The Academy Restaurant at The Experience was transformed into an old-fashioned dance hall last Thursday (2 June) as locals joined us for our first ever SuperJam tea party.
The Experience, Kibble’s largest social enterprise and Young Workforce Development Centre, recreated the familiar dance hall of yesteryear, as guests enjoyed ballroom dance instruction, familiar songs, afternoon tea and lots of laughter. As the doors swung open at 3pm, enthusiastic faces from local care homes, and community groups, entered the dance hall dressed in their finest to join in the free event.
The event was arranged in partnership with SuperJam – global jam manufacturer based in Edinburgh. The tea parties provide an opportunity for the older generation to get together and make new friends, and aims to tackle feelings of loneliness and isolation. As the music played out, the dance floor became alive with people dancing to anything from the foxtrot, to the waltz… to the YMCA!
Based in the heart of Hillington Park, The Experience is a hub for the whole community to enjoy. Our award-winning disability karting programme provides those with additional support needs the chance to experience the adrenaline-filled world of electric Go-karting. Karters from 8 – 98 can enjoy this fantastic programme.
Speaking after the event, Eileen Cummings from The Experience said:
“Many people remember the amazing dance halls that we used to have across Paisley and Renfrewshire. We tried to recreate something similar and bring together as many people as possible to have a good time and to get people’s toes tapping.
“We know how isolation can affect the wellbeing of older people in our communities. Events like this are important to help people make new friends and continue to have active lifestyles.”
Of course, the event venue has always been abuzz with music and dance. The former Rolls Royce Factory, who produced the Merlin engines for the Spitfire and Hurricane jets in war-time, had a vibrant social scene with regular dances, cabaret and entertainment put on for staff during lunchtimes in the canteen. Mary Slater, who worked in the factory during the war, said:
“It was a good place for young people because they used to have apprenticeship dances every month. Then at the canteens, C block I think, used to have a dance and music every Friday at lunchtime.”
Helen Allan also worked at the Rolls Royce factory during World War 2. She said:
“Famous people came in during the lunch hour, like Gracie Fields and people we would never ever have expected to see. That was them doing voluntary work and to just help the war effort, it kept people going you know. There was Archie McCullock and his wife came in to entertain us at dinner time. And then there was music while you worked. The music came right through the factory, you worked away doing your nuts and bolts and screws.”
We already can’t wait to run the next SuperJam Tea Party… watch this space and dig out you little black book!