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(From The Post's" Representative.)

: The spirit of "Merrie England" reigned supreme at the June meeting of the English Counties' Society at Lower Hutt on Saturday, when Miss Hilda Taylor, a member of .the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and a team of' English folk dancers paid a short visit to-the society and, departing, left a train of enthusiasm in their- wake.

■ Most' people in New Zealand at some time in-their lives have joined in- a set of "country dancing," enjoyed it, and later forgotten all about it^-but comparatively > few have had the pleasure of witnessing a -^display trained under expert authority, or have the knowledge to appreciate to the full this fascinating and traditional heritage of national dance and song.

dances demonstrated by Miss Taylor's party on Saturday night included several in which the members of the Counties' Society joined, among ■them the "Circassian Circle,'' the "Durham Reel." and the well-known Cornish floraJ dance, the "Helston Flurry." The team also danced a number of more intricate figures, two of the most popular being the "Rapper" sword-dance, which hails from Earston in the North of England and the famous "Running Set" from Pine [Settlement in the Appalachian' Mountains. This latter dance was one of those rediscovered by Cecil Sharp (founder of the E.F.D.S.) and Miss Maud Karples when they visited the United States of America in 1917 There they found in a tiny and remote mountain ; village some of the original. English folk-dances which had crossed the Atlantic with the first English settlers in the New World and had been handed down intact. from generation to generation by the inhabitants of this isolated community As far as could be ascertained they had retained their original characteristics.

Traditionally - designed costumes known as < "festival frocks" were. worn by the dancers, the full white bodices being worn with wide swinging skirts of brilliant hues and both the, lacings of the bodices and the bands around the. skirts being carried out in contrasting colours. Folk tunes familiar and; unfamiliar provided music for the dancing, pipe music being supplied for- the Durham Reel and several other. numbers, and from time to time the whole company broke .■;.' into song, groups of' old. airs : being; conducted ;in the; intervals between dances\by Mr. G R: Cowie.,-'.. .•'• .. // :. "/■': -; v '.■ Warm appreciation and v cordial thanks were extended by members of the society to . Miss Taylor and tier team, and, after .the serving of piping .hot coffee and a savoury supper,.the evening' ; concluded with a",: humorous sketch, "Two Women and a Telephone," presented by the Taita Women's Institute and played by Mesdames V. A. Draper and F. Hunter. " \ New Guild at Waiwhetu. At a-meeting held recently in StY Paul's Church Hall. White's Line East, Lower Hutt, a new branch of the Townswomen's Guild was formed under the auspices of the Dominion Federation of Townswomen's Guilds. The two organisers. Mesdames C E. Moran and N W Benstead, spoke on the guild movement, explaining' the constitution and working' of individual guilds and of the central council.' ■ ./•. ■;,:■ •• ■': ":■: ■ ..•'■'■■■■■•■ ■■''■ As Waiwhetu is such a rapidly-grow-mg district this new association should fill a real need and should make very good progress. The "following officers and committee , wereS- appointed:-— Chairman Mrs. Rushtoht, deputy chairman, ;Mrs. Turner; ; hQp i ,secretary, Mrs. B]|^l^:'|h6n/ r ]^as"uiex^;:Bi^ r ;^4Mei^fei. John;, committee," ■ :y;M^dsoes->:-:TiSggs^: V^ilspn; Mackley, and; Brown. :;^- New Centre for Social Activity. 7-^ Extending their, activities to the rapidly'growing Waiwhet'i district, 'the young pebple'sksocial, committee^pf/St.' James's Parish, 1 Lower;; Hutt, on Wednesday ■ night .held a: most successful dance in St;. Paul's Hall, Waiwhetu, inaugurating thereby a winter- programme of dances and socials which will be held on ; alternate: months at either centre. An excellent amateur orchestra played throughout the even: ing. and : the introduction :of several novelty numbers! including the ever* popular "forfeit dance" and similar variations, were thoroughly enjoyed. Members of the organising commit^ tee from St. James's Church included Misses L. Hicks, P. Campbell J.. Miller, md B. Wilson, Messrs. T. Clurch, A. Wilson, and E Marshall. The Waiwhetu committee, who were responsibxle for the serving of a home-made supper, comprised the Misses N. Robinson, R. Rankine, L. Webb, E. Horwell, P. Trower, and R. Gilleh (secretary). Guests of honour for the evening were the Rev. W-."E. W. Hurst and the Rev. M: PiranL ; , Carnival Dance for Yacht Club. / In connection with the' qiieeh carnival contest organised by the Paremata, Boating Club," a dance was held recently, in Birch Street Hall, Lower Hutt, by the Hutt members of this club for. the ,benefit of the "Takapuna Queen," Miss Elsie Fisher. The hall was; brightly decorated with showers of streamers in. red and green, and the music from a good swing orchestra was relayed to all corners by an effective system of- loud-speakers. Miss Fisher, who attended with hermother. Mrs' D. Fisher, Was wearing a frock of tangerine, and green patterned crepe on a cream tinted ground. Her sash was of taffeta in the same colours, and she wore a long red streamer ribbon marked with the name "Takapuna" in; letters of gold. Miss - Fisher's committee comprised Mrs. D. Fisher, Miss L. Fisher, and Messrs. J. Burrows, I. Campbell, and D. Butcher. For Residential Nursery. To raise funds for the Lower Hutt branch of the Residential Nursery, a dance, organised by Mesdames B. S. Knox, C L. Nielspn, and J.R. Robertson, was held on Friday night in the Masonic Hall. Petone. Notwithstanding boisterous weather conditions, the enterprise of the organisers was. well supported by a good attendance, and the funds should benefit considerably The formal hall with its cream walls and hangings of blue and gold made an effective setting for many beautiful frocks. An excellent orchestra provided the music for a varied programme; which included the; latest, dances. A home-made supper, supplied by the ladies of the committee and served in [the hall refectory :completed the .sueI cess of this well-arranged function.

The Paraparaumu Women's Institute held a meeting in the Anglican Hall. Mrs.G Hadfield. president, in welcoming two new members, said how pi r ■sing. it • ■ was to see such a good attendance. ■• Members were/ asked to stand in silence as a mark' of sympathy with the Clunie family, in their recent sad bereavement- Mrs gave a ;de» monstration on the weaving of Maori ikits from fliax. It: looked ; easy; but pakeha fingers found1 itydifficult to aicrl ;complish. ' Mrs.; Maclean : and : Mrs; j Phipps gave descriptions ;of, the Exhibition of Arts of all Countries beins held in Levin, specially ; telling;offfithe Indian Ctourt, which was an; Waikahae and Paraparaumu's special care.'v^Comj-. petition wintiers Avere: r^Carrots,; jMrs. Chadwick,;!; Mrs. Iferdh^^2:;Best tloom: Mrs; Pratt/ 1; Mrs;-HUgfiep2; The hostesses were 'thanked 'for^serying afternoon-tea. , -■:-' '''■^■■";t3!''r&:s;*J:s&£i>

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HUTT VALLEY NEWS, Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 148, 26 June 1939

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HUTT VALLEY NEWS Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 148, 26 June 1939

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