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How Roundabouters started

Peter Shea 40th Anniversary Dance

Roundabouters was founded in September 1970 by Peter and Joy Shea who came from London in the 1960s to live in Stevenage New Town where Peter had been appointed head of a primary school. A parent at the school introduced Peter to the local folk dance scene and he and Joy and became members of Staplers Folk Dance Club in Hitchin. Roundabouters came into existence when a stalwart Stapler, Brian Limbrick, suggested Peter and Joy should start a club in Stevenage as a solution to overcrowding at Staplersí dance evenings.

Initially club evenings were held at a hall in Albert Street in Stevenage Old Town. Later we moved to the Friends Meeting House, Cuttys Lane in what was then called Stevenage New Town. We still meet there.

The name Roundabouters was chosen to reflect the multitude of roundabouts (and, in 1970, barely a single traffic light) in the planned road system of Stevenage New Town, which often gave rise to comment by confused drivers visiting the town for the first time.

Joy and Peter remained active members for the rest of their lives. Joy died in 2003. Peter happily lived to enjoy our 40th anniversary celebrations in 2010, but sadly died in November that year. We owe a debt of gratitude them both.