Tea dances fall foul of law

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A LITTLE-KNOWN 18th century law has brought an end to Sunday afternoon tea dances for a group of pensioners in west Wiltshire.

Although the dances raised thousands of pounds for charity, the 1780 Sunday Observance Act decrees that the fun must stop. The dances were advertised and so breached the law because they became public events.

Joan Morgan, who ran the dances in Melksham, said: 'The dances gave older people the chance of a pleasant afternoon among friends when they are nervous to go out at night.'

Last night, protesters handed in a 500-signature petition to West Wiltshire District Council's environmental committee, asking for the dances to be reinstated.

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