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Strictly Come Dancing - the Norman way.

PUBLISHED: 14:43 16 February 2012

Nancy and Peter Norman at the Samson & Hercules circa 1960.

Nancy and Peter Norman at the Samson & Hercules circa 1960.

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Our stories have revived so many memories of the much loved Norman School of Dancing in Norwich run by Peter and Nancy.

They were one of the most popular couples around who ran what was probably the most successful “dating agency” Norwich has ever seen.

It was also a place which gave so many people, of all ages and walks of life, so much pleasure.

And they all had one thing in common – they loved dancing.

I suspect some of you reading this will have met your husbands, wives and partners at the one and only Norman School of Dancing.

My stories about the old dance halls in and around the city and county prompted Michael Ives to revive memories of the school which was based in a building which still stands off All Saints Green.

During the 1950s and 60s it was one of the most popular places in Norwich, where hundreds of boys and girls gathered each week for dance sessions.

It was a school which has never been forgotten and many of you have been in touch to say how much you loved being a member of it in the days when entertainment was rather limited to say the least.

There is now talk of a reunion so I would like you to search through cupboards and draws, perhaps even boxes in the loft, to see if you can found any old photographs taken at the school.

It all started after the war in 1945. Peter and Nancy had been helping to run afternoon tea dances at the Samson & Hercules –the centre of the Norwich entertainment scene.

They were the host and hostess at the popular tea dances which the soldiers, especially the GI’s, just loved.

They then started to use the grand ballroom to give dance lessons and put together troupes. The children loved it and before long they opened a proper school at All Saints Green.

The children, apart from being taught how to dance, put on special shows and displays, and were a star attraction across the city and county.

Over the years the school developed and grew. Think of a dance and the chances are they taught it along with those glamorous teachers Moya and Mildred – how the boys loved them.

Then rock ‘n’ roll came along the school embraced it - putting on the first discos in the city which attracted even more kids. Chubby Checker’s Twist was very big.

When Nancy died Peter married Anne and, after the school eventually closed, they went to live in Spain where they helped to run a social club for British residents and holidaymakers. Once again, they were perfect hosts.

“We very much regret closing and will feel the wrench very deeply, but feel great satisfaction in knowing the pleasure we have given so many by teaching them to dance,” said Peter.

Peter and Anne eventually returned to this country and lived at Bury St Edmunds where Anne still is today.

Thank you for all your calls and letters about the much-loved and much-missed Norman School.

And if you have any memories or photographs then I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, or email me at derek.james@archant.co.uk

Don’t miss the Evening News next Monday for a special picture spread along with your stories as we quick step our way back inside the Norman School to see what was going on during the 1950s and 60s. And find out more about that reunion idea.

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