Still flourishing after 70 years

Lucy Clark SCD group


Still Flourishing after 70 years

Our Club’s Annual Spring Dance in March was a special one, when we celebrated 70 years since Lucy Clark started her first class in Amersham (Buckinghamshire).

Tickets sold out well ahead of the event which ensured that Wendover Memorial Hall was filled to capacity with very happy dancers who enjoyed a programme of popular dances, including the lesser known “Miss Lucy Clark” devised by Valerie Farr.    We were delighted to welcome for the first time The Craigellachie Band whose exhilarating music kept the dancers on the floor all evening.

At the end of a marvellous supper, Club Chairman, Liz Mitchell, spoke about Lucy Clark herself - a trail blazer, who brought the arts to her local community. 

Lucy used her skills as a musician, teacher and dance doyenne, setting up classes in village halls.  Her zest for Scottish country dancing was infectious; indeed, she played her accordion while demonstrating dance steps!

Lucy’s exam for her Teacher’s Certificate was conducted by Miss Jean Milligan herself in 1955, when she praised the high standard of the candidates.  Lucy went on to train over 200 pupils for SCD Medal Exams and teams entered for competitions in London and the Home Counties won several cups.

Following Lucy’s death, at a relatively young age, her dancers decided to rename the group in her honour, making it the only club named after a person and giving those that followed the freedom to move locations, which is how we came to be in our present “home” in Wendover, where we take full advantage of an easily accessible, dancer-friendly space.  The club is thriving with a growing membership, qualified teachers and two tuition classes.

Liz emphasised the Committee’s desire to look forward by marking this milestone in a practical way, while acknowledging the club’s roots.  She outlined the creation of “The Lucy Fund” which will be used to increase the amount of live music at the club by having musicians in classes and to provide funding support to teachers and MCs in their continuing professional development through the SE Region Teachers’ Association.

Following this announcement, Liz invited everyone to toast the continued success of the club – a truly worthy memorial to Lucy Clark – the remarkable lady who started it all.

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