Posh tea dance is ‘like the Ritz in downtown Crawley’

Crawley Posh Club - picture submitted
Crawley Posh Club - picture submitted

Crawley’s Posh Club is to relaunch with a new Ritz-style champagne tea party later this month after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Posh Club was set up three years ago to help combat loneliness for people in their 70s, 80s and 90s.

Crawley Posh Club - picture submitted

Crawley Posh Club - picture submitted

After a short closure, the club has raised £6,364 from 204 backers this year to enable it to reopen at its new home of Broadfield Community Centre on Tuesday October 25.

Loved for its posh tea dance with cabaret, black tie silver service and afternoon tea, the Posh Club is all about having fun and staying active.

Long time volunteer 85-year-old Enid Bacon, said: “We love to serve tea in vintage china teapots and scones with real cream.

“It’s like The Ritz in downtown Crawley, and it’s all about having fun, being lively, not being lonely and having companionship. It’s what life is all about.”

Posh Club proprietor Annie Bowden, who has recently opened a similar club in Hackney, now wants to take the fun to other places in Sussex, including Hastings and Brighton.

She said: “Crawley is where it all started and is the heart of the Posh Club. Guests have posh afternoon tea, and when the shows come on they start really having fun. It’s about keeping active.

“Older people might think ‘I don’t want to go out’, but in order to be happy you need to go out.

“It’s really for people in their 70s, 80s and 90s, although folk in their 60s are very welcome. Regular attendee Gladys is 106.”

Cabaret shows planned before Christmas include tap dancers, opera singers, comedians, acrobats, hula hoopers and Elvis impersonators including a black Elvis and even a Chinese Elvis.

Dress code is ‘very posh’ and wilfully obliging punters arrive dressed to the nines in cocktail dresses, tuxedos and shiny shoes.

The club is also appealing for volunteers to join the team. Roles include socialising and dancing, serving food, washing up and of course looking very posh in their uniform.

The team are also looking for new special volunteers to accompany people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to the club and enjoy a day out with them.

The Posh Club will run every Tuesday at 12pm from October 25.

Tickets are £5, which includes afternoon tea with fresh cream scones, a glass of bubbly. Call 01293 451056 to book a table or to discuss volunteering.