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In Memoriam: Terry Chater

posted Dec 26, 2020, 11:24 AM by Richmond branch RSCDS
Terry Chater (1934 - 2020)

Everyone is unique, but Terry was unique in previously unimagined ways. A tour de force on the 
dancing scene in Darlington and North East England since the 1940s, his huge personality, enthusiasm, and love of a good time on the dancefloor was legendary.

Terry started dancing in his early teens, initially attracted by the music, and in the 1950s began his enduring association with Richmond Branch. A golden age for SCD, dances in the area attracted large numbers enjoying the music of Jimmy Shand. From the mid-1960s Terry taught adult classes in Darlington and subsequently his children’s class, launching Darlington Junior Appreciation, an annual non-competitive festival for children, in 1971. It grew in popularity, welcoming over 20 teams from a wide area, and bands from over the border. Terry was in his element! He took children’s teams to festivals in North East England and those involved still remember the hair-raising minibus journeys with Terry at the wheel.

Terry always played an active role in the life of Richmond RSCDS: as one of the team of Branch teachers and leading Socials and Dances. In June 1998, when the Branch celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Society with an ambitious event in the grounds of Richmond Castle, Terry was proud to M.C. part of the afternoon programme. In 2009 Terry received recognition for his lifelong achievements in SCD, receiving the Branch Award sponsored jointly by Richmond and Leeds RSCDS.

Terry will be remembered for many things but especially his swirling yellow kilt, piercing ‘heuch’, tendency to sing along with his favourite tunes, and unconventional outlook. An unforgettable character, he is greatly missed by the thousands he encouraged to share his love of dancing.

Joy Bradshaw and Caroline Brockbank

Photo: Terry and his wife Betty
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