Cyril Papworth

Died October 13th 2001, aged 85

Cyril started dancing with the Round in 1965 when a town group run by Grace North dissolved (Grace North regularly played piano for the Round) and several members of that group started dancing with the Round. In 1994 Cyril Papworth was appointed President of the Round, he had been on the committee for many years and continued to call regularly.

Cyril's mother was an EFDS stalwart, and he danced from an early age with most of the Cambridge clubs, most notably the Cambridge Morris Men.

As well as dancing Cyril was also interested in researching the local dances and published articles on Cambridge Molly dancing, a book - Polka Round - of his native Comberton Feast Dances (including a description of the Comberton Broom Dance he learnt from his family) and an audio tape of Comberton customs.

He was also keen to encourage others, going in to local schools to teach country dancing, leading workshops on Broom Dance at festivals, and encouraging the local Molly Dance group Gog Magog Molly.

Over the years he wrote several country dances, and in the year before his death was putting them together to be published in a book of his dances, with an accompanying recording by the Round band - this was almost ready to be published when he died and was published posthumously in "All Join Hands".

In 1992 the EFDSS awarded Cyril a Jubilee Medal. (They decided to celebrate 60 years from when the EFDS and FSS merged to create the EFDSS by awarding sixty(ish) Jubilee Medals to people who had made sustained contributions to English Folk at a local level rather than their usual one or two Gold Badge awards; Cyril was the only recipient in the Cambridge District.)

While Cyril was always keen that people should dance with style he was always just as keen that dancing should be seen as fun. Before their first display in front of him that Gog Magog Molly were worried that he might be upset by the liberties a bunch of mad students had taken with “his” dance, but in fact he was as pleased as Punch that they were enjoying their version of the local tradition.

Hugh Stewart

See The President’s Farewell, a dance written in his memory

Page maintained by Hugh Stewart