Sheffield dance fans take to floor to mark venue’s birthday

Tea Dance  City hall
Tea Dance City hall
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AN 80-YEAR-OLD dance fan was one of dozens to help mark a Sheffield venue’s 80th birthday at a traditional tea dance.

Pearl Hurst and her daughter Julie, aged 56, are regulars at the City Hall’s famous tea dances.

And they were at the latest event which helped mark 80 years since the venue opened in September 1932.

Pearl said: “We just love coming here and Julie loves to dance.”

Julie comes every week with the Dover Street Day centre dance group for adults with special needs.

The dances have been a fixture at City Hall for decades and it was during one dance in 1959 that Eric and Janet Robinson met.

Janet said: “It’s not really changed since. The floor is the same and the ceiling - it’s a beautiful room though.”

Now the couple are tea dancing regulars as their son, Aubrey Robinson, plays keyboards for the event.

Janet, 74, from Ecclesfield, said: “I would never have thought back when we first met that I would be sat there watching my son play keyboard on stage.”

And music - whether it is to accompany dancing or listen to - is a huge part of the Robinsons’ lives.

Aubrey runs Harmony Music School and performs live for the majority of City Hall’s tea dances.

Eric, 82, said: “It is live music, not just playing from a record - it’s taken Aubrey years to play to this standard.”

Fellow dancer Lillian Slingsby, 78, said: “We’ve been coming here for 58 years and it’s brilliant.

“It’s so friendly and everybody has got to know one another.”

“I love to dance and I feel fit for coming.”