Helensburgh & District Highland Association

Dancing, Music and Song

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Monthly Function Friday 30th June 2023

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Dance held at the Commodore Hotel 30 June 2023

 

And......normal service resumes! After the bright sunshine and cloudless skies of

 May's dance,  

Dreich and dismal were the epithets best describing the conditions greeting those attending the latest event,

heralding a return to something more closely approximating the Helensburgh norm. 

spirits of those attending may have been dampened by the weather, however, the 

the excellent music provided by the Steven Carcary SDB was guaranteed to put a spring in the steps of the dancers,

particularly with reference to a superb selection of 6/8 marches gracing several of the dances. 

Some mellifluous vocals from Steven Carcary also added to the ambience.

The evening commenced after

the customary welcome by President Neil MacLeod with the peculiarly idiosyncratic 

Helensburgh version of the Eva Three Step followed by a varied programme of dances.

It was pleasing to note that numbers were fairly substantially up on recent months with 48 members

and 10 guests attending producing revenue almost, but not quite, sufficient to break 

even on the night without reference to raffle income. One can only hope that the upward trend continues.

The prompt arrival of tea and coffee for the interval refreshments slightly truncated the last dance of

the half, but better that than the late delivery at recent events. Detracting from that positive,

however, the coffee ran out before everyone requesting it was served and a replacement supply took

an unreasonably long time to arrive and was stewed when it did.

The raffle was held as usual at half time and raised the respectable sum £169. Thanks to those

participating and in particular to donors of the prizes.

Following on the raffle a presentation was made to representatives of

'Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank'

 and 'Food for Thought' as part of the Association's charitable remit, with each organisation

receiving a cheque for £400.

Before the the commencement of the second half Secretary Anne Thorn outlined the options for the

Christmas Dance, with a choice between a supper dance with one course meal and tea/coffee at a

price of £24 per head for members and a normal dance at the standard price. Members present were

asked to vote on the matter and, although a number did not register a vote, the majority of those

voting opted for a supper dance.

Admittance fees for the evening amounted to £484 with an additional £10 kindly donated by a

member unable to attend. Total income with raffle included was £663 with outgoings of £525

leading to a profit of £138.

Dancing continued after the interval and the evening ended with the usual address from the

President followed by the last waltz and Auld Lang Syne.

 

The next dance will be held in the Osprey Suite of the Commodore on 25 August with music

provided by the Ewan Galloway SDB.

 

Steven Carcary  SDB 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2023 06:58
 

Monthly Function Friday 26th May 2023

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Dance held at the Commodore Hotel 26 May 2023 

 

Clear blue sky, bright sunshine and warmth – not attributes normally associated with HHDA events, but all the more welcome for that to the attendees at last Friday's dance (45 members and 5 guests, slightly up on attendance at the April dance). The President opened the proceedings with the usual welcome and introduction of the band, the music provided on the night by the Stuart McKeown SDB with the man himself in good form despite recovering from a bout of ill health over the winter period. A full programme of dances was enjoyed, with a few more dances than hitherto following a reduction in the number of set dances, Stuart rattling through them with his usual gusto. 

Following on complaints about the state of the venue at the last couple of dances there was some improvement. The ladies toilets had been cleaned and everything seemed to be working, though the corridor lighting was still out, the dance floor, though still somewhat glutinous, was not nearly as bad as on the last two occasions. The stage lighting, however, still left something to be desired. 

While the first half of the programme ended on time at 9.30 there was no sign of the tea and coffee and the raffle was held while waiting for refreshments. The usual thanks go to those who contributed prizes and bought tickets to produce a raffle income of £156. The tea eventually arrived, but production of the coffee was again delayed and quickly ran out with a further wait for an additional supply. 

The Association's AGM was also held at half time with the previously circulated minutes of the last AGM and financial statement taken as read and approved and the existing officials and directors confirmed in post for the next year. There were no other volunteers to serve on the committee for the future. A motion was also tabled and unanimously approved to increase the admittance price to £10 for members and £12 for guests with the Secretary explaining the need for an uplift consequent on the rising cost of venues and bands and the consistently low level of attendance at the monthly functions. 

Entrance fees on the night amounted to £410 producing a total income of £566 inclusive of raffle proceeds which, after outgoings of £503.60 (venue, band, whisky and suppers for the band), led to a small profit of £62.40. 

Dancing continued after the AGM and the evening ended with the usual address from the President followed by the last waltz and Auld Lang Syne. 

The next dance will be held in the Osprey Suite of the Commodore on 30 June with music provided by the Steven Carcary SDB. 

 

Stuart McKeown SDB 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Last Updated on Thursday, 08 June 2023 12:23
 

Monthly Function Friday 28th April 2023

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Dance Held At The Commodore Hotel on 28 April 2023

 

 

Daylight and dry (albeit overcast) weather welcomed 41 dancers (35 members and 6 non members) to the April dance, a disappointingly low turnout due perhaps in part to the event coinciding with the bank holiday weekend. As a result a small loss of £39.80 was recorded on the night, a loss which would have been substantially higher were the raffle income to be taken out of the equation. One can only hope that numbers pickup over the next few dances.

 

The evening began with the traditional welcome from President Neil MacLeod and music for the night was provided by the Roy Hendrie SDB who, while not perhaps the most communicative of band leaders, did play some splendid music for the various dances.

 

The floor was well frequented for most of the dances despite its appallingly glutinous surface (of which more later) though the reluctance of many to try their hand at a couple of dances outwith their immediate comfort zone was disappointing.

