The following is from ‘This is Kent.co.uk’ dated 17th December 2010:
Friends and family have paid tribute to a popular dance teacher who died after suffering a fall in her own home.
Phyllis Boorman, who was 91, taught hundreds of people ballet, tap and modern dance during her long career at the Betty Linney Dance Studios in Gillingham. Apart from a brief spell in Bedford during the Second World War, she had lived in King Street, Gillingham, having moved from one end of the street to the other.
Her son Malcolm Boorman, 68, said she only had only one passion – dance. He said: "As long as I can remember she was dancing. "She had such a feeling for it, such a good relationship with the girls whom she taught, and of course their families. She was very much involved with the whole school."
Mrs Boorman, known to her students as Miss Tucker (her maiden name), helped arrange dance shows at the Central Theatre in Chatham with the then principal, her friend Betty Linney. Throughout her career she was also a member of the Royal Academy of Dance.
Paula Buxton, who has taken over the Betty Linney Dance Studio as principal, started out as Mrs Boorman's student. She said: "Mrs Boorman was forced to quit teaching when she was 80 because she was no longer able to demonstrate the steps for her students.
Malcolm said: "She still kept in touch with many of the girls and their parents, even if it was only exchanging Christmas cards."
During her retirement she spent a lot of time with her sister, Florence, 93, who lived on the opposite side of King Street. Mrs Boorman met her husband George at the start of the war – they had to apply for a special licence for their wedding in 1941. She leaves behind her son Malcolm, a grandson, and a great-grand daughter called Daisy. Malcolm Boorman said: "She was a very family-orientated person. She had the pleasure of teaching her grandson Andrew to tap dance."
Mrs Boorman suffered a fall in her home on November 22, and had to wait on the floor for hours until she was found and taken to the accident and emergency department at Medway Maritime Hospital. She died on a ward that night, after medical staff had tried to bring her temperature back up.
Her funeral took place at the Garden of England Crematorium in Bobbing on Friday, December 10.
As stated in ‘Leisure>General Leisure>Growing up and Socialising in Kent’ I went there for a short time in about 1945-46 and think the fee was 6d (2.5p) for an evening session. About 20 people learnt to waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, and tango to the tune of a gramophone. I’ve always thought that our teacher was Betty Linney herself, but in view of the above article I’m now not so sure.
The address is 100A High Street, Gillingham, and I’ve always thought it was in a room over a shop, but 100 High Street, Gillingham, is the ‘Subway’ restaurant and the floor above that doesn’t look big enough in Google SV. However, Bing Maps Birds Eye shows a long extension at the back of the shop, and that and GSV shows a separate 3-storey building next to Jeffrey Street car park. There is a covered alley between the ‘Subway’ and Boots which would give access to either of those places, so I wonder if that’s where it is.
I know I havn’t given much thought to it in the 68 years since I went there, but discussion on KHF brings back memories which whet the appetite for more, as I’m sure many members know only too well. So I would now like to know when the school started – does Kelly’s throw any light on it? And would welcome any other info or memories, for that matter.