Peter Avery, Chairman of Newcastle Branch, describes the popular Newcastle Festival.
February 10, 2020
“The Newcastle Festival started in 1985 and is now in its 36th year. The format of the sections has generally remained the same over the years, although around 10 years ago we introduced a Men's section and about 4 years ago we changed to an under 12yrs section and under 16yrs section instead of two under 16 sections.
In the first year there were about 12 entries across the sections, all from the North East of England. As time went on, the numbers increased mainly from RSCDS branches around the UK, such as London, Birmingham and Glasgow and about 20 years ago we had our first international team.
This year there were 52 entries, the maximum we can manage, running from 9.20am to 6.45pm with approx. half the entries coming from outside the UK, including France, Germany and Russia.
The day finished with a vibrant dance and over 300 people dancing to Luke Brady and his band. Many people from across the UK attended to watch the Festival entries during the day and dance in the evening.
The Festival was led by John Cass and his wife Patricia for 30 years. It is now run by a subcommittee of 4 with a band of about 40 people helping on the day, mainly from Newcastle RSCDS.”
In case you missed it, you can enjoy watching some highlights of the recent Festival on Saturday 8 February, on our YouTube channel:
It is great to see so many teams from different parts of the world competing at this Festival. Well done to all involved and a big congratulations to the Edinburgh Scottish Dancers who won the overall competition and took home the Maurice Cooper Trophy, presented by Andrew Kellett, Society Chair.
Photos courtesy of Michael Nolan. Showing the Edinburgh Scottish Dancers’ winning team and their ‘Mary Poppins’ themed dance.
We look forward to seeing the entries next year!