The golden days of tap
PUBLISHED: 13:27 25 January 2011
One of Norwich's most popular dance troupes is having a reunion on Sunday. Derek James reports.
They were the toast of the town, the top of the taps...and the people of Norwich and the rest of Norfolk loved them.
Back in the 1950s and 60s these girls were a tap-dancing star attraction at events, large and small – from the Theatre Royal and the dear old Hippodrome to village halls and old people’s homes.
The girls spent hours rehearsing for their shows and their mums spent hours making the costumes and, as you can see from these lovely pictures, they certainly looked the part.
Perhaps you were a member of Vicky’s Juveniles – named after the much-loved Beryl Vickers?
If you were then you are wanted for a reunion taking place on Sunday.
“A few of us were chatting recently and we thought it was about time we had a reunion and get together to find out what everyone has been up to,” said Brenda Fairweather, who you may remember as Brenda Burdett from Leicester Street, Norwich.
And Brenda hunted out these photographs of the girls in action to bring back some happy memories of the golden days of tap... with a touch of ballet thrown in.
“We really did enjoy ourselves and Beryl was a wonderful teacher,” said Brenda, now 74 and living in Sprowston.
One of the most famous of all the dance troupes in Norwich was run by Madam Osina and then Beryl Vickers took over. “I was nine and Beryl was 19. We practised at St Matthew’s Church Hall and it was something we all looked forward to,” she said.
Being a member of Vicky’s Juveniles was something they were all so proud of, and so were family and friends.
“We performed at the Hippodrome on St Giles and at the Theatre Royal on some of the big variety shows and at places like the Lewis Buckingham Club – it was such a shame when it was closed,” said Brenda, who went on to run her own troupe, the Norwich Juveniles.
The reunion for Vicky’s Juveniles is taking place at the Holiday Inn near Norwich Airport on Sunday from 2.30pm. All former members will receive a warm welcome. For more details call Brenda Fairweather on 01603 415147. Those attending should include Beryl Vickers, so don’t forget to take your tap dancing shoes. Only joking!