Prior to this date there had been a lapse in the Northumberland and Durham Championships, the previous competition having been held at Gateshead in 1908.

The 1935 competition was held at the New Victoria Theatre, Stanley, Co Durham on Saturday 29th June 1935 under the organisation of Harry Robinson of Stanley. This theatre had just been refurbished by Rawes Amusements Ltd, and indeed T.C. Rawes assisted Harry Robinson in the organisation of the event

Prior to the event there was considerable interest in the local press, reports being made of the entry into the competition of Jimmy Ellwood and Warren Doyle and also a photograph of the organisers with the championship belt.  There had been heats at each performance at the theatre during the week, the dancers being as set out below.

The way in which the 1935 competition was organised, which it is believed reflects the running of earlier contests, is of some interest. The competitors, 29 in all in 1935, were split into heats. Dancing took place during the course of evening performances at the theatre. The winner of each heat went through to a series of semi-finals which took place on 28th June 1935, the finals taking place on 29th June. Each performer was required to perform 10 steps and a double shuffle “off the toe” to finish. A full orchestra was provided.


Harry Robinson and Dickie Farrell, the referee being George Mackintosh.  The judges stood on either side if the dancing platform and the referee at the back of the stage.

Dancers in heats (all male unless otherwise stated) – known winners in bold:

24th June 1st House:  J.B. Bell (Gateshead), Jack Richardson (Causey), Jack Graham (Winlaton)
24th June 2nd. House:  M. Bland (Newcastle), Miss L. Luke (Tynemouth), Miss Ray Dunstall (Leicester)
25th June 1st House:  Jimmy Ellwood , Tom Ellwood (Walker), Matty Smith (Stanley)
25th June 2nd House:  Jack Astor (Dunston), Warren Doyle (Low Fell), Tom Pritchard (Stocksfield)
26th June Matinee:  J. McSparren (Felling), Johnson Ellwood (Whitley Bay), H. Charlton (Low Fell)
26th June 1st House:  John Surtees (Beamish), Robert Golightly (Ashington), M.Angus Catenach (Whitley Bay)
26th June 2nd House:  George Fenton (Gateshead), Joe Daley (Blaydon), Sam Bell (Morpeth)
27th June 1st House:  Percy Taylor (Washington), Miss May Luke (Tynemouth), Harry Hughes (Stanley)
27th June 2nd House:  T. Kerrs (Craghead), T. Gallon (Whitley Bay), C. Haynes (Seaton Delaval)

Semi Finals 28th June

Finals 29th June

1st Place  Joe Da(i)ley
2nd Place  Angus Catanach
3rd Place  C. Haynes
4th Place
5th Place Tom Pritchard

In addition to the above, Maud Beaney and Madge Humble were given in the entries list but do not seem to have actually competed.  Some doubt attaches to the identity of one of the Misses Luke as her name is given in the list of entries as Eva Luke, and the list of dancers as L. Luke.

The competition appears to have provoked some dissatisfaction from Jimmy Ellwood, both as regards its organisation and the result!  Copies of his correspondence in the local press are available.

The information above is a compilation of details provided by Angus Catanach when interviewed on  19/2/1981, from lists of competing dancers prepared by Jimmy Ellwood,  and from  reports in the Stanley News for 24/5/1935 and  21/6/1935 The Newcastle Evening Chronicle for 27/3/1935 and 30/5/1935 and an unknown local paper probably in 3/1935.