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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Curtain falls on Maryport dance contest after 23 years

A Maryport dance festival held its last contest this week before folding after 23 years.

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TIME TO SAY GOODBYE: Joan Young hosts the farewell lunch

The Maryport Open Stage Dance Festival was held at the town’s Wave Centre on Wednesday, with about 40 dancers taking part.

The annual August competition was launched in 1991 by a committee which included Joan Young.

It began at the town’s civic hall and switched to the Wave Centre when that venue closed.

Over the years the committee dwindled to leave Mrs Young as the only organiser, aided by a small team of helpers.

Now 69 and with health problems, she has decided to call a halt to the event.

Mrs Young, of Gillbeck Park, Ellenborough, invited past organisers and helpers to a farewell lunch on Wednesday.

She said: “I won’t miss the hard work before the event, but I’ll miss it.”

The festival began after Mrs Young’s daughter Helen took up dancing and went away to stage school.

A love of dance has remained in the family and her granddaughters now compete.

Her granddaughter Charlotte Ip was born during the festival six years ago and celebrated her birthday at Wednesday’s event.

l See next week’s Times & Star for results and more pictures.

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