Dancing on Glasbury Railway Station in 1952
The Stationmaster ran the gramophone
The Rev T A Leonard was a Congregational
Minister in the hard working Mill Towns of East Lancashire. He regarded
the "Wakes" weeks (brief summer holidays) as a waste of
time, good health and money for most of the people; as the towns
emptied and they migrated to Blackpool, Morecambe or the Isle of
Man if they could afford it. So in 1891 he organised a rambling
trip to Ambleside with 30 people from Blackburn. This led to the
formation of the Co-operative Holiday Association ( CHA ) in 1894.
This eventually became too middle class in Leonard's eyes and after
an amicable split the Holiday Fellowship was formed in 1913 and
is still going strong as HF Holidays.
The Holiday Fellowship ran Tregoyd House as a
base from 1947 to 1978 and Charles Edgar Ralphs, Kathleen's father,
used to deliver the Sunday newspapers for the guests. Over time
it became fashionable for the guests to dance on the Station Platform
as they waited for the 11:08 train to Hereford prior to leaving.
The Stationmaster provided the music via a gramophone and Glasbury
attained a cult and international status for this form of departure.
To celebrate the occasion a poem was composed by W Stewart and duly
appeared in the 1954 Spring issue of "Over the Hills".
one of the many Holiday Fellowship publications.
"The Station that likes to
be danced on"
A poem by W Stewart
This Glasbury on Wye must not
Be ranked with other stations,
It is unique, for once a week
The people on the platform seek
The gaiety of nations.
While elsewhere passengers complain
Of late trains, with impatience
We take the chance to start a dance
And add a little gay romance
To Brecon's reputations.
HF Holidays -History
Spring issue "Over the Hills" 1954
The stationmaster's gramophone
Attends on our vacations
When waltzes, reels, on toes and heels
Strike from the concrete rhythmic peals
Which earn us loud ovations.
Look round now on the photographs
That picture these occasions,
See thus employed guests from Tregoyd
By lightest hearts and spirits buoyed
Hail! Happiest of stations.