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A love story which started at the Norman School of Dance

PUBLISHED: 08:34 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 08:34 20 July 2012

Gerry and Beryl Meaden

Gerry and Beryl Meaden

Archant

It's promises to be the reunion of the year - for the Norman boys and girls in Norwich of the 1950s and 60s.

Take your partners for a magical journey down a musical memory lane which sometimes led to the altar for Norwich couples who met at ‘The Norman’.

Thank you for all your memories of the dance school where boys and girls fell in love at classes and then at the first weekend discos at the All Saints’ Green HQ which were packed to the rafters.

Among all your letters and photographs was one from Beryl Meaden, of Sprowston, who wrote: “Yes, it is a name that does not just ring a bell for me, it remains ever dear in my heart.

“I was just 15 when I first went there with serious intent on learning to ballroom-dance but Normans turned out to be a dancing school with a difference. It was a magic place for couples to meet, especially on a Saturday night,” she said.

She recalls the tiny cloakroom and the equally small powder room where 20 or more girls in full skirts and petticoats would excitedly jostle for a look in the one wall mirror to primp their hair, after being blown about in the queue for the bus.

“I lived for the twice-weekly times I used to go to that small, intimate place in the hope of seeing my shy fella. Should anything happen to prevent me from going, my disappointment was enormous.

“I was one of those who fell in love for the first time there. Within months I had met my future husband Gerry,” said Beryl.

“Saturday nights were very special for meeting friends, dancing and jiving to top-20 hit tunes or for a slow smooch under dimmed lights and a glitter ball casting its patterns on the ceiling,” she added.

The school offered private lessons, enabling pupils to reach medal standard and Beryl and Gerry won seven medals between the in the 1950s.

They were married for 37 years and had three daughters – Beverley, Stephanie and Teresa.

Gerry, who died in 1996, became a highly-skilled lead glazier working on important and historic buildings, including cathedrals and colleges, across the land.

“I will never forget those wonderful days at the Norman,” added Beryl.

The pictures were taken on June 14, 1959 outside the old BBC HQ, opposite the school in All Saints’ Green, on the morning of gold medal tests for ballroom-dancing.

The Norman School of Dance reunion is taking place at the Hog in Armour in St Benedict’s, Norwich, on Sunday, August 5 at 7pm.

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