Last waltz for dance group

IPSWICH: Tea dancers could have to waltz off into the sunset as their current venue is being sold off.

IPSWICH: Tea dancers could have to waltz off into the sunset as their current venue is being sold off.

The dancers, who meet at the Suffolk Deaf Association's base in Fonnereau Road once every two months, have been forced to wind their group up as the centre is moved to a smaller site.

Tom Sharland, 82, who started the group three years ago to encourage deaf people to socialise, said he was sad to see the group close.

Mr Sharland of Lanark Road, Ipswich, said: “People will miss the club. They are sad to be leaving. It has been a refuge for them over the past few years.”

Boasting around 70 members, the popular club has thrived over the years, helping deaf people trip the light fantastic with ballroom, sequence and line dancing.

But now the association has been forced to sell off the spacious building, members have been left with nowhere to go to enjoy the fun and friendship.

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“It can be quite isolating when you are deaf,” said Mr Sharland. “These dances help people to socialise and it brings people together.

“We have a good laugh and everyone enjoys themselves.”

The group met for their last ever dance on December 4 and are now pinning their hopes on another venue being found in the New Year.

“The last dance was the best we ever had,” Mr Sharland said. “There was a terrific atmosphere.

“I feel a bit sad now it has gone.”

Anyone who can help is asked to call Mr Sharland on 01473 425742.