How Bilbrook Folk Dance Club was formed
During the 1970's and early 80's a number of people developed an interest in Country Dancing. Unfortunately, there were no local dances for them to attend. So they travelled to events further afield. When the club at Bridgnorth finished they decided to try to form a local club. So during 1982 Jim and Sheila Thomas organised a trial dance at Bilbrook Church Hall. They had the guidance and support of the local expert on the subject, Jim Mansell,a well known local teacher, musician and a Dance "Caller"
On the 28th July 1982 they started. The Moonshiners Band generously agreed to provide music for the evening and there were numerous callers to provide the dance instruction. More than seventy people attended the event, and enjoyed a wonderful evening of dancing together.
Encouraged by the level of interest shown, it was decided to hold a dance each month. Jim Mansell and Jim Thomas became the resident "callers" using mainly recorded music from their own collections. Also there were visits from many well known "callers" from around the area.
In January 1983 a meeting of supporters was held, a committee was formed, and BILBROOK FOLK DANCE CLUB was born. The committee was formed of Jim Mansell (chairman) , Jim Thomas (vice-chairman) Jack Holmes (secretary), Bert Fletcher (treasurer), Malcolm Cadwallader (publicity officer), Sheila Thomas (catering officer) and Margaret Brookes (archivist)
The club continued in a similar format for some years. Holding their club nights on the third Tuesday every month. Later on because a lot of our members belonged to the Shifnal Club as well , the night was changed to the second Tuesday of the month, so as not to clash with Shifnal night.
The club did special days out like Well Dressing, work shops and during December every alternate year we had a residential week-end at Pendrell Hall College, with a variety of instructions on different folk traditions, including Country Dances old and new, Morris Dances, Sword Dances, and Folk Dramas etc. We also took part in other social activities, winning a prize for the best float in the Scout Carnival, holding our own big Dances at Codsall Village Hall and Bilbrook Village Hall and even supplying display teams for different functions.