Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Spring In Helensburgh

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

SPRING IN HELENSBURGH (R8x40) 3C (4C set) Brian Charlton Waratah Collection

1- 8 1s set, cast 2 places, cross RSh and cast up to 2nd place opposite sides (2s step up 7-8)
9-16 2s+1s+3s dance mirror reels of 3 on sides, 1L+2M pass LSh, 1s dancing in/up, 2s out/down to start. 2s and 3s dance loops at end of reel ready for...
17-24 Reels of 3 across, 1L+3s (1L LSh to 3L) and 1M+2s (1M LSh to 2M). Bars 23-24 1s approach each other, pull back RSh to face 1st corners
25-36 Dance to Corners and Set (12 bars):
 Couple in middle change places with corners passing RSh, corners pass RSh in middle with a ¼ turn to right to face next corner while supporting corners set (2 bars). Repeat 5 more times to end with corners in diagonally opposite place and 1s meet again in the middle
37-40 1s turn RH to 2nd place own side while 2s+3s dance clockwise ½ way round set. 2134

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Spring in Helensburgh A 40 Bar Reel for 3 Couples in a 4 couple longwise set.

1 - 8 First couple set to each other and cast off two places, pass each other by the right shoulder below third couple and cast up to second place on opposite sides. Second couple step up on bars 7-8.
9 - 16 First lady giving left shoulder to second man and first man giving right shoulder to second lady, second, first and third couples dance reels of three on the side lines.
Second and third couples curve round from the reel on the side to the reel across the dance.
(Note: it is suggested that first couple finish these reels by approaching the centre of the set in preparation for the reels across the dance.)
17 - 24 First lady giving left shoulder to third lady dances a reel of three across the dance with the third couple while first man giving left shoulder to second man dances a reel of three across the dance with the second couple. On bars 23-34, first couple approach one another and pull their right shoulders back to finish facing first corners. Second and third couples curve into place.
25 - 36 First, second and third couples dance the movement "dance to corners and set" (Courage Reels), starting with first couple passing their first corners with the right shoulder while second corners set, until first couple meet again in the middle and second and third couples have progressed half-way round the set.
37 - 40 First couple turn with the right hand to finish in second place WHILE second and third couples dance clockwise half-way round the set to finish in first and third places.
First couple repeat from second place.

(Dance crib compiled by the deviser, Brian Charlton, April 1991)

Dance Notes

The movement "Dance to Corners and Set" is danced as described in Courage Reel by John Drewry in the Canadian Book of dances; it is also commonly known as Courage Reels.

Dance to Corners and Set.
1 - 2 1st couple dance out to first corner positions, passing their corners by the right. First corners dance in, passing 1st couple by the right, then pass one another in the centre of the dance by the right to face the next corner position round the set anticlockwise. Second corners set facing one another diagonally across the set.
3 - 4 1st couple set in first corner positions, facing one another diagonally. First corners dance out to first corner positions (i.e. 3rd lady to top lady's place, and 2nd man to 3rd man's place) passing second corners by the right. Second corners dance in passing first corners by the right, then pass one another by the right to face the next corner round the set anticlockwise.
5 - 6 1st couple dance in, passing their partner's second corners by the right, then pass one another by the right to face the next corner positions. First corners set, facing one another diagonally across the set. Second corners dance out to the next corner positions, passing 1st couple by the right.

(Dance notes by the deviser, Brian Charlton)


Dance Information

First danced at the Helensburgh Scottish Country Dancing Club Spring Social, (1st weekend in September) 1991.

The Helensburgh after which this dance is named is in Australia, between Sydney and Wollongong and is the most northerly suburb of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

Recommended Music: A suitable recording is Captain Mackintosh played by Muriel Johnstone's Band.

(Dance information by the deviser, Brian Charlton)


Helensburgh is a small town in New South Wales, Australia. Helensburgh is located 45 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Wollongong, approximately halfway between Sydney and Wollongong, at the southern end of the Royal National Park.

Originally called Camp Creek, Helensburgh was established as a workers' camp in the 1880s to accommodate coal miners, who worked in the coal mine in the area. Helensburgh Post Office opened on 1 December 1886.

Although it is not confirmed, the naming of Helensburgh is likely related to emigration from Scotland to Australia; as there is a Scottish town located by the Clyde river which is also named Helensburgh.

The duplicated curved platform is a rare remainder of early railways. The old Helensburgh railway station, opened in 1889 as part of the final completed segment of the original South Coast railway line, was covered in earth until recent years but has been partially uncovered for historical purposes. The old railway line was serviced by steam trains until it was closed in 1915.

Helensburgh railway station
Old Helensburgh Railway Station, 1904


Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Helensburgh New South Wales article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright National Library of Australia, via TroveLA ID 43732243, "Helensburgh railway station, old Illawarra Railway, New South Wales, 1904, public domain, via Picryl.

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