HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
GILL’S SALFORD STARS MORRIS DANCERS HIT THIRTY YEARS
 

Star date: 23rd November 2013

GILL'S ARMY THIRTY YEARS OF TROPHIES AND JOY

"Without Gill we wouldn't have this troupe" Vicki Bond

The ace Salford Stars Morris Troupe has celebrated thirty years of dancing and competing for trophies – and leader Gillian Rowlands has been there from the start. Her `girls' led the tributes by wearing special Gill masks and re-naming themselves `Gill's Army' for the last championships.

We met up with Gill and the Salford Stars at St Boniface's Social Club, with photos by Andrew Goudie

Full details here…


Salford Stars Morris Troupe Salford Stars Morris Troupe Salford Stars Morris Troupe
Salford Stars Morris Troupe Salford Stars Morris Troupe
click image to enlarge

It's Tuesday night at St Boniface's Social Club in Broughton and the main room is packed with dancing, tambourine banging girls and their parents. At the far end of the room the shelves are stacked with more trophies than in Alex Ferguson's former dreams.

There's a real buzz about the place because, not only have a load of new trophies arrived but it's also the thirtieth anniversary of the Salford Stars Morris Troupe and Gill Rowlands' participation. Gill has been morris dancing since she was three and has been involved with the Stars since the troupe began at Charlestown Primary School in 1983…

"It was me, my mum and my sister and it just grew from there" she recalls "We've done really well over the years and won loads of trophies at the championships.
I've worked with a few thousand children and that's the highlight…the children. More than anything it's seeing their faces when they dance. Their faces light up and you can see they're enjoying it."

Morris dancing, Gill explains, is more akin to Irish dancing than cheerleading or anything like that, as the moves are all in the footwork. The dance stems from male morris dancing and the girls have bells on their pumps. Competitions are held all over the north, and the Salford Stars have performed in places like Preston, Prestatyn and Morecambe usually bringing home the cups in all sorts of categories and age ranges.

The troupe has girls in five age groups - three to six year olds; seven to nine year olds; nine to eleven year olds; eleven to 16 year olds, and 16 year olds and above.

"It's keeping the children off the streets where they're safe, and the parents stay with their kids and like to know how they're doing" says Gill "We all look after each other and that's what I like.

The troupe has also helped Gill get over her personal losses… "It's keeping me going since my parents died; if I didn't have this I'd curl up in a ball and do nothing. The children are a god-send, they keep me going."

The feeling of the children is mutual. At the recent Morris dancing Championships they had `30 Years' posters up, complete with `Gill's Army' tagline…

"I was so shocked" says Gill "Then on the Sunday when we were finding out how we'd done they all came on with masks of my face – I was shocked again! They're a lovely bunch of girls…"

The tributes to Gill are led by fellow trainer Vicki Bond who told us "Without her we wouldn't have this troupe…Gill has done everything in her power to keep Salford Stars going for her mum and dad, bless their souls.

"Last year we bought some dresses which we wore for the championships and this year she spruced them up for the tinies and seniors, and made brand new ones for the babies and dinkies, so that we all looked the same for our thirty year birthday" she explained "We went to the championships as `Gill's Army' because we all wanted to say a big thank you… `We love you Gill'…"

For Gill ands the girls it's on to preparations for the next competition now, with new routines, new music and new costumes coming into play after Christmas.

"I'll carry on as long as I can" Gill says "I hope to get to fifty years, I really do…"

And the Salford Star will, hopefully be there reporting on a very extraordinary woman – and a very extraordinary morris dancing troupe. Proper Salford Stars…

For further details see Salford Stars Morris Troupe facebook group

See also previous Salford Star article on Salford Stars - click here

Photos by Andrew Goudie

jess wrote
at 21:11:13 on 26 June 2017
is there training for beginners my little girl is 4 and want her to start she nearly 5
 
