Hall, Prenton Lane
Wirral Branch Membership is £5 for the year 2010 -               Beginners Class 7.00 - 8.00 pm
2011.                                                            General Class 8.00 - 10.00 pm
                                                         1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month (commencing 4th
To ensure financial stability, it is vital that Branch   January 2011)
Membership and class fees are paid promptly,             All other weeks:
in advance, or at the first class of theTerm. Cheques            General Class 7.30 - 10.00 pm
should be made payable to “RSCDS Wirral Branch”          Beginners are welcome to attend this class although
                                                         some dances may be unsuitable for their
RSCDS Membership Fees                                    participation (particularly after the “tea break”). A
RSCDS Wirral Branch membership is only open to           handy postcard size timetable showing General and
those who hold current RSCDS membership. The             Beginners Class nights will be available to all
membership fees for 2010-2011 are as shown in the        members at the start of the Spring Term or from the
list below.                                              Branch website (
December 2010                              RSCDS Wirral Branch          

Wallasey:                                              THE GRASSROOTS PROJECT
All Saints Church Hall, Hose Side Road                 RSCDS Wirral Branch Children's Class has been
       Children’s Class      6.30 - 7.45 pm            very successful for many years in terms of
       Social Dancing Class 8.00 - 10.00 pm            achievement, but not in numbers of children
                                                       attending. The class teacher, Margaret Kay,
Social Dances                                          expressed her concern about the continuing viability
Hogmanay Ceilidh                                       of the children’s class. Over many years, income
Friday, 31st December 2010                             from the adult classes has subsidised the costs for the
8.30pm - 12.30 am                                      children’s class.
“Faith Supper” please bring a plate of food to share
St Stephen’s Church Hall, Prenton                      The Branch Management Committee were agreed
Tickets £5                                             that we wished the children’s class to continue and
                                                       discussed ways of attracting new junior members.
Annual Ball 2011                                       Wirral Council for Voluntary Service (Wirral CVS)
Saturday, 19th March 2011                              were approached for help in obtaining a grant to
7.30 - 11.30 pm                                        enable RSCDS Wirral Branch offer free classes for
Music by Kenny Thomson & The Wardlaw Band              children.
Bromborough Civic Centre
Allport Lane Precinct                                  The Branch Secretary, Maxine Slade and a subgroup
Bromborough                                            of members (Margaret Kay, Herbie Bramham, Jean
Tickets £18 (Children £9) including supper             Robb) worked on the application for a grant which
Summer Dance                                           was submitted at the end of June 2010.
Saturday, 4th June 2011
7.30 - 11.00 pm                                        The grant application included funding for:
dancing to the music of Luke Brady
Claremount Methodist Church Hall, Wallasey             *cost of hall hire
Tickets £8 (Children £4) including supper              *incidental expenses incurred in running the
                                                       Children's Class
Details of the dance programmes are available on the   *finance for initial training of prospective teachers
branch website:
                                                       We also included potential transport costs for
Tickets for all RSCDS Wirral Branch Functions are      families living outside of Wallasey and added a little
available from the Ticket Secretary:                   contingency.

Mrs Margaret Kay                                       £2,200 GRANT - SUCCESS
9 Woodland Road
West Kirby                                             On the last day of term in July, we were delighted to
CH48 6ER                                               receive the offer of £2200 that covered the hall,
                                                       teaching and initial training that we had identified.
Phone: 0151 625 5468                                   No funding was made available for transport or
Email:                  contingency funds.

                                                       RSCDS Wirral Branch is most grateful to Wirral
                                                       CVS and in particular to Zel Rodgers in West Kirby
                                                       for help in formulating our application for funding.
                                                       We quickly accepted the offer and set about
                                                       identifying contacts and carrying out more extensive
                                                       advertising. We produced posters that went to the
                                                       libraries, Wallasey area children’s centres and
                                                       members took them to supermarkets and shops all
December 2010                                 RSCDS Wirral Branch            

over the northern part of the Wirral. We were fortunate    Feedback from pupils and teachers has been positive.
to make contact with an extended services co-ordinator     At one school pupils were thrilled to demonstrate their
for schools and ultimately the administrator for all the   new dancing skills and receive certificates from
Wirral co-ordinators. We designed a scheme to reward       Margaret and Sam. At Bidston the pupils wrote some
progress which includes, badges/stickers, bookmarks        entertaining comments about what they had enjoyed.
and certificates.                                          It has been a real treat to see children enjoy the chance
                                                           to dance and we have been teaching between thirty and
We have had many requests from the schools to              eighty children a week.
provide classes during and at the end of the school day
and our current resources may be stretched. We hope
that some of these children will wish to take their
dancing further and join the class in Wallasey. RSCDS
headquarters have taken an interest in what we are
doing. The Development Officer, Susan Rhodes has
visited and taken details of our initiative and we have
promised to advise her on our progress.
The committee’s successful bid for money to encourage
children to try Scottish Country Dancing meant that we
started back after the Summer holding our breath. We
had leafleted anywhere we could think of and contacted
anyone we thought might be able to spread the word
about the Children’s class and the chance for
newcomers to have a free six week trial. We had also
circulated schools with the offer of six weeks of
Scottish Country Dancing sessions. We just had to wait           Poster by the Children from Hilbre School
and see what would happen. It quickly became
apparent that there was interest from schools. The
phone started ringing with interested teachers wanting     We have learnt a lot about working in schools and with
to know more and we were off.                              whole classes of children who have not done any
                                                           Scottish Country Dancing before. We hope to carry
So far this term children from Bidston Avenue Primary,     on introducing even more Wirral children to the
Mount Primary, Irby Primary, Hilbre High School and        delights of Scottish Country Dancing and have already
Wirral Grammar for Girls have had the opportunity to       received requests for sessions after Christmas.
try Scottish Country Dancing.                              Hilary Letts
December 2010                         RSCDS Wirral Branch           

                Letter received from Hilbre High School (re-printed with permission)
December 2010                              RSCDS Wirral Branch           

                                                        5-7 NOVEMBER 2010
On Saturday September 18th we held a day school         BELL’S SPORTS CENTRE, PERTH
run by Maureen Haynes. She had attended a short
course at St Andrews in order to take us through        We delegates for the Wirral Branch began our trip in
Basic Teaching Skills level 0. Maureen has been         high hopes, but they were dashed quickly with an
teaching candidates for the Teaching Certificate for    eventful train trip up to Perth, the first train being
some years but is new to this course.                   delayed behind a late stopping train: not getting to
                                                        our change over in time. The ticket inspector
The course is a new initiative by HQ for those who
                                                        managed to get us help with our luggage up and over
cannot currently commit to the full teaching course.
                                                        stairs to catch, within a hairs breath, our connection
The course fits very well into our project to achieve
                                                        to Haymarket which was a minute late. That train
initial proficiency. Hilary Letts, Ann Collett and
                                                        was full to the brim with standing (we stupidly had
Maxine Slade were awarded certificates at the end of
                                                        not reserved seats) room only for the first part of the
the day.
                                                        journey: luggage everywhere. At Haymarket, Beryl
About a dozen members of the Branch, including our      accidently left a bag behind on that train and so were
teenagers Ross & Lydia, supported us through the        helped again by rail officials to recover it from
day and we very much enjoyed it and better              Waverley, Edinburgh and then they locked us on the
appreciate the difficulties of teaching. We hope that   Perth train until it departed in 30 minutes time (so
it will also enable Ross and Lydia to support the       we couldn’t get up to anymore trouble). We were
teaching at the children’s class.                       just an hour later arriving than our original schedule
                                                        albeit slightly shattered.
RSCDS Cheshire Intermediate Day School
30th October 2010 Tarporley                             The weekend began properly with the Ball on Friday
I attended the day school organised by Dianne           evening, dancing to Neil Copland and his Band.
Rooney and I must say that it was a good opportunity    About 600 people attended.
to polish up on the basic steps and formations
acquired at our evening classes. The formations         Saturday (6.11.10) morning RSCDS shop and
included promenade, allemande, poussette,               Branch tables open followed by:
hello/goodbye setting. Everyone was very friendly
and helpful and enjoyed the day very much. I can        9.30-11.00      PR Workshop on “How to get your
highly recommend others to attend a similar course.     Scottish Country Dance news into the local paper”
Isobel Jellicoe                                         was booked solid for many weeks before. One of us
                                                        would have liked to attend as it was apparently very
THE CHILDREN'S CLASS                                    good. This was run by Michael Nolan, recent
                                                        Publicity Convenor of RSCDS London Branch who
The term started with only 4 children and although      deals with the media and has had considerably suc-
several more joined in October I did not feel enough    cess in raising awareness of SCD in London and its
progress was being made to take such a small group      surrounds.
to Southport Festival in February. Three more girls
came on November 24th but a decision is still under     10.00-11.30 Presentation and Question Time
consideration regarding the viability of the Class.     “The Evolving Society” with the Chairman and
Ross and Lydia took part in the Day School tutored      Chairman Elect.
by Maureen Haynes to introduce Basic Teaching
Skills to members interested in teaching. They were     The chairman Alex Gray referred to the Annual
happy to be included to give them a better              Review, a new glossy publication devised by the
understanding of the challenge of teaching and          Executive Officer Elizabeth Foster (we have copies
learning how to help more effectively in the            available to read). It’s good.
children's class
                                                        There has been a wide decline in membership over a
December 2010                               RSCDS Wirral Branch           

period of time but it is felt that the position is now           year. Books 7, 17, 46 & Graded Book 2
stabilising, partly due to an improved website, online           now all have CDs, and Intro. to Step
shopping and increasing public profile and awareness             Dancing Book 2. This means that all
of the role of the RSCDS.                                        RSCDS publications are covered by CDs.
                                                           •     The Kandahar Reel Book (A Scottish
Dance Scottish Week                                              Reel devised by two officers of The
For various reasons many felt that it should not be a            Black Watch 3rd Battalion The Royal
fixed week in the year. Early September is too near              Regiment of Scotland, while on active
the beginning of start of term for it to be organised            service in Afghanistan Sept. 2009) has
satisfactorily. DSW could be varied to suit local                recently been published at £4:00 of which
needs, perhaps linked to St Andrews Day or Burns                 £2 goes to ABF (Army Benevolent Fund)
Night. Taster Nights or Sessions were popular events             The Soldiers’ Charity. Available from
together with Family Ceilidhs this year.                         website:
Alex Gray referred to the website being extended to        •     Elizabeth Foster, the Executive Office /
have the equivalent to Strathspey Server for members             Secretary said new website had been
to air their views. It was also proposed that dance              accessed on 11,000 separate occasions.
formations which are not in the current manual should
be put on the website for members to refer to.             8. Financial Report

AGM                                                       Report and Financial Statements for year ended 31
The AGM began at 2.30pm with the usual items:             March 2010 had been circulated (if you would like a
1. Welcome                                                copy of the whole thing please let me know. BH)
2. Message read out from HM Queen.                         The Treasurer William Whyte said there are
3. Presentation of Scrolls                                 sufficient reserves providing:
4. Apologies                                               •      We manage membership satisfactorily.
5. Minutes of the meeting 2009 were agreed without         •      Run operations breaking even.
amendment.                                                 •      Total funds carried forward £781.544.
6. Appointment of Office Bearers.                                 Accounts were adopted.
President: Alastair MacFadyen
Vice Presidents: The Hon. Peregrine Moncrieff              9. Appointment of Auditor
7. Activities Update: Helen Russell gave a resume of            Alexander Sloan Chartered Accountants,
activities including:-                                          Edinburgh.
 •       Mentors’ Courses. Training for mentors to         10. Confirmation of appointment of Chairman
         support exam candidates.                               Ruth Beattie who succeeds Alex Gray and
 •       The updated Website                                    John Wilkinson as Vice Chairman.
 •       Pre-Candidate Teachers’ Courses. Beginners
         framework and guide available to teaching         11. Election of Officers.
         SCD (Lesley Martin)                                     A list can be supplied.
 •       CPD. (Continuing Professional Development).
                                                           12. Membership Subscription to remain at £15:00.
         If there is sufficient branch demand and the
         branch is willing to run basic teaching skills
                                                           13. Motions were dealt with.
         Unit (0) have been done by several branches,
                                                                 More details can be supplied if you require.
         including Cheshire, Wirral and Argyll
                                                           Important Motion 13.1.2. - if necessary, to secure a
 •       Winter School will consist of two 5 night
                                                           Treasurer, an honorarium for that post should be
         courses at Pitlochry.
 •       Spring Fling in Edinburgh.
 •       Summer School 2011: 3rd week will                 This motion was defeated as members thought other
         have a Class for 11-13 year olds                  members of the Society also worked very hard on
         accompanied by parent or guardian.                some projects and had great responsibility and this
 •       Bill Austin reported a glut of CDs this           would not be fair to them.
December 2010                               RSCDS Wirral Branch       

14. Vote of thanks given.                                         Grassroots Project – there was consider
                                                                  able interest and several took copies.
15. Date of next meeting                                           Marilyn Watson has had similar success
     Saturday 5 November 2011 in Glasgow.                         in Bournemouth and been given funding
                                                                  for dance shoes, CDs and equipment.
The Dance on Saturday evening was enjoyed by
us both, having got over the major hurdles, i.e.           The second part of the forum was led by Susan
getting there and the AGM. Dancing was to                  Rhodes, the Youth Development Officer, who is
Colin Dewar whose music was as usual                       funded for 1 year by “Creative Scotland” to
excellent.                                                 conduct a Participative Research Project with
An uneventful trip back to the Wirral, thank               their peers for various age groups 7-11 years,
goodness.                                                  12-15 and 16 upwards.

