Janie and Robin met at a dance class run by Janie’s mum in Westmill near Buntingford. Janie was there to assist her mother in partnering the stray chaps. The trouble was, Robin monopolized her and they were soon courting and going to dances together.
In March 1963 they were married and lived in Baldock, but Old Time Dancing was hard to find locally so they turned to English Country Dancing and Playford in particular. They spent a long time doing that and raising two boys. Robin became a Morris man (a natural move whilst Janie was restricted with very young children) and this lasted till Robin’s knees and ankles started to give out. After a spell of frustration, Robin had to stop dancing and became harder and harder to live with, so Janie sought some kind of outlet for them together.
She found Old Time Dancing at Comberton with Jim and Joyce Fordham. They started there in October 1996 and got quite keen. The Fordhams were very kind and good to them, so things started to fall into place and they found another club at Comberton run by Peter and Ann Dogget, so they joined that as well at about Easter 1997. They learned a great deal from their leaders at these clubs. When the summer break came they joined the Oaktree club in Cockfosters because it had no break except at Christmas.
By this time Robin and Janie were travelling to dances in lots of places within about a hundred-mile radius of home.
In 2000-2001 Jim and Joyce were battling bad health and it looked as though their club might fold, so J & R started Valentines Old Time Dance Club at Royston on the 12th of February 2001 in the hope of getting town members who wouldn’t travel to the villages. The locals didn’t come and the town hall was a crippling price, but through the good offices of Jack Farnham we moved into Meldreth village hall, where we are to this day.
With regret, it was decided in October 2018 to close down the club, thus bringing and end ti it’s long history. Membership was falling, as the dancers grew older, and there seemed little prospect of new blood coming in.