Grandmother's dance medals posthumously awarded after more than 70 years

Tara O'Connor

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Tara O'Connor

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The accolades of a dancing grandmother have been posthumously awarded more than 70 years later.

Joan Bourne, nee Butler, lived in Maidenhead for 30 years and was a well known figure at Maidenhead Town and Desborough bowls clubs.

After she died on January 5, aged 88, her son Stephen Bourne, while sorting out her belongings, came across a voucher for silver and bronze dance medals.

The voucher was written in February 1945, when Mrs Bourne would have been 16, from the International Dancing Masters’ Association.

Mrs Bourne never received them as the production of medals was prohibited due to government control on the use of metals in the Second World War.

Joan, of Riseley Road, danced with her husband John Bourne, who passed away in 1986, and they competed together before marrying and having their only son Stephen.

Stephen, 56, from Wokingham said: “After I was born they only danced socially and whenever we went to a dance you could tell the difference.

“The other couples there would be shuffling but they would be going around the floor.”

When he discovered the voucher he went to the IDMA , now known as the International Dance Teachers’ Association (IDTA).

“Given my delight at the discovery I contacted the IDTA and wonderfully the chief executive, Keith Holmes agreed to honour the vouchers,” said the father-of-three.

On Wednesday, Keith met Stephen and Joan’s sister Edna and her husband Doug Wall, both aged 94, from Ealing, and presented the family with engraved medals and certificates.

It was Mrs Wall’s 94th birthday on the day.

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