Bournemouth (Westhill) Folk Dance Club

Bournemouth Folk Dance Club History

The club was founded as the Westhill Folk Dance Club in 1979 by local schoolmaster Ted Hutchinson.  Meetings took place in St. Michael’s School which was, and still is, in West Hill Road – hence the name.  Ted was a stalwart of the local community who took every opportunity to organise and publicise every kind of folk activity.  He had many proud achievements to his credit, including a run of highly successful Bournemouth and Christchurch Folk Festivals.  Ted ran the club for ten years during which time he encouraged members to do some calling and, when he finally had to retire as the main organiser in 1989 due to ill health, he knew that he had left it in capable hands.  However, he continued to take an active part at club meetings until his death in 1992.

The club continued to flourish during the 90’s but it was in 1996 that the club was forced to find an alternative meeting place, as St. Michael’s School was undergoing some significant building work, the result of which would have left it unsuitable for our purposes.  The Annunciation Church Hall in the Charminster district of Bournemouth was found and continues to be our regular meeting place to this day.

The club celebrated its 21st anniversary on 31st January 2000 at a special club meeting to which as many founder and ex-members as possible were invited to the party.  In 2005, members agreed that the club’s name be changed to the Bournemouth (Westhill) Folk Dance Club.  Membership numbers are currently between 40 and 50, however, the club is full of enthusiasm and continues to play an active part in the local folk community, and is planning its 40th anniversary early in 2019.

Community Web Kit provided free by BT