Dance band with some Maybole musicians.
circa. 1920. John Hempkin, James Colquhoun, William Houston, Harry Gibson, Jimmy Cairns.
Click here for a larger photo More musicians on page 9
and 11 Photograph contributed by Bill McCubbin.
has always been a favourite activity of the townspeople and every
opportunity is taken to indulge in it, especially in wintertime. By the
end of last century, dance bands consisting of violin, flute, cornet and
piano had been formed... In days gone past balls were held in the
"Dancing Room" in the old Tolbooth above the town gaol and many happy
nights must have been spent there with the dancers setting and linking to
the lilt of the fiddles. When the Town Hall was built it provided a much
larger hall for dancing and the nights of the great Balls of the Yeomanry,
the Masons, the Bowlers and Quoiters became annual events. Invitations to
these balls were eagerly sought after and the dancing classes of Mr.
McQuiston, Mr. Galloway and Mr. McCulloch were always well attended by the
youth of the town preparing themselves to take their place in the Grand
March, which always opened a Ball in the old days before the first World
necessary to learn the proper steps of the Lancers, the Petronella, the
Waltz Cotillion and other favourite dances and most of the older
generation have at some time or other attended "Galloway's Class" to be
put through their paces and be rapped by his fiddle bow if they got out of
step. Those were the days of dancing pumps and white gloves for the
gentlemen and long graceful frocks for the ladies and, of course every man
had to take a partner. Little dance cards (with pencils on a silk string)
were provided and it was a point of honour that each lady's card be filled
with the initials of her partners for the whole programme and there were
few, if any, wallflowers, as the Master of Ceremonies made sure that the
men did not hang around the hall door but did their duty nobly by dancing
with the ladies. A gentleman would give his partner the first dance, the
supper dance and the last dance and dance with other partners for the rest
of the evening, as it was simply not the "done thing" to dance all night
with one partner.
Town Hall was a festive and happy place when the Yeomanry men led off the
Grand March in their dress uniform with bumishers gleaming on their
shoulders and everyone eager to be up for every dance until the last waltz
at three o'clock in the morning when cups of soup would be served and the
gallants would escort their ladies home.
After the end of
the First World War the returning soldiers held a Ball, which was one
of the highlights in the town this century and is still remembered with
nostalgia by all who attended it. The days, or rather nights, of the great
"Balls" have gone, however, to be replaced with "Saturday Night Hops"
where girls go by themselves in many cases, with the hope of finding
partners or, if they are unlucky, spend the evening dancing with each
other. The older generation may be "squares" in the eyes of youth but the
young people of today miss much of the courtesy and pleasure their elders
Carrick's Capital. Facts, Fiction & Folks by