Nicole Louise Houghton wrote
at 17:16:07 on 23 November 2013
Thank You Gill and Vicky For Every Thing You Both Have Done For The Troup. Its A Pleasure For Me And The Girls To Dance For You. Yet Again Thanks nicole and girls
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Giraffe
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD LADY MARGARET MCHALE TURNS ONE HUNDRED AT THE BROUGHTONS
Fantastic lovely to see such a salford lady reach a fantastic age happy birthday xx... [more]
article: GRADE II LISTED CROWN THEATRE IN ECCLES TO BE CONVERTED FOR APARTMENTS
Its comming to planning pannel on 7th February 2019 Please OBJECT BEFORE THEN. ... [more]
article: ECCLES HOMELESS SHELTER COURT CASE SET FOR END OF JANUARY
Alex McFadden is "a national treasure"!... [more]
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
I think Gareth is right on this. If you enlarge the pictures a bit you can see most of them have this "Labour voter" look about th... [more]
article: ECCLES HOMELESS SHELTER COURT CASE SET FOR END OF JANUARY
Wow, so the homeless and unemployed have better chance of access to a dentist than the average taxpayer. Wow.... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

MANCHESTER MELTDOWN 4 AT THE PEER HAT

Star date: 20th January 2019

ROSE AND THE DIAMOND HAND, BANG UP TO THE ELEPHANT, FOUR CANDLES AND MATTHEW HOPKINS

Manchester Meltdown 4
Wednesday 23rd January
The Peer Hat, Manchester

Four ace bands feature in Manchester Meltdown 4 this Wednesday, including two bands, Four Candles and Matthew Hopkins, who played at the Eagle Inn Salford Star Benefit last November. Ian Leslie chats with Matthew Hopkins' Julia about tales of mystery, magic and prostitution.

Full details here...

SALFORD LADY MARGARET MCHALE TURNS ONE HUNDRED AT THE BROUGHTONS

Star date: 20th January 2019

FROM HANKY PARK TO LITTLETON ROAD VIA LANCASTER BOMBERS AND THE 'MONKEY RUN'

Salford's Margaret McHale turned one hundred this week as her six children and relatives gathered for a huge party at The Broughtons Care Home. Born in Hanky Park, Margaret moved around central Salford, to Ellor Street, Warburton Street and finally to Littleton Road, as part of the slum clearances.

A proper Salford lass, Margaret worked on Lancaster Bombers during the war and as a machinist in Strangeways, and, as the family partied with residents and staff, there were a zillion anecdotes that will echo with loads of local families.

Full details here...

NEW SALFORD APPRENTICESHIPS AT ELECTRICITY NORTH WEST

Star date: 20th January 2019

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Electricity North West, the region's power network operator, is looking to take on young Salford people and has places for craft apprenticeships, which include overhead line workers and cable jointers, and higher level apprenticeships, which include roles such as design and control engineer.

Full details here...

ECCLES HOMELESS SHELTER COURT CASE SET FOR END OF JANUARY

Star date: 18th January 2019

TOOTHBRUSHES AND SOCKS FOR THE HOMELESS

On 9th January at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre, the judge allowed an eight day extension for those homeless people currently occupying the old doctor's surgery in Eccles. The case has now been set for the end of January, giving them an extra two weeks to prepare a legal defence.

Meanwhile this week, the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre, which is helping the Shelter, took delivery of loads of pairs of thick winter socks and around one hundred toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes donated towards its new Medical and Dental Surgery for the homeless and ex-offenders.

Full details here...

SALFORD GRADE II LISTED VICTORIA THEATRE STEP CLOSER TO BEING SAVED

Star date: 17th January 2019

NEW OWNER CONSIDERS RESTORATION PLANS FOR LOWER BROUGHTON THEATRE

After Lower Broughton's 'at risk' Grade II listed Victoria Theatre was sold last year, there were fears that it would be pulled down for development but the Salford Victoria Theatre Trust has today announced that its new owner "has engaged with the group to seek out a way forward, even vowing to consider plans to restore it for its original purpose".

The Trust is now putting together a business plan and pitch to present to the owner at the end of the month, with a meeting planned with Salford City Council next month to discuss the theatre's future.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx