Sidford 100-year-old Hilda enjoys dance reunion

A SIDFORD centenarian who founded a dance group nearly 60 years ago, was the guest of honour at a special reunion last Monday.

And 100-year-old Hilda Billson said the Halloween night bash, held to mark her recent landmark birthday, ‘took her breath away’.

Hilda, of Malden Close, and late husband Horace started Honiton Square Dance Club in 1953.

Thirty-eight members of the club, some who hadn’t seen each other since it folded in the 1960s, attended a grand reunion dance at Offwell Village Hall last Monday.

“It was a wonderful doo,” said Hilda, who enjoyed looking at 1950s photos and memorabilia brought along by guests.

“It really took my breath away. I couldn’t believe how many people knew me – it was a marvellous night out.”

Hilda blew out candles and cut a special birthday cake to celebrate her centenary.

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The event was organised by Andrew and June Mycroft of the Honiton Folk Dance Club, which was formed in 2003.

“Hilda enjoyed herself so much that she refused to leave early,” said Andrew.

“At the end of the evening she took the microphone and said how marvellous it was to meet so many friends who she’d not seen since the 50s. We thought it went brilliantly.”

Hilda ran a wool shop in Honiton for 42 years.

The Herald reported last month how singing centenarian Hilda could be one of the UK’s oldest choir members.

She is still independent, lives in her own home, and is a dedicated member of the congregation at St Peter’s Church.