Ruby anniversary for community association hall

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IT was opened thanks to the generosity of the community and now, 40 years on, Waterlooville Community Centre is being celebrated.

The milestone anniversary was marked yesterday by the Tuesday Sequence Tea Dance Club with an extended dance.

Dancers at Waterlooville Community Centre

Dancers at Waterlooville Community Centre

Dancers wore their best dancing outfits with the ladies in flowing summer dresses and sequined numbers and a lot of the men in tuxedos.

The tea dance club has been going for almost as long as the building has been open.

Former dance leader John Rowling has been there almost since the start.

The 87-year-old, of Sunnymead Drive, said: ‘Unfortunately I’m not dancing at the moment as I keep losing my balance but I have done for many, many years.

‘There was no way I’d miss the 40th anniversary.

‘I like coming here because there’s a great mix of people and it’s easy to make friends.

‘We go away on dance weekends to Bournemouth and everybody really dresses up.

‘I used to come with my wife Muriel but she died two years ago. But I love the company here.’

Muriel Lewis dances five days a week even at the age of 94.

Mrs Lewis, of Durley Road, Cowplain, said: ‘We’ve been here since the beginning. I remember donating money to help build this centre.

‘I’m really proud that it’s still going strong after all these years.

‘It means clubs like ours can keep going too. It’s great for the community.

‘Tea dancing is good exercise. It helps me stay fit and in shape.’

As well as being in charge of the music at the tea dance Michael Jessop is also on the Waterlooville Community Association Committee.

He said: ‘We’re calling this our 40-ish birthday because it was not actually opened until November.

‘This is an excellent facility. There are so many groups who meet here each week – toddlers, judo, arts clubs.

‘We don’t get any funding from the council, we do it all ourselves.

‘We just spent a lot of money upgrading the front of the building.

‘And we hope the club will be around for many more years to come.’

The tea dance club meets every Tuesday afternoon at 2pm. All are welcome.

For information about the centre go to waterlooville