Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Forty Furious Keep Fitters

Keep Fit Display

Forty furious ladies of the Island’s Keep Fit Association stormed the organisers’ caravan at the Third Island Industries Fair on Thursday.

Weeks of rehearsal had all been wasted, they claimed, because not  a single preparation had been made for their display, scheduled as one of the highlights of the day’s events.

In the end, after the ladies claimed they had been rudely received by officials calling them  “A load of screaming washerwomen,” they stalked off without giving a display. They also refused to perform on Saturday when they were due to give a second exhibition.

The Ryde leader explained (members also came from Seaview, Binstead, Wootton, Sandown, Shanklin and Lake), “For a start, there was nowhere for us to change – we had the same trouble at Sunday’s dress (or undress) rehearsal, and no piano. The arena was not marked out as we were promised it would be, and the last straw was when they insulted us – that really made the ladies mad.”

She added that the keep-fitters had put in 20 hours of rehearsal time, and hired halls at their own expense to do so. “When we asked for ground passes for each lady, we received only one. Before they would let us in we had to present the ticket together then be counted like sheep” she said.

Now, the Island president, Mrs. Mary Foreman, of Shanklin, is preparing a letter of protest to tell the organisers just what her members think of them.

Source: Isle of Wight Times 29 June 1967

Picture source: Clipart Library