 

The usual tea/coffee and biscuits were served at half time without any of the problems experienced on past occasions and the raffle followed, raising the sum of £126 to alleviate somewhat the loss on the night. Thanks to prize donors and purchasers of tickets.

 

Despite representations by the President to the hotel management it was clear that a number of the problems raised had not been addressed. The state of the floor in particular had been pointed out as an issue after the last dance and it was self evident that nothing had been done to remedy the matter leaving it unfit for purpose as far as dancing is concerned. Several of the dancers complained and indicated that they might have to consider future attendance if the situation remained unresolved. The stage lighting also appears still to be an issue and complaints were received as to the state of the ladies toilets with one cubicle out of commission, another without toilet paper,  both soap dispensers empty and a boxed toilet seat left atop two of the basins. A lack of cleaning was also evident and the corridor leading to the ladies toilets has been in darkness since December. In addition a lack of small tables necessitated the requisition of one of the long tables for the purpose of taking entry money and selling raffle tickets(which could have been problematic had the attendance been higher). All in all a pretty poor showing by the Commodore.

 

The evening ended with remarks and thanks by the President followed by the last waltz and Auld Lang Syne.

 

The next dance will be held on Friday 26 May at the Commodore (with the sincere hope that at least some of the aforementioned problems will have been sorted out). The AGM will also take place at the interval and it is hoped that as many members as possible will attend and that  volunteers to become new committee members will make themselves known prior to the date.

 

Roy Hendrie S.D.B. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 08 May 2023 10:30
 

Monthly Function Friday 31st March 2023

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Dance held at The Commodore Hotel 31st March 2023

 

46 members and 4 non-members attended the March dance at the Osprey Suite in the Commodore.

Attendance was up on last month’s event and one couple attended as a result of picking up a leaflet

from our stall at the recent Clubs and Societies event in Hermitage Academy.

Music was provided by the James Coutts on accordion and Ian Adamson on drums. The duo

provided great music and some fantastic tunes for the dances.

President Neil MacLeod welcomed the dancers and the dance started with the ever popular Gay

Gordons. The floor was full for most of the dances although only a few couples got up to dance less

well known dances and there was just one set for some of the set dances. The floor was very sticky;

clearly the floor had been mopped but not buffed therefore dancing smoothly proved a challenge.

Moreover the stage lighting was not working. Both issues to be discussed with hotel manager.

Tea and coffee was served at half time followed by the raffle which raised the sum of £155. Many

thanks to those who purchased tickets and donated raffle prizes. Although numbers attending was

up on last month’s dance, the income from the raffle is heavily subsidising the cost of the dances

which would otherwise show a loss. In this instance total ticket sales (including a £10 donation)

amounted to £418 while expenditure on the hall, band etc. was £498.50. Clearly without raffle

income we would not have the slight profit of £74.50.

The evening ended about 11.15 pm with closing remarks by the President followed by the last waltz

and Auld Lang Syne.

The next dance will take place on Friday the 28th April in the Osprey Suite with music provided by

the Roy Hendrie Duo.

 

 

James Couts SDB 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 14 April 2023 21:07
 

Monthly Function Friday 24th February 2023

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Dance held at The Commodore Hotel 24 February 2023 

A seasonably chilly February evening welcomed 43 members and 3 non members to an evening's dancing at the Osprey Suite in the Commodore. Thankfully – and unusually for Helensburgh on dance nights - it was rain free, making the journey to and fro more pleasant than usual. It should be mentioned that 44 members' tickets were actually paid for with one life member who couldn't attend generously donating the ticket price. 

Accompaniment for the dancers was provided by the Gavin Piper Duo with the man himself, a stalwart of the Box and Fiddle circuit, on the button box, ably assisted by Calum Wallace on drums. It has to be said that the music was simply superb, from the choice of tunes to the perfect tempo for set dances, waltzes (old time and modern), foxtrots and everything else in the programme. 

The evening commenced with the traditional greeting by President Neil MacLeod and the dancing commenced with the Eva Three Step in the somewhat idiosyncratic Helensburgh style with the band keeping the dances coming in fairly quick succession thereafter. It was pleasing to note the floor being full for most of the dances with the set dances generally having at least a couple of sets in action. 

Tea and coffee were served at half time, not without difficulties being encountered with the hotel's service: beverages were not timeously produced, with the initial provision of tea being neither sufficient nor hot enough and both tea and coffee pots requiring to be refilled. Not the first time there have been problems with the hotel's service! In addition the hotel were either unable or unwilling to provide the usual sandwiches for the band necessitating a quick trip to Tesco to procure the same. 

The raffle was also held at half time and raised the not inconsiderable sum of £131. A big thank you to those who purchased tickets and especially to donors of the prizes. It's worth noting at this stage that, given the regrettably continuing low turn out at dances the income from raffles (which was intended originally to be a means of raising money for charity) is heavily subsidising the cost of the functions which would otherwise show a loss. In this instance total ticket sale amounted to £382 while expenditure on the hall, band etc. was £488, showing a loss of £106 without raffle income and a meagre profit of £25 taking the raffle into account. On a happier note Secretary Anne Thorn announced to the assemblage that President Neil MacLeod and wife Christina were celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss with Christina being presented with a bouquet of flowers, all much to the surprise of the President. 

The evening ended about 11.30 pm with closing remarks by the President followed by the last waltz and Auld Lang Syne. 

The next dance will take place on Friday 31 March In the Osprey Suite with music provided by the James Coutts Duo. 

Neil opens the evening 

 

Well Done to all the Dancers! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gavin Piper Duo SDB 

 

 


Last Updated on Monday, 13 March 2023 14:15
 


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