THE YEAR 2013 sees the 60th anniversary of the founding of the East Angus branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
In 1953 the then Angus branch split into three new branches - Forfar, Carnoustie and East Angus.
The East Angus branch has functioned continuously since that time, supporting traditional music and dance in the Montrose, Brechin and Arbroath areas.
Records show membership numbers of over 100 during the heydays and, while these numbers have dropped to between 40 and 50, this does not indicate a decline in energy or enthusiasm for Scottish Country Dance.
In fact the branch is planning a series of celebratory events during its diamond anniversary year.
The first event is the East Angus annual dance which takes place in the Old and St Andrew’s Church hall on Friday, May 10, starting at 7.30pm.
Frank Thomson from Aberdeen will provide live music and a finger buffet will be served.
The programme will contain some old favourites and also some dances composed in honour of local people, places and events.
A competition has also been launched for a new dance to mark the branch diamond jubilee and it is hoped that local dancers will get creative and send in an original composition.
There will be a prize for the winner and the dance will be put on the programme for the jubilee ball later in the year.
The closing date for entries is June 7.
In June the dancers will move out of doors to do some location dancing.
Saturday, June 29, will see a team of dancers and musicians travel around the East Angus area to perform dances with a local connection.
It is hoped to visit Arbroath to dance at Arbroath Abbey, move on to Montrose to dance the rarely done ‘John of Montrose’ and then travel to Brechin to dance ‘Brechin Lassies’.
The afternoon will see the dancers at Edzell and Glenesk.
The performances will be outdoors in public spaces and we are hoping for fine weather and support from local spectators.
The final event in the jubilee year will be a ball on Friday, November 15.
This, too, will be held in the Old Kirk hall and Frank Thomson will return to play for the dancers.
The current committee are keen to hear from members, past and present who have memories of traditional music and dance in East Angus.
Some material is held in the branch archive and it is hoped to mount a small display of dance memorabilia later in the year.
Anyone with material or information of interest is asked to contact either Bob Harcus on 01674 673932 or Alison Duncan on 01674 678086.
Information on all the day-to-day doings, as well as special events, can be found on the branch website (http://rscdseastangus.weebly.com) and its Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/East-Angus-Branch-Rscds/143486525731620).