The Playford Ball

The Round organises a Playford Ball each year, and invites past and present members of the Round to attend. It is a formal but relaxed chance to pretend you have just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel. All the dances are called, so it isn’t too scary, but if you haven’t done much English country dancing before it would be a good idea to come to some of the regular Thursday meetings during the Easter Term.

The Ball is held on the Saturday following the last day of Cambridge University Easter Full Term, so in 2023 it will be on Saturday 17th June. In 2022 it was held at William Collyn Community Centre, Wellbrook Way, Girton, Cambridgeshire, CB3 0FW. map Drinks at 7.00 p.m., dancing 7.30–11.45 with an interval for supper.

In 2022 band was The Small Square Band.

Dress code: black tie or period costume preferred. Comfortable footwear recommended.


Admission is by ticket only. Tickets were £10 for students, £15 for others, and include a buffet supper. There are several different ways you can buy a ticket:

  • by Bank transfer:
    1. Email Hannah Stone stating how many student and non-student tickets you would like.

    2. Transfer payment to the Round's bank account. Account number: 16564685 Sort code: 52-10-46
      As a reference, please use
      "PB S[number of student tickets]N[number of non-student tickets]", followed by your surname.
      For example, if you want 1 student ticket and no non-student tickets, use the reference "PB S1N0 your-name".

    3. You will receive by email an acknowledgement that you have paid, with an attached pdf of instructions for the dances.

  • by Post:

    Send a cheque payable to 'The Round' to: R.E.H. Stone, 47 Nightingale Avenue, Cambridge, CB1 8SG.
    Enclose your email address so that she can acknowledge that you have paid and attach pdfs of instructions for the dances.

    If you would like her to acknowledge on paper and send you printed dance instructions, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope.

  • At the weekly Round on Thursdays:

    You can pay by cash or card or a cheque payable to 'The Round'.

Dance-programme cards will be available on the door.


Many thanks to everyone who provided puddings in earlier years — this is always very much appreciated! If you would be willing to help this year, please let me know when booking your tickets what you plan to provide, and an approximate number of servings.


As is customary, the programme has been largely selected from Palmer’s Pocket Playford. Cribs for all the dances are available here (pdf).

The programme for the 2022 Ball was:

Upon a Summer's Day
Sun Assembly
Hole in the Wall
Mount Hills
Barbarini's Tamborine
Parson's Farewell
Black Nag
Duke of Kent's Waltz
INTERVAL and Kentucky Running Set

The Geudman of Ballangigh
Step Stately
Well Hall

Indian Queen
Never Love Thee More
Sellenger's Round

Kentucky Running Set has nothing to do with Playford dancing but it is traditional for some to run a set or two during the interval.

The event is followed on the Sunday after the ball by a punt party to Granchester Meadows.

Hugh's History of the Round includes some information on the history of the Playford Ball.