Hurst Morris People barn dance helps Arthritis Research


HURST Morris People welcomed a record number – over 100 –to their barn dance which raised funds for Arthritis Research UK.

One important guest was forced to sit and watch the dancing in Hurst Village Hall. June Forbes, a retired bookkeeper, who has had arthritis pain for 35 years, is waiting for her knee to be replaced.

Her sister, Ann Wilson of Wokingham, is a Hurst Morris (Hump) dancer and proposed the charity as Hump’s annual good cause.

June has arthritis in her feet, knees, back, hands and one shoulder. She’s had her other shoulder replaced. Her bad knee stopped her dancing on Saturday.

June gave a moving speech, to explain that more than one in six UK people have arthritis. She wanted more research into alleviating arthritis pain, and even finding a cure.

She is determined. “Being positive is important. At times I feel like death when I get up.  But it’s no good lying in bed, you stiffen up,” she said earlier. “I have quite aggressive rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoporosis.”

Five years ago she started a new drug which helps the pain.   She still suffers extreme fatigue, but believes exercise keeps her so mobile. “I walk one mile a day. Even sitting on a bus I do exercises to stop my toes curling under,” she said.

She also credits a private clinic’s diet for helping her but says the diet is not supported by many doctors.

Hump’s squire (leader) Karen Ricketts said:  “We’re delighted to support this worthwhile charity. And we’re grateful to all the people who came, making it a memorable barn dance. We had superb music by Chris, Patsy and Friends and good, clear, calling by Howard Ballard.”

  • Everyone is invited to watch and join in Hump’s maypole dancing event on Sunday April 30  at noon at Hurst Village Hall, School  Road, Hurst RG10 0DR. Maypole tutor Andrew Godfrey will teach easy dances. Visitors can also watch and join in with morris dancing. Bring your own picnic. Details at www.hump.org.uk

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Phil Creighton

Publisher of The Wokingham Paper

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