  B. There was a teachers’ and future teachers’            What is the best way to promote SCD?
workshop beginning Friday morning. Perhaps                  •     local facilitators required to co-ordinate
this should be borne in mind for the future if it                 their findings and take appropriate action
occurs again.                                               •     encourage the setting up of social net
                                                                  workinge.g. on Facebook
YOUTH FORUM                                                 •     make contact with groups of other dance
SUNDAY 7TH NOVEMBER                                               forms Dundee have links with
                                                                  contemporary dance groups)
Approximately 40 people attended the Youth                  •     encourage groups to become involved in
Forum led by the Society’s Youth Director, Deb                    the new youth magazine – Ezine with
Lees from RSCDS Newcastle Branch.                                 their suggestions for features
1.    Deb briefly outlined the new Safeguard                •     target schools and education authorities to
      ing Policy for young people which is now                    include SCD in their PE curriculum
      on the website.
2.    There is to be a review by Marilyn                   The final item sounds like our Grassroots Project
      Watson (Bournemouth) and Jim Stott                   which Susan Rhodes obtained details of during a
      (Aberdeen) of the Youth Medal Tests and              visit to Maxine in September, before we actually
      the ‘content’ of the dances for all grades.          started. Another first for Wirral!
      Because of the popularity of these tests,            Margaret Kay
      more assessors are to be appointed.
3.    At 2011 Summer School, for the first
      time, there is to be a class for 12-15 year
      old children. However, this is to be non-
      resident so will be limited to those near
      enough to travel daily or have family
      holiday in the St. Andrews area.
4.    Spring Fling for 16-35 year olds will be
      in Edinburgh at the end of March. There
      will also be a Youth Workshop in Bristol
      in February.
5.    Dance for Pudsey – a non-competitive
      festival held in October at Dumfries
      raised over £3000 for Children in Need.
      One of the teams accompanied by the
      organisers were invited to appear live on
      local tv to present the cheque and dance
      “The Bees of Maggieknockater”.
6.    I (Margaret Kay) presented the paper
      which Maxine had written about the
December 2010                                 RSCDS Wirral Branch          

On the 10th July 2010 thirteen branch members arrived
at Harewood, Leeds for the White Rose Festival which
was an afternoon of ‘dancing in the open’ to the
wonderful music of George Meikle and the Lothian
Band. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere

The event started with a grand march led by piper Alan
Harrison and then continued with 35 teams dancing ‘Ian
Powrie’s farewell to Auchterader’. For the next 3 hours
it was Scottish Country Dancing and various
demonstrations, including Highland Dancing, which was      ANOTHER "FIRST" FOR R.S.C.D.S. WIRRAL
quite impressive, and of course the children, who are      BRANCH.
always a pleasure to watch. As usual it was nice to see
the men in their kilts but for once they were a little     Eighteen months ago we were delighted that Faye was
outshone by some of the outfits worn by the ladies.        the first teenager from Wirral to be awarded a Jean
                                                           Milligan Youth Scholarship to attend Summer School
It was interesting to see so many accomplished dancers
                                                           at St. Andrews for a one week course in S.C.D. What
of all ages, and thanks to Gill and Dave for the extra
                                                           a "buzz" we fellow Wirral members felt particularly
practices they arranged for us the previous weeks, we
                                                           watching her dance in the "demos". Faye received
were able to join in and enjoy the dancing quite
                                                           well deserved compliments from many people
                                                           including the Summer School Director and one
                                                           teacher from London Branch who pronounced her the
                                                           "wow" factor of the week --- Were we proud !!

                                                           Last week she became the first member in the history
                                                           of Wirral Branch to have an 18th birthday! So at
                                                           Wednesday Class we celebrated with a cake that had
                                                           18 genuine candles. I chicken out of candles when we
                                                           celebrate those who reach 80+ .... the cake might catch

                                                           Ross had his 14th birthday in the same week, so the
                                                           Children's Class had their usual treats and we danced
                                                           "The Birthday Cake Reel” twice in one evening.

To finish we were all invited to Gill and Dave’s
campervan for afternoon tea, which was very much
appreciated. It was a most enjoyable day, extremely well
organized and we were delighted to participate in the

Ada and Herbie.
December 2010   RSCDS Wirral Branch

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