End of road for Preston Rosettes morris teams

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Sometimes the dancing just has to stop. For the award winning Preston Rosettes morris team that day has come.

But the top city troupes have bowed out on a high.

When their organiser Debbie Davis decided it was time to retire she wanted to ensure there was a real celebration of the young dancers’ achievements.

It was decided to put remaining funds towards a magnificent away weekend at the Anderton outdoor adventure centre near Chorley.

Debbie became involved with the Rosettes team when her children joined and stepped in to run it 17 years ago when it was in danger of folding.

Since then it has become a real family affair. For not only did her daughters graduate through the ranks but now as grown ups Nicola and Stacey Davis and Natalie Garry have carried on helping train the young dancers with fourth trainer Nadine Johnrose. Debbie’s granddaughter also joined the troupe.

Debbie, of Norris Street, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. It’s a big, big dancing family and we’ve made lots of really good friends.”

The team has practised once a week at St Joseph’s Sports and Arts Centre in the city and are used to performing weekly from March to October at events, as well as taking part in competitions.

Debbie said: “It’s a big commitment for the parents - they’re a big part of it really.”

The Anderton weekend, which was part funded by the Community Gateway association, was attended by 30 dancers and 15 adults and activities included orienteering, canoeing and raft building.

Debbie said: “It was absolutely fantastic. It was brilliant. We definitely ended on a high!”

But though it is the end of the road for the Preston Rosettes Debbie is not closing the door completely on this part of the city’s dancing history and a group which once boasted 60 dancers.

She said: “I’d hoped someone would take over... If someone wanted to start it again they can give it a new name!”

• The final celebration will be a bumper Christmas party on December 2 at Preston’s Masonic Hall to which all former dancers and helpers are invited.

WINNING WAYS

The Rosettes had a baby(aged three to seven), junior (aged 11 -16) and senior (aged 14 -34), teams and it was decided they would enter one last competition before disbanding. To their delight they swept the board at The NDTO Morris Dance Championship last month bringing home a clutch of trophies.

Their successes included Baby Troupe of The Year and Junior Troupe of the Year, with baby, junior and senior teams all winning first place in the day’s contests too.

Their attendance at the event was part sponsored by the Friends of Fishwick.

Debbie said: “I’m just so proud of the girls and what we’ve achieved between us and of the friendship.”

SOUVENIRS

Special souvenir bears were made by Tina Taylor and Ann Hickey for all the current morris dancers using materials from their former morris outfits. The duo also made a special souvenir elephant for Debbie.