Jackie Toaduff was born in 1933 and grew up in South Moor, Stanley, County Durham. His father was a miner and Jackie was the youngest of four brothers.

He initially learned some tap steps from Jocka Richardson, a local dancer. However Jocka died when Jackie was about seven so he sought out another local dance teacher, Tiny Allison and was a member of her troupe until he was fourteen, when he left school and began work as a miner. Not long after this he was invited to enter a clog dance competition. It was 1949 and the competition was only three weeks away and was to take place in Hexham. Jackie agreed to take up the challenge and was to enter the Junior Championship.

The Hexham competition was a great success with Jackie winning the Junior Championship and Tiny Allison winning the Senior. The judges were Peter Kennedy, Harry Robinson and Dickie Farrell. When the competition ran again in 1951, Jackie won the Senior Championship and went on to win the Championship for the next two years after which it ceased to run.

Jackie’s prominence in the competitions drew him to the attention of the EFDSS who invited him to perform at their many festivals and showcases. After winning a talent contest in Blackpool, he met singer Roland Roy and his manager/musician Colin Edwardes and they eventually formed the professional cabaret act Roy and Jackie Toaduff in 1959. They toured internationally and were resident performers on the QE2 for 20 years.

Jackie Toaduff’s Hornpipe

This booklet  in the Newcastle Series: Jackie Toaduff Competition Hornpipe Steps by Alex Fisher contains ten hornpipe steps and accompanying finishes, collected from one of the most well-known clog dance performers of the mid-twentieth century.