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About Us

About Us - History of the Club

(Some interesting document pertaining to our history can be found in our archive)

According to the application for the Club's affiliation held by the RSCDS, the Club began in 1962, with the support of the Inverness branch. However, oral history suggests that, as with many places in the country there was a resurgence of interest in Scottish country dancing after the war.  In 1947 the Conon Basin Hydroelectric Project started which saw 3,000 men in camps and many consulting engineers move to the area.  Quite a number of these men joined local country dance clubs and indeed it was a place of romance and marriage for some.

In the 1950s classes in Dingwall were held by the sisters, Jessie and Nannie Reid, one played the piano while the other taught.  They held childrens' and adults' classes.  In Strathpeffer Miss Meg Rose, a mistress at Fodderty Primary School, taught adults.  Meg's dance  books were passed on to Mrs Irene Brown who continued to teach classes and she kindly passed them onto our present teacher.  Among them Fiona found the dance "The Misses Jessie and Nannie Reid of Dingwall".

The next teacher in Dingwall was Group Captain Jim Bruce for whom Margaret Frazer wrote the dance, Captain Bruce's Jig.  He died suddenly leaving the Club without a teacher.

At the 1973 AGM it was agreed that the Club would continue with Mrs Pearl Sinclair as the instructor and Miss Rene MacLennan would fill in if necessary.  Pearl was a local lady who had retired north after a teaching career in Essex.  Her husband, Jack, sorted out and put on LPs for the class.  As a tribute, the dance "Well Done Jack" would appear on many rally programmes.  Pearl taught the Club for twenty two years.  During her time numbers were high and rallies were well attended. An annual Day School was held.  Pearl always tried to find a male instructor, as she considered there were too few male teachers in the area.  Among others the Club welcomed Bill Ireland, Bill Hamilton, Duncan MacLeod, Neil Grant,  Alastair MacFadyen, Alastair Aikenhead and Tom Steele.  However, Miss Lesley Martin was always a popular guest teacher.

Following Pearl's retirement the Club's teacher for the next 10 years was Janette Steele.  This was a hard time for Scottish country dancing and attendance at class nights and rallies fell.  It was with reluctance that the Day School was dropped from the calendar but by now the Inverness and District Branch was running a day school so the need locally was not so great. 

Since 2004 Fiona Newton has been teaching the Club.  This period has seen changes with the weekly venue moving from Dingwall to Conon Bridge and our rallies moving to Strathpeffer and now to the Findon Hall, Culbokie.  Both the new venues have been a success.  We hold Club nights from September to June with breaks over Christmas and Easter.  We hold two rallies a year. Membership is growing and we have attracted some younger dancers.  We have upgraded our music and have an iPod and amplifier which is very convenient.  When we have surplus funds we support charities and in recent years The Jean Milligan Fund, Children in Need, Water Aid and Banardo's have benefited. With the profits from our Tea Dances we have supported several local charities. The Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool, ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands) and Munlochy Animal Aid.

Help keep Dingwall Scottish Country Dance Club vibrant and active.  Come and join us on a regular basis or just when you are in the area.  We would be delighted to see you.

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