The end of an era as dancers clear the floor

Todmorden Town Hall Dancers
Todmorden Town Hall Dancers

DANCERS have left the floor after a long-running upper Calder Valley tradition has come to an end.

For more than 20 years, tea dances have been held at Todmorden Town Hall on Monday afternoons.

But due to falling numbers, organisers have decided to call it a day.

Sylvia Lobley, who has helped to run the dances recently with her husband Brian, said lots of people used to attend the dances in the early days but there are not enough younger people getting involved.

“It’s sad to see it go,” she said. “The numbers have been dropping.

“The older ones are dying off and the younger ones are not coming in.

“We need about 40 there each week to pay the rent for the room, but we have only been getting 25 lately.

“It’s not paying its way.

“If we don’t have enough there to pay for the room, we have to make it up out of our own funds.”

The dances have been run for many years by Margery and Peter King.

Over that time, they have raised lots of money for charity and also organised holidays and social trips for the dancers.

Mr Lobley said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Peter and Margery for all the hard work and pleasure they have given to so many people over the years.

“Unfortunately due to ill health issues, myself and Sylvia have been standing in for them in recent weeks, but due to falling numbers and other commitments, we decided it was time to call it a day.

“Thanks you also to Lena Hall who has done sterling work in the background, not forgetting the huge amount of money they have presented to the hospice over the years.

“I would also like to thank Councillor Dorothy Jordan for putting in an appearance for our last dance. It was very kind of her.

“Thank you to all those who supported us, and very best wishes to you all.”

Although the Todmorden event has finished, dances will continue to be held at Mytholmroyd Community Centre on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am until 2pm on both days. Admission is £2.50 and those attending are asked to bring their own refreshments.