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History of RSCDS Bristol

The Beginning, on 10th March 1962

The Branch was formed on 10th March 1962 when several members of the Westbury Scottish Club, together with Caledonians and others, met at 13 Orchard Street, formed a committee and the Branch was proposed.

A beginners’ class started on the 17th March with 32 members. By October there were several classes and 93 members.

From 1965 there were 5 varied classes, a weekend school and an annual Ball. The ticket price was 15 shillings and 6 pence, Jimmy Blair was the band, and there were 200 dancers.

Roughly this pattern existed until 1973, when something like the present structure of Committee and Classes appeared.


The history of the branch since 1998 can be seen in the branch newsletters.

50th Anniversary Ball, 2012

On Saturday 10th March 2012, the Bristol Branch held its 50th Anniversary Ball in the impressive surroundings of The Council Chamber at Bristol Council House. The 180 dancers were joined in the celebrations by, amongst others,  HM Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mrs Mary Prior, the right honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Geoffrey Gollop and the Chairman of the Society, Mrs Ruth Beattie. 

The evening started with a Grand March, followed by the Eightsome Reel, which the Lord Mayor and his wife tackled with enthusiasm, despite never having danced before.  The atmosphere was relaxed and  friendly and the dancing vigorous, helped by the sparkling music provided by Ian Muir and Craigellachie and the expert Master of Ceremonies, Peter Wright.  

50th Anniversary Ball

The Branch was delighted with the number of dancers coming from far and wide, including all parts of the UK, France and Germany. They were equally delighted that members of the Branch’s Beginners Class felt able to join in some of the dancing. It was a great birthday party!

Cutting the cake at 50th Anniversary Ball

Two very special guests, founder members of the Branch, Dorothy Bell and Rita Porter, were welcomed by everyone and given the honour of cutting the Anniversary Cake, watched by Ruth Beattie and the Chairman of the Branch, Margaret Pinder.