The English Folk Dance and Song Society organised the Northumberland and Durham Championship at Hexham  commencing in 1949.

In that year  the competition was held in the Queen’s Hall, Hexham, Northumberland.  The competition was organised by Peter Kennedy, at that time the EFDSS representative in the North East.  He had placed advertisements in local papers to encourage dancers to compete.

There were two competitions, a junior championship dancing six steps and a double shuffle, and the senior  Northumberland and Durham Championship dancing 10 steps and a double shuffle.  In the event a number of competitors were disqualified for dancing not enough steps.  Unlike pre-war competitions all the dancers performed sequentially in one afternoon, there being no knock-out stages.

The events seemed to cause considerable rivalry and ill-feeling between dancers, allegations being made of corruption and cheating (sometimes by the judges).  See the interview with  Mary Jameson on  2/12/1981 for one view and that with Doreen Kerr on 1/3/1982 for another.

Tiny Allison presented with the Championship belt.

Results were:

Northumberland and Durham Championship:
Tiny Allison – 1st place.
Johnson Ellwood – 2nd place

Junior Championship:
Jackie Toaduff – 1st place.
Molly ….  – pupil of Ivy Sands.  3rd place.

Under 10’s
Doreen Kerr (perhaps unplaced)

The above information derives from interviews with Ivy Sands on 25/10/1980 and  2/11/1980, with Tiny Allison on 15/9/1980, with  Mary Jameson on  2/12/1981, with Doreen Kerr on 1/3/1982, and a report of the competition in Kennedy, Douglas, “The Hexham Festival”, English Dance & Song, 13.4 (1949), 56-58.