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Rushen Abbey Strawberries & Cream Tea Dance 27 July 2006

Get your dancing shoes on and come to Rushen Abbey on Sunday 6th August, where the Friends of Manx National Heritage are hosting a Strawberries and Cream Tea Dance.

Charabancs of tourists arriving at Rushen Abbey c.1920Tea Dances were once a regular occurrence at Rushen Abbey and many tourists and locals alike flocked to the Abbey Gardens in their charabancs, or on bicycles hired in Port Erin or Port St Mary. Once at the Abbey, people could learn to dance on the large partially covered wooden dance floor in the beautiful surroundings of the gardens. It was here that many dancers met their future husband or wife. Visitors could also indulge in the splendid strawberry cream teas served by Miss Mizen who ran the tea gardens during its heyday in the 1950s.

So popular are these memories, that the Friends of Manx National Heritage are going to revive this tradition at Rushen Abbey for one special event day. Visitors will once again be able to dance at the Abbey and enjoy a cream tea. A marquee and dance floor will be erected where there will be dance instructors on hand for those who are new to dancing (or just a bit rusty), so there will be no excuse not to join in! Strawberries, cakes and tea will also be served throughout the afternoon.

Nicola Tooms, Assistant Curator for Manx National Heritage, said:

“Thanks to the excellent response to an appeal put out by Manx National Heritage, which asked for people to come forward with any old family photographs taken at the Abbey, there will also be a display of old photographs of the Rushen Abbey Tea Dances”.

Thanks goes to all life members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage who have made donations in support of this event.

Admission and refreshments will be free of charge to members of the Friends of Manx National Heritage on production of membership cards. For details on joining the Friends please contact Nicola Pemberton on 824137.

The Strawberries and Cream Tea Dance will begin at 12 noon and finish at 4:30pm.

Rushen Abbey is part of the award-winning Story of Mann, and is open from 10am to 5pm daily, until 31st October 2006.

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