October 2020         A NEWSLETTER           No. 162


Another rather brief and untypical Broun’s Reel.  Oh, I so miss dancing! I’ve talked to several members from my own group lately and we all miss dancing! It has been good to see each other on Zoom and we have met up outdoors, socially distanced, of course, and observing the “rule of six”. And Scottish dancers by and large are just the nicest people. But - I wish, I wish..

I’ve just looked at the last editorial I wrote, and so much has stayed the same, or returned to where we were. Still our sympathies are with those who’ve suffered either directly from COVID-19 or indirectly, through isolation, depression, or even bereavement. Especially now those who have lost their jobs or who are facing unemployment and loss of income must be in our thoughts. The “new normal” seems as far away as ever. I really hope that you can all stay well and stay safe through this “second wave” and the coming winter. If you need help, I’m sure that any member of our dancing community, or dancing family if you prefer, will aid you in whatever way they can, so don’t be afraid to call on us.

It was really good to see so many people on Wednesday 17th June at our Zoom AGM! I think was a really successful experiment. 22 people “attended”, and we welcomed Rachel White and David Proctor onto the committee. Thank you for stepping up to the plate!

Another reminder about the RSCDS’s live online class on Zoom each Wednesday at 7.00 pm, and the magazine edition on Fridays. Everything is available on the RSCDS website, and you can check out the archive. Finally, apologies again for no print copy of Broun’s Reel at the moment.        Joyce Cochrane  


Many congratulations to Rosemary and Barry Robins who celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on 27th August. What an achievement!


Unfortunately, we still have no clear idea on what will happen in the future. Most dances this year have been moved to a similar date next year, usually with the same teachers, bands, etc. Some of us have been working on ideas for future classes some time in the new year with social distancing and other non-contact measures; a lot will depend on the pandemic and future guidelines and restrictions. The RSCDS’s AGM will be held virtually.


Not a lot of dancing has been going on – just those of us following the RSCDS classes online. Nevertheless, members of some groups have managed to meet up one way or another, so here are some of the things they’ve been doing.

Ryedale Scottish Dance Group

Part One: 2.9.2020

We were due to start dancing on the 2nd of September in normal times so decided we would meet up. We settled on Breez Knees as we could chat, socially distant and enjoy the gardens.

We were lucky with the weather as it didn't start to rain until we were all back at the vehicles.

There were eight of us and we did think about doing a dance but there were a few other people around and to be honest not sure I could have come up with a dance with minimum contact that we would all be able to do straight away.

It was good to meet face to face and it does make you realise how much we are all in need of social contact, e-mails, texts etc are fine but not the same at all.

We have decided to review the start of dancing in late October as some of us are hoping to be away during September and October and sadly the time is not right just yet.

Part Two: 9.10.2020

The Pickering group met again for a social distance walk and our venue was the Arboretum at Castle Howard, York, on Wednesday 7th October.

We were lucky with a lovely sunny afternoon, if a cool breeze, and the autumn colours were lovely. Again it was good to meet face to face and catch up on news, and to be assured we are all facing similar problems and frustrated at not being able to dance.

Willerby Scottish Dance Class

George has been writing an email for his group each week. In addition, the group have met online a couple of times for an online Zoom meeting, set up and hosted by Lynne Brooks.

Cottingham Scottish Dance Class

Lynne not only set up a Zoom meeting for the Willerby class, but she has done the same for the Cottingham group, and we’ve also met twice online. It was brilliant to see everyone! Then we managed to see each other in the flesh on Monday 12th October when nine of us went for a socially-distanced walk in two groups from Skidby to Risby, where we had coffee. It really rained, but we didn’t mind as it was so good to enjoy each other’s company. Here are some pictures of the group before they got completely wet!


Back in April, the RSCDS began to broadcast a live 30-minute class on Zoom every Wednesday. They consist of a warm up, stretching exercises, step practice and technique, finishing with a dance followed by a cooldown.

Each week there is a mystery teacher from anywhere in the world bringing their own style of teaching. We've had great teachers from all over the world - Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, California and expert teaching from more familiar faces, often using family members to dance with them or play some magnificent tunes.

I’ve done every class and all but one of them live on Wednesday nights.*
I’ve enjoyed revisiting familiar dances, attempting highland steps and learning dances that are new to me (Red House - with no hands- useful when we start again). I’ve learnt how to do shedding and a coupé, learnt about transitions, done a Threesome Reel as a solo, revised the Glasgow Highlanders step, and learnt a reverse Highland Schottische step.
I’ve even done setting to a chair a figure of 8 round 2 chairs, positioned cushions over the kitchen floor and learnt a poussette with no hands.

The summer spectacular had classes every night for a week as dancers couldn’t attend St Andrews.

The online chat is always lively with comments from all corners of the world. I usually put on a greeting (see right) from East Yorkshire before the class and then Joyce and I usually have a WhatsApp chat about it afterwards.

Well done to the RSCDS  for this wonderful service which has kept me motivated and reasonable fit, all through the summer and hopefully it will continue until we all dance again.

Lynne Brooks, Cottingham   

*[The classes are repeated on Fridays and are also available on the RSCDS website. – Ed.]


Christmas is coming, and despite rumours to the contrary, it has not been cancelled! As it seems unlikely that we shall all be able to see each other in the flesh by then, I thought it might be a nice idea to send greetings to other dancers through the medium of Broun’s Reel. You can send wishes to everyone or special messages to particular friends, near or far, who you can’t see, or even both! If you can get them to me by December 16th that would be great. It would be very good to have a real bundle of Christmas wishes!


Editor:  Joyce Cochrane, 22 Newton Drive, Beverley,

  HU17 8NX.    (01482 - 871790)


Secretary: Helen Brown  01904 - 488084

York & North Humberside branch website:

Contact:  Rita Eastwood   01904 - 413020

Copy date for next issue:     16th December 2020