Oak Note Theatre, a Scottish Charity, uses workshops and musical stories to encourage young people to recognise themselves as positive influences on their communities and their environment.

Oak Note SCIO SC045037

 

© 2018 by Oak Note SCIO

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Oral History

As part of our project, we were interested to hear first hand stories and recollections about 1940's/50's Scotland and in particular, dance hall culture of that era. Below are some excerpts from recordings we made with our senior partners on the project

North Merchiston - Edinburgh

Memories of Dancing - Janet, Betty, Margaret and Rita, 2nd May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 1 – 5:18 

Memories of Dance Halls – Janet, Betty, Margaret and Rita, 2nd May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Dancing attire - Betty, Margaret, Rita, 2nd May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 2 – 4:28

Dancing Attire - Janet, Betty, Margaret and Rita, 2nd May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

War time games - Janet, Betty, Margaret, Rita
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 3 – 1:51

Wartime Games - Janet, Betty, Margaret and Rita, 2nd May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

The Plaza and the Cavendish - Dorothy, Jimmy and Jean
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 4 – 3:26

The Cavendish and The Plaza  – Jimmy, Dorothy, Jean W and Jean M, 2nd May 2018  

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Ships and ration books - Betty 16.05.2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 5 – 1:34

About the Ships and Ration Books – Betty, 16th May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

The red dress - Rita, 16th May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 6 – 1:39 - Player 2 

The Red Dress – Rita, 16th May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Corsets and cotton wool - Rita and Betty, 2.5.18
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 7 – 1:25

Corsets and Cotton Wool – Rita and Betty, 16th May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Recollections of dancing - Jean, 2nd May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 8 – 2:35 

Jean met her husband at the dancing – Jimmy, Dorothy, Jean W and Jean M,  2nd May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

1st swimming costume - Betty, 16th May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 9 – 0:34 

Betty's first swimming costume – Rita and Betty, 6th May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Jewellery - Rita and Betty,16th May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 10 – 1:05

Danglers - Rita and Betty, 6th May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Dance Competition - Dorothy, 6th June 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 11 – 3:58

Dance Competition – Dorothy, 6th June 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Meeting my wife - John, 6th June, 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 12 – 2:34

John Met his Wife at the Dancing –John, 6th June 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Americans and Age Restrictions - Jimmy, 2nd of May 2018
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 13 – 2:30

The Americans, Getting In at 15 - Jimmy, Dorothy, Jean W and Jean M, 2nd May 2018 

Recorded at North Merchiston Day Service

Frank Downie - Clydebank

Memories of Dancing - Betty, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 1 - 2.56

General memories of Dancing - Betty

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Hem Length - Betty, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 4 - 2.03

Betty discusses clothing dos and dont's

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Lunchtime Music - Janet, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 7 - 0.50

Can you imagine having a band on during your lunch break? - Janet

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Cigarette Foxtrot - Janet, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 2 - 1.39

Recalling attending the 'Cigarette Foxtrot" night at Clydebank Town Hall - Janet

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Clydebank Blitz - Janet, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 5 - 2.06

Recollections of the Clydebank Blitz - Janet

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Other Entertainments - Betty, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 8 - 2.14

Betty discusses alternative entertainments to the Dancing

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Victor Sylvester - Isabelle, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 3 - 3.06

Attending the Victor Sylvester School of Dance - Isabelle

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Never been to a dance - Pat, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 6 - 2.21

Pat remembers meeting her husband to be at the dancing

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Tramcar trouble - Janet, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 9 - 1.29

Remembering the tram cars in Clydebank - Janet

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

The Bookkeeping Machine - Betty, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 10 - 2.48

An insight into the working life of a book keeper - Betty

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Munitions - its not me - Janet, Clydebank
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 11 - 2.13

What was it like working in a munitions factory - Janet

Recorded at Frank Downie Day Service

Perth Dancehalls - May, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 1 - 2.21

Perth local May talks about the dance scene in the town

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Kincarrathie House - Perth

Beach Ballroom - Walter, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 2 - 1.06

Walter describes his experience at the Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Glasgow Dancehalls - Kenny, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 3 - 2.59

Kenny moved to Glasgow and met his wife there. He remembers the Glasgow dance halls fondly

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Favourite Dancehalls - Betty and Jim
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 4 - 3.23

Betty and Jim compare their experiences going out on the Glasgow scene.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Dennistoun Palais - Kenny, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 7 - 1.27

Remembering the Dennistoun Palais in the East End of Glasgow - Walter.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

What were you wearing? - Walter, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 10 - 0.59

Walter tells us what the style was in Aberdeen directly after the war.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Silver Shoes and Long Dresses - May, Kincarrthie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 5 - 3.20

May describes what she wore when going dancing in Perth

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Barrowlands - Jim, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 8 - 1.36

As an inspector of dancehalls, Jim got a different 'backstage' view of the dance hall scene.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Life after marriage... - Kenny, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 11 - 0.47

Socialising changed for Kenny after he got married. He tells us about it.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Dance bands - Walter, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 6 - 0.58

Walter reminisces about bands he loved seeing in Aberdeen

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Perth Harbour - May, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 9 - 2.20

May remembers when she got to know Perth Harbour - intimately!wq3

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

The opposite sex - Walter, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 12 - 0.58

Walter tells us how he met his wife.

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

Tango at the Plaza - Betty, Kincarrathie
00:00 / 00:00

Clip 13 - 3.13

Betty recalls her first ever tango, at the Plaza Ballroom on the southside of Glasgow

Recorded at Kincarrathie House

A Musicians Perspective

Changing fashions at the dancing - Harry Hussey
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 1 – 2:23

Teddy Boys, Mods and Rockers, Ballroom to Jitterbug – Harry Hussey, 20th April 2018 

Recorded at Harry Hussey's home in Glasgow

Princess Margaret - Harry Hussey
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 3 – 17:37

RAF, Alex Welch Band in Glasgow, A Harp on Your Sleeve – Harry Hussey, 20th April 2018 

Recorded at Harry Hussey's home in Glasgow

War Bands and War Food - Harry Hussey
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 2 – 1:18

War Bands and War Food for the Soldiers – Harry Hussey, 20th April 2018 

Recorded at Harry Hussey's home in Glasgow

RAF and the Alex Welch Band - Harry Hussey
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 4 – 1:48

The Royal Artillery Drill Hall (Princess Margaret) – Harry Hussey, 20th April 2018 

Recorded at Harry Hussey's home in Glasgow

Recollections of a Musician - Harry Hussey
00:00 / 00:00

CLIP 5 – 2:05 

Segue, Shortest Names Make More Royalties – Harry Hussey, 20th April 2018 

Recorded at Harry Hussey's home in Glasgow