SPOTLIGHT ON ROUTE 66 WORTHING
Route 66 CWDC in Worthing was of course named after the legendary road in America that ran over 2000 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Mike and Margaret Howarth who run the dance club and teach both line and western partner dances there every week, are great fans of the old route and its legendary status in the history of the USA.
Mike and Margaret have a long history in the dance and entertainment industry with Mike beginning his career as a comedian and magician on the northern working mens club circuit around Burnley in Lancashire, where he was born. Eventually he moved on to Theatrical Dance Tuition where he was trained by British Equity and the Northern Dance School in Manchester.
Following a spell of non dance related work for 12 months in Hong Kong, Mike and Margaret began teaching western dance in late 1992 around the Worthing area, before starting the Route 66 club in 1997 at its current location of Davison High School. It is here where they organise very popular regular monthly socials, featuring many of today’s top country acts. Route 66 was the first club in Worthing to feature Medecine Bow and the late great bass guitarist Alan Underwood. Also appearing at Route 66 in those early days was The Stone Mountain Band featuring a new guitarist called Alan Gregory. I wonder what became of him ?
Full details of the Route 66 socials and various dance classes for all abilities can be found on their website at www.worthinglinedancing.co.uk, which is updated on a regular basis by their Webmaster Robin Crooks, one of the club dancers.
The Route 66 connection with Isle of Wight Tours goes back to 1997/98, when Mike and Margaret began organising club weekend dancing holidays on a regular basis. The first IoW tours weekends were at the Royal York Hotel in Ryde (now derelict), the Savoy Holiday Village (no longer operational) and the Harcourt Sands Holiday Village (burnt down). Is there a message here !