Bettys page










 Betty was born in Tredegar in April 1922. As a young girl she developed an interest in showbusiness and took part in concert parties at the Tredegar workhouse. The young Betty would practice her dance steps at home on a special board made by her father.

As a teenager Betty joined the cast of "Casey's Court." She went on tour with them around the country - indeed they even had their own train carriage with "Casey's Court" written on the side!

 Following on from "Casey's Court" Betty joined Tredegar Merry Makers. This popular society put on shows in Tredegar and the surrounding area. They were fun filled shows with singing, dancing and comedy routines.

 The 1940's saw the start of Betty's involvement with The Tredegar Gang-Stars (some photos of the group can be found on this website's In The Beginning page.) Betty would teach the dance-steps in various venues over the years- the old YMCA building and Mizpah hall may ring a bell with some of you!

 As time went on Betty built up a good reputation as a dance teacher and found herself not just teaching in Tredegar but also had classes at Rhymney and Beaufort. She also obtained the qualifications to teach from The International Dance Teachers Association and also the prestigious Royal Academy Of Dance.

 The early 1970s saw the beginning of the well known and much loved "Starlite Parade" shows at Tredegar Workmen's Hall and at Beaufort Theatre. In the mid 1970s the shows at Beaufort changed their name to "Bobby Dazzlers." It was at the Beaufort class that Betty taught ballet for examinations.

 It was not just the youngsters who benefited from Betty's teaching- tap dance classes for adults were also held!

 Both Starlite Parade and Bobby Dazzlers ran through the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. (Indeed Starlite Parade was the last show ever to be performed at Tredegar Workmen's Hall in 1981.The venue for these shows then changed to Tredegar Comprehensive School.) Betty even took part in some of the shows herself- much to the delight of the audience!

 During the 20 years these shows ran Betty raised many thousands of pounds for charity and took the shows to various venues in the valleys. In its final year Starlite Parade took part in the Garden Festival celebrations at Ebbw Vale.

 Despite not teaching dance since the early 1990s Betty could still do all the steps- I myself witnessed her doing a high kick or two! She also took great pleasure in watching the new dance shows that have appeared on television in recent years and could often pick out the winners!

 Apart from the lady many of you knew as Madame Betty Richards-Jones, Betty was also a much loved wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was very close to her family.

I have lost a dear friend but am so proud of her and all she achieved in her lifetime.                                                                           

                          In loving memory of Betty 1922- 2006.