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The Diamond Event


On 10 May 2014
Berkshire KFA celebrated 60 years of keeping us fit! This is an outstanding achievement in the fitness and dance industry.

To celebrate, a special event was arranged for friends and members, past and present.

Video of open classes

The weather may have been unpredictable but Sarah Lawson
(right) kicked off our Diamond Anniversary in fine style. Her open class had people talking, laughing and moving - a perfect start to the day.

Next followed a lovely buffet lunch - plentiful, tasty and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Appetites sated, President Carole Williams chaired the AGM. Reports covered the events throughout the previous year including rallies and master classes, together with teacher training and an overview of our financial situation.

Sarah teaching open session

Congratulations Berkshire KFA on reaching the diamond milestone - a wonderful achievement in a fast changing era when other disciplines have come and gone. Throughout the 60 years, teachers and members have been proud to fly the flag for women to exercise safely and have coupled this with a second to none support network with lifelong friends. The Association has moved with the times which is good and why we are here today in the 21st century.
Carole Williams, President, Berkshire KFA

As our longest serving KFA member of more than 60 years, Jean Stallwood was presented with a bouquet and her daughter Shirley was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for her contribution to Berkshire KFA. See " Keeping it in the Family" on our "Other News" page.

Everyone had received a complimentary eight page souvenir programme (designed and printed by Shirley Stallwood). It was packed with content including messages of congratulations, an article by Maureen Maude enlightening many of us as to the
history of Berkshire KFA, write ups regarding events over the years and lots of photos of teams and events ranging from 1962-2013. One programme contained an extra special something in the centre pages – a diamond. The recipient of this lucky winning programme received vouchers to spend at a well known high street shop.

Cutting the cake

60 years, what a fabulous achievement. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with Berkshire KFA over the years. I wonder, at its inception did anyone imagine that we would be celebrating all these years later? What is clear is that we would not be here now without the support of our members, teachers and volunteers. I am sure that we have all gained from being part of this wonderful organisation and it is my hope that it will continue giving us pleasure for many years to come.
Deborah Miller, Chair, Berkshire KFA

Open session
The Diamond buffet
Presentation to longest Berkshire KFA member
Outstanding Achievement Award presentation

The AGM finished with the cutting of the special celebration cake by President Carole Williams and Chair Deborah Miller.

We then watched three very different class displays which showed just how versatile KFA classes can be:

  • Sarah Lawson combined three of her seated classes. They used balls to show us brilliantly how these enhanced their movements.
  • Jeanette Hughes packed the floor with six of her classes. In complete unison, they performed a physically challenging and mentally demanding routine.
  • Pat Kidd’s class is very experienced at performing at KFA events. They expertly performed a very difficult routine to a lovely piece of music, using scarves to very good effect.

It is a truly spectacular achievement to have reached a Diamond Anniversary and I do send my warmest congratulations to you all. Also it demonstrates the dedication and hard work of so many people in the past who have kept the organisation strong and purposeful. I wish you the happiest of days and every success in achieving growth in the future.
Janice Moore, KFA National President

Display by seated class using balls
Display by several classes
Display using scarves by an experienced class

Congratulations to Berkshire KFA and to all members and volunteers who have contributed to its success - an amazing achievement!
Sallie Barker, Interim Chief Executive, Sport and Recreation Alliance

Maureen teaching an open class

After all that sitting around Maureen Maude (left) got us up again for another Keep Fit session. The floor was packed and everyone felt better for moving their bodies around - after all that is what we all enjoy and why we do Keep Fit.

During Maureen’s session the Mayor of Wokingham Borough, Cllr UllaKarin Clark, arrived and was very interested in the KFA and what we do. She spoke to various members and then took to the stage to address us all, talking very eloquently about the importance of fitness and exercise and encouraging us to continue doing what we do. Cllr UllaKarin Clark was very impressed as she watched the next three displays which were:

  • Shirley Stallwood’s class who performed a lovely item showing flowing movement and poise.
  • Jill Hibbitt’s seated class who gave a perfect display of how to keep mobile.
the Mayor of Wokingham Borough
Members enjoying an open class

And the first performance of

  • Jeanette Hughes’ Berkshire Diamond Display Team who expertly performed an item using material. The item demonstrated that the KFA has moved with the times but also held true to its roots which is, rhythmical whole body movement based upon Rudolph Laban’s philosophy.

All the teams who performed during the day were a credit to Berkshire KFA.

2014 marks 60 years of friendship and achievement in Berkshire KFA. I am sure you all know people who have helped to make this happen. To progress and flourish has taken a lot of hard work behind the scenes, in fact, a lifetime of devotion. Congratulations to every single member of Berkshire KFA. What a wonderful achievement and an absolutely fantastic record - you should be immensely proud as success like this does not come easily. Celebrate enjoying Movement, Exercise and Dance. Once again my sincere congratulations.
Grace Becket, KFA National Chair

Demonstration by a mixed experience class
Display by a seated class
The Berkshire Diamond Display Team: using scarves
Seated class display

Two of many comments received:

“I’m very tired but it was worth it. I really enjoyed performing!”
said a seated class performer after taking part in their very first display.

“I’d forgotten just how enjoyable these days are!” said a visiting former Keep Fitter.

Diamond Display Team

Get Berkshire Active would like to offer our congratulations to Berkshire KFA on their 60th year. The Association supports our aim of getting more people more active in Berkshire, and we are pleased to link with them through our work with EMDP.
Brett Nicholls, CEO, Get Berkshire Active

The photographer from the Wokingham Times arrived and took some photos (see article about us in the Wokingham Times published on 12 June), then we were up and moving once more. This time Donna Ward (right) put us through our paces using a wide variety of music. Members came off the floor smiling and a little pink – just as it should be – to a very welcome cup of tea, piece of celebration cake and a lot more chat (a fundamental part of all our events!).

This rounded off a really enjoyable day and wonderful celebration of Berkshire’s 60 years. With nearly 150 people attending, the room was “buzzing” all day.

We cannot finish this report, however, without some well deserved thank you’s to a large number of members who put a lot of hard work into helping the Berkshire Committee make this day a success, including:

  • Pat Kidd’s class for running a plant stall - raising £71.50 for the Macular Society.
  • Jeanette Hughes’ classes for running a bottle tombola - raising £200 for the Macular Society.
Donna teaching the final open class of the day

Congratulations to Berkshire KFA on their Diamond Anniversary. There will be many members (hundreds!) past and present who have benefited from keeping fit and active through regularly attending their local class. In addition many will have enjoyed participating in or being a spectator at County, Regional and National events, perhaps being a member of a Demonstration Team, and above all making new friends in the sociable atmosphere of a KFA class. Enjoy today’s Diamond celebration, I am sure it will be a memorable occasion. My warm wishes to Berkshire KFA teachers and members for a successful future of the Association.
Margaret Tillcock, KFA Southern Counties Chair

  • Shirley Stallwood’s class for running a homemade cakes and preserves stall - raising £117 for the Macular Society (when did they have time to do all that cooking?!!!).
  • Jeanette Hughes for arranging the printing and selling of T-shirts.
  • Sheila Smith for running the Berkshire Raffle with help from Barbara Ellmes.
  • Lesley Levey on the welcome desk.
  • Pauline Candy and Sheila Hanks with their team of helpers in the kitchen: Elaine Hodge, Barbara Walker, Gillian Gordon Blacker, Eileen Williams and Laura Hurle.
  • Linda Woodgate who was in charge of the music and PA system.
A Berkshire KFA open class at the Diamond event
A class cakes and preserves stall raising money for the Macular Society charity
  • Maureen Lomas for being our first aider.
  • Announcer Maureen Maude.
  • Shirley Stallwood for designing the posters, invites and souvenir brochures and being our photographer on the day.
  • The open class teachers, producers and their teams.
  • The event working party for their hard work in planning and organising the event and ensuring everything ran like clockwork throughout the day.

Our thanks also, to everyone else who helped, came to join in, perform or watch on the day.

(Also see "
Event Reports" for a brief write up about this day.)

A class bottle stall raising money for the Macular Society charity
A class plant stall raising money for the Macular Society charity
The raffle stall
Members working hard in the kitchen
A warm welcome to all at the entrance

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