Sunday, 11 December 2016

Earlston on the Dance Floor

   Dances were a regular feature of social life in Earlston.

Here are just a few of the accounts found in the local press from the past, featuring the Earlston Jazz Band, the Earlston Rhythm Band, an Ankle Competition and a "Spectacular Rumba Competition."   Read on!

Bachelors Ball: 25th January 1921  
"A dance organised by the Bachelors of Earlston was held on Friday evening in the Corn Exchange when over 50 couples were present. The hall was beautifully decorated and made an artistic spectacle. Excellent music was provided by the Galashiels Town Band and Messrs Henry Wallace and Robert Murdison undertook efficiently the duties of MC. The dance was continued until the early hours of the morning and was pronounced one of the most enjoyable held in times past."

Flannel Dance: 17th June 1922 

Earlston Jazz Band - 3rd January 1924  

"The Earlston Lawn Tennis Club gave a dance on Wednesday evening last in the Corn Exchange, for the purpose of augmenting the club funds. About 30 couples were present. The music was performed by Earlston Jazz Band, and Mr. Wm Rodger was M.C."

Rhymers Dance Band: 3rd October 1929

"A group of local musicians who formed themselves
into a dance band, known as the Rhymers Dance Band, gave their initial performance gratuitously on Friday night in the Corn Exchange..... Names of performers were C. Taylor, A. Stafford, D. McAndrew, J. Rankine, J. Stafford, and G. Creighton....As the dance provided such success, it was agreed to hold it annually."

New Year Dance: 10th January 1935

"1935 was ushered in in Earlston by a brief dance in the Corn Exchange under the auspices of the local Golf Club, the music being provided by the "Revellers" from Selkirk. Although the hall was crowded, the dance was very orderly , considering t he festive nature of the occasion. When the hour of midnight struck on the town clock, the company dispersed after exchanging New Year's greetings. A great deal of first footing seems to have taken place for bands of young people of both sexes were to be heard for several hours parading the streets in a more or less hilarious manner, though not necessarily in a state of inebriety."

Spectacular Rumba Competition: 24th March 1938

Anyone who follows TV's "Strictly Come Dancing" will know that the Rumba is a slow, sensuous dance! 

Dance And Ankle Competition: 24th May 1945
"Through the kindness of the following Earlston ladies Mrs Jas. Mitchell, Mrs Geo. Kerr, Mrs McQuillin and Mrs J. Amos, a very successful dance and ankle competition was held in the Corn Exchange. The music was supplied by Mrs Anderson's Band from Lauder judges for the ankle competition were: Dr. and Mrs Campbell and Mr and Mrs Wm. Hogg, Clackmae. who made the awards as follows: 1 - Mrs P. Johnstone, 2 - Miss J. Allan, 3 - Miss N. Bell. The sum of £34.11s 9d. was raised for the Earlston "Welcome Home" Fund which reflects great credit on the lady organisers. Thanks are also due to the Polish Soldiers who decorated the hall."

Taking a break from the dance floor

Victory Dance: 23d August 1945 

                                                     The Polish  Dance Band

And finally the only photograph we have in the Auld Earlston Collection of people actually dancing - the Auld Earlston Group would be delighted to receive other pictures.

Tennis Club Dance, 1959



  1. I wonder if anyone remembers the dances from the early 60's at the Corn Exchange? I had my own band, Tommy & The Delmonts, and we would play support to some the up and coming pop groups that local promoter, Ron(?) McKinnon, would bring up from down south to play various venues around the borders.One of the band's we supported was Manfred Mann at the Corn Exchange, but there were many more. Great times!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to,comment, Tom. I know that some members of our group have memories in particular of being at the Manfred Mann concert.


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