More music and dancing in memory of well-known Rushden man

Marshall Martin of Rushden
Marshall Martin of Rushden

A man well-known for his teaching, love of folk music and work with young people will be remembered at a second event in his honour.

Friends of Marshall Martin organised a barn dance last April following his death at the age of 87 in January 2016.

The first memorial dance for Marshall Martin

The first memorial dance for Marshall Martin

Those who knew Marshall as a teacher in Kettering, Rushden swimming instructor or as part of the county’s folk music scene helped make the event in Rushden a great success.

And after raising £600 for the British Heart Foundation, the Marshall Martin Memorial Dance is set to be held again.

Speaking ahead of last year’s dance, organiser John Green said: “In his long life, Marshall had a positive influence on so many other lives.

“Following his time at university and national service, he returned to his childhood home and became a much loved teacher at the same Kettering primary school right through to his retirement.

Last year's memorial dance

Last year's memorial dance

“This was however just one aspect of his long life, also being a dedicated teacher at Rushden Swimming Club for very many years.

“He also used his teaching skills and sense of fun to introduce hundreds of young people to the joys of dancing through the monthly folk dances he organised for 20 years at The Rock in Rushden to the music of Kettering band The Allemanders.

“He also led regular dances at Lings Forum and many other venues in this and neighbouring counties.

“These Saturday dances were remarkable with a vitality, excitement, enthusiasm and atmosphere all of their own.”

He said Marshall was the leading light in establishing Rushden Folk Dance Club in the early 1960s as it grew from its evening institute origins into the regular Thursday night sessions.

When forced to give up folk dance calling and other activities by the onset of angina, Marshall started giving talks on his other great love, heraldry.

But Mr Green added: “Marshall’s most important legacy is probably as a long-term trustee of the Rock Foundation, originally based at The Rock in Little Street, Rushden.

“This is a charity set up by Jane Young in the 1950s devoted to developing the opportunities available to young people in the area, work which continues to this day and of which Marshall was a trustee from almost the very beginning.”

The second memorial dance is taking place on Saturday, April 21, at Rushden Heritage Chapel in Park Road, Rushden.

Doors open at 6.30pm with a reception at 7pm and dancing from 7.30pm.

Music will be provided by Northamptonshire band The Occasional Few, who knew Marshall from when he was a caller.

The evening will include dances led by a number of local callers who all had links with Marshall.

Tickets cost £10 including a ploughman’s supper.

Proceeds will be split between the British Heart Foundation and Rushden Heritage Chapel.

For more information or tickets call or email John Green on 07760 197921, 01933 397767 or jgreenc@gmail.com.