Person John W Mitchell 270
- Areas of activity
- Deviser of dances
- Publisher of dance descriptions
- Member of
Obituary published in Scottish Country Dancer, No 16, April 2013:
John Mitchell John Mitchell was introduced to SCD in 1947 and joined the Leeds Branch of the RSCDS in 1963. He was an active member of London Branch from 1966 to the time of his death. He also helped to found the Sussex Association of Scottish Societies, and as its first Chairman he organised an annual Charity Ball, the first day schools in Sussex, and the Sussex Open Air Scottish Dancing Festival, as well as the first teachers’ training courses in the area. A fellow dancer, Pat Hunter, said at John’s memorial, ‘He was nearly always on the floor for each dance – if you could get into his set, or were asked to be his partner, you knew you had arrived as a dancer!’ John gained his SCD teaching certificate in 1972 and taught for the Hangleton SCD Club (which eventually became the Brighton and Hove Branch of the RSCDS) and later the Aldrington Club. Acording to Pat Hunter, his teaching was meticulous in its attention to detail. The same attention to detail showed in John’s extensive research into the history of SCD. He corresponded with Hugh Foss and Hugh Thurston, wrote many erudite articles for the London Reel, and frequently contributed letters to Scottish Country Dancer (see his last letter in this issue). John was also a prolific writer of new dances and probably devised more new Scottish country dances than anyone else: a total of 827. These were compiled in the Whetherly series, 24 collections published between 1974 and 1990. They included Caddam Wood, The Dundee City Police Jig, Iona Cross, The Cooper’s Wife, and Lord High Admiral. John was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a Life Governor of the Royal Scottish Corporation, a founder of Scots International, a member of the Scottish Tartan Society, and a Guild Brother of the Incorporation of Wrights of the City of Glasgow. So he was intensely interested in all things Scottish, and worked hard to further interest and participation in SCD. Our sympathy goes to John’s wife Dheirdre and their daughter Alison.