The Last Waltz at the tea dance

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The final tea dance organised by the Royal Hall Restoration Trust provided a wonderful climax to nine years of fund-raising for the Royal Hall.

The idea of holding tea dances to raise money for Harrogate’s iconic Kursaal was the brainchild of trust chairman, the late Lilian Mina MBE, and Barbara Simpson, a close friend with a lifetime in the entertainment business.

NADV 1309033AM Tea Dance. A couple enjoy a dance at the last tea dance at The Sun Pavillian.  Picture : Adrian Murray. (1309033AM)

NADV 1309033AM Tea Dance. A couple enjoy a dance at the last tea dance at The Sun Pavillian. Picture : Adrian Murray. (1309033AM)

By popular demand – and thanks to the unstoppable energy of Barbara Simpson and her committed team of helpers - the tea dances lived on even after the restoration project was completed, and raised thousands of pounds for the Royal Hall. Equally importantly, the dances provided immeasurable pleasure to thousands of people.

The Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Michael Newby, attended the final dance on Tuesday and he paid particular tribute to the memory of Lilian Mina and presented Barbara Simpson with a bouquet of orchids in recognition of her hard work. Then it was time for the music to start and for the dancers to take to the floor one more time for, appropriately, the Last Waltz. It really was the end of an era.