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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Sepia Saturday - A Dance Floor Meeting

Sepia Saturday give bloggers an opportunity to share their family history and memories  through photographs

 

I know exactly how my parents first met - at the Winter Gardens Ballroom in Blackpool.  My father often recalled the occasion and wrote it down in his "Early Memories".


Blackpool Tower from the North Pier

       
Mum in the 1930's
My mother (Kathleen Danon) was born in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, a few miles from the north west seaside resort of Blackpool.

At the age of 14, she was apprenticed to be a tailoress and was still making her own clothes in her 80's. For her going  into a fabric shop was like going into a jeweller's.   If she sat down at home, she was rarely without a needle in her hand  She set up her own dress-making business from home, working in the spare bedroom which was icy cold in winter and hot and stuffy in summer. 

Mum  and her sister, Edith,  often went dancing in the Winter Gardens Ballroom and in Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Mum - modelling one her dresses

Dad (John Weston)   moved to Blackpool in 1936 with his work as a commercial traveller  and here is his story as told in his "Early Memories".

Dad served in the RAf during the Second World War
"One Saturday night I was in the Winter Gardens when I saw a young lady sitting on a settee. She got up and we said "Hello". I tried to find her again in the evening without success, even going to the exit door to watch people leave."  
The Winter Gardens was a major entertainment complex, with theatre, ballroom,  bars etc.  The Empress Ballroom was built in 1896 and with  a floor area of 12,500 square feet (1,160 sq. metres),was one of the largest in the world.  

 



Dad's account continued:  
"Two weeks later I was at the Tower Ballroom and who should come along but two ladies - and you have guessed that was your Mum and Aunt. Mum stopped to say "Hello" and we started talking and had a good chat. I asked if she would come to the cinema the next night and offered to come for her and take her home. She agreed. I thought it was rather brave of her to come with me when we had only just met to talk together.   The date was 13th October 1936 and we married 18th April 1938." 


The Blackpool Tower Ballroom
The Tower Ballroom, famed for its sprung floor and Wurlitzer organ.

My parents John Weston and Kathleen (Kay) Danson, 
on their wedding day 18th April 1938

Mum  and Dad on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary -18th April  1998
with the telegram from the Queen.  


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Click HERE to find out other blogger tales of dances, dressing up and