Eddie Messant discusses Inter Works dances at canteens [Text only]

'we had these dances we used to run our own competitions for particular dancing, used to pay the professionals to come down from London 15 guineas per night'

Stevenage Museum

And then of course we started the dances. The only dance hall in those days was the old Town Hall in Orchard Road, but ESA had their own canteen which we used considerably and George W Kings were because there were very, very few facilities other than those two companies’ canteens. And we had these dances we used to run our own competitions for particular dancing, used to pay the professionals to come down from London 15 guineas per night which to us in those days was a terrific amount of money and we had to pay them cash and they would then judge our own competitions. But I think the beauty there was that everybody mucked in then, we had directors attending, we had the chief people of various companies attending these do’s and mixing with their employees and the ladies themselves, our wives themselves, decided they were going to make it a dressed affair and as a consequence people slowly dressed accordingly and it was an evening dress affair.

Without anybody being asked, without any notice it very quietly became in the main an evening dress affair. No snobbishness about it at all: Tom Dick and Harry mixed with the bosses and it didn’t matter two hoots. And it was very, very good and people today even talk about it when we are talking about years gone by and they refer to the good days of the dances that we had, but of course when Mecca came along things altered then and we stopped running these dances.

This page was added on 16/04/2018.

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