The Bedfordshire Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

June 2011
Newsletter No 182

In this issue:

Jim Crowe 1930-2011
Annual Ball
Branch Future
Branch Social & AGM

JAMES CROWE 1930-2011

Jim sadly passed away last month. We will remember him for his enthusiasm for dancing, both country and highland, over the years.


For the benefit of those who were not able to get to the ball this year, I can say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, as ever. Numbers were a little down on last year but not enough to spoil the event, we just had a little more room to sit down for supper. The band gave us a good evening`s dancing and supper went down as well as usual. Several unexpected volunteers turned up at the last minute to help with the organisation and we are very grateful to them.

THANK YOU Helen Rose

I would like to thank everyone who made food and helped with the Ball catering, your help was much appreciated.


The Branch`s future will be on the agenda for the AGM. The committee will propose a way ahead for the Branch, but it will be up to the Branch members to make the decision as to how we should proceed. As a help to the members some of the factors considered by the committee are added below, including an analysis of the questionnaire to which most of you replied. We look forward to a lively debate on this vital subject.


(Majority responses are shown in bold) For Against Replied
1. Are you in favour of the RSCDS Branch continuing as it is? 15% 62% 65%
2. Are you in favour of disbanding the Branch and setting up a new group? 92% 8% 65%
3. Would you become a member of a new non-RSCDS group? 93% 7% 75%
4. OR would you join another RSCDS Branch? 44% 56% 80%
5. Would you be willing to serve on the committee of whichever group? 40% 60% 75%
6. Do you agree that the Ball cannot continue with the current size of committee? 69% 31% 65%
7. Do you think that a non-RSCDS group would encourage new membership? 54% 46% 65%
8. Do you wish to see the following functions that the Branch currently runs continuing?
     Annual Ball 73% 27% 75%
     Oakley Social Dances 100%   70%
     Oakley Supper Dances 92% 8% 65%
     Ceilidh 100%   60%
     Advanced Class 100%   65%
     Highland Class 100%   65%
     Demonstrations 86% 14% 70%


1. Ball should not rely on 3 Committee members. Others could and should help.
2. All groups suffer from low members and an aging membership. Cost not the problem.
3. Need to get dancers to support events.
4. RSCDS no longer cost effective to members.
5. Need to get more members into Advanced class for demos.
6. Insurance for non-RSCDS group may be different.
7. Funds may have to go to RSCDS HQ if we disband the Branch.


If we close the Branch with no alternative.
Losses Gains
No Oakley dances No committee problems.
No advanced class No problems with food for the Ball.
No Highland classes. No hassle with RSCDS paperwork.
No demonstrations incl. Dance for All. No hassle with RSCDS finances.
No support for Scots Soc. Presidents Evening.
No Ceilidh. 
No support for Children in Need. 
No Ball. 
All our funds. 

Conclusion:- The losses greatly exceed the gains.

If we close the Branch but replace with Non-RSCDS group.
Gains Losses
All events would continue i.e. We still have to have a committee.
Oakley Dances No advertising as an RSCDS group, i.e. poorer status.
Advances Class. 
Highland Class. 
Demonstrations incl. Dance for All. 
Support for Scots Soc. Presidents Evening. 
Support for Children in Need. 
Ball if we want it. 

No Ball food problems if we didn`t want a Ball.
No hassle with RSCDS paperwork.
No hassle with RSCDS finances.
Keep our funds.
Cheaper membership of group & possibly resulting in increased membership.
Keep our charity status.
Could have affiliated RSCDS status.

Conclusion:- The gains greatly exceed the losses.


I believe the reason we are discussing the disbandment of the Branch is driven by the Committee`s problems. We are having difficulty in getting new committee members to replace those who have to leave it. This has highlighted the catering problems with the Ball. The few committee members, in particular the lady members, are having an increased load to provide the standard of catering we are used to. The branch membership is also falling. In my opinion this is possibly caused by the high membership fees with little to show for it. The Oakley dances are not very well attended but are still enjoyable evenings. The Ball is well attended and enjoyed by both our own members and our visitors. Catering has been first rate but at a cost to our few ladies. The branch has been running for 38 years. A tradition we would be sorry to see disappear.

I believe it would be a dreadful step to disband the branch with no alternative. The branch may not survive but Scottish dancing MUST!!

George Chairman.


This will be held on Sunday 26th June in Oakley Village Hall starting at the earlier time of 7.30pm. Alex Lawton will MC the dancing and the programme will be as follows:-


Peatfire Flame R Bell Rock Reel* R
The Nurseryman J Locomotion No. 1 J
Kilkenny Castle S Garry Strathspey S
Polharrow Burn R Highland Rambler R
Follow Me Home J Jennifer`s Jig J
Butterscotch and Honey S Belle of Bon Accord S
Reel of the Gordon Highlanders R Mrs MacPherson of Inveran J
Extras:-     Baldoven Reel    Bees of Maggieknockater.

*The Bell Rock Reel was devised by Jim Crowe and will be danced in his memory.

Web pages on the Bedfordshire Branch site:

This page was updated on 7 September 2011.