Burnley's first Sunday tea dance in step to become a regular attraction

A trio of ladies at the Sunday afternoon tea dance.
A trio of ladies at the Sunday afternoon tea dance.

Dancers came from across the North West to the first of what promises to be regular tea dances in Burnley.

Around 80 people flocked to the Kestrel Suite in Cow Lane for the first ever tea dance organised by Tracey Smith who was the founder of the Natter Shack, a pioneering scheme to banish the stigma of loneliness and bring people together.

Dancers get into the swing of things at the Sunday afternoon tea dance which looks set to become a regular event in Burnley.

Dancers get into the swing of things at the Sunday afternoon tea dance which looks set to become a regular event in Burnley.

The Natter Shack has been such a resounding success that Tracey decided to put on a Sunday afternoon tea dance to see what the response would be.

And it proved to be an amazing success with many people asking for it to become a monthly event.

Tracey said: "The feedback was fantastic about the whole event.

"The demand is definitely there as there is nothing else like this in the Burnley district.

"Future dates of the next tea dances will be out soon as I know it’s a success."

Tea and cakes were served to guests at the event who danced to big band tunes provided by Dapper Dan who has earned himself a loyal following in East Lancashire and the North West.

The Natter Shack scheme was born when an elderly stranger struck up a conversation with Tracey while she was out for lunch with her daughter one day in Barrowford.

Tracey, who is deputy manager at the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust telephone booking centre, could tell the lady wanted to talk to someone and they chatted for ages and were joined by another lady.

When Tracey found out they both went in there on a regular basis but just sat on their own she started thinking about how many other retired or single people may be out there who may love a bit of company over lunch or just coffee.

She posted the idea on facebook and was inundated with responses from venues across Burnley and Pendle wanting to join the scheme. Fifteen venues are now signed up to host the Natter Shack scheme which is aimed at people of all ages.

For more information about the scheme contact Tracey via The Natter Shack Facebook page or at nattershack@yahoo.com or 07868734257.