Fundraisers hanging up their dancing shoes

Sudbury Car Park Dance organisers have raised thousands of pounds for local charities. ANL-141216-195034009

Sudbury Car Park Dance organisers have raised thousands of pounds for local charities. ANL-141216-195034009

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Organisers are hoping for one last hurrah at an annual dance in Sudbury which is to end after raising more than £20,000 for charity.

The Car Park Dance started in 2011 as a group of friends reformed the 1950s and 60s tradition of rock and roll dances, which were formerly held in the North Street car park in Sudbury.

These were attended by youngsters from the Sudbury area, which had a popular café culture at the time.

They were restarted to reunite old friends and offer a social activity for residents of the local area, as well as offering an opportunity to raise funds for local charities.

Now, with some committee members struggling with ill health and participation numbers falling, the dance’s committee has decided to call it a day.

They are putting on one last show as a final hurrah, hoping to bring together as many people as possible while raising as much money as they can for the East Anglia Air Ambulance.

The final dance will take place on Saturday, November 12, at the Delphi Centre, Newton Road, Sudbury.

Local duo the Caveners will be providing the entertainment.

Sudbury town councillor Jack Owen, whose wife is one of the dance committee’s members, said: “It was all about reuniting and to meet up with old friends.

“Their social lives used to be based around the coffee houses in the 50s and 60s.

“You went to different bars if you were a mod or a rocker. Then you had the rock and roll dance held in the car park as there were no big halls round here at the time.”

Speaking about the decision to call time on the dances, Mr Owen said: “I think this is as good a time as ever. It’s getting a bit harder to sell tickets, perhaps it is coming to the end of its usefulness.

“But it will be a chance to see people, to chat about the old times.”

The organising committee, made up of Freddie Lay, Neil Taylor, Melvyn Theobald, John Brooks, Bonnie Foster, Vi Cobbold and Maureen Owen, is hoping for one last bumper turnout at the hall which can hold up to 300 people, with the dances previously having attracted up to 250 people.

“We hope to fill up the hall and to make quite a bit of money for the air ambulance.

“It’s a good cause. A lot of local people have benefitted from it and you often see them around here,” said Mr Owen.

Tickets are available from the committee by calling 01787 377014, 07563942305 or 07960896056.

You can also purchase tickets from the Tourist Information Centre in Sudbury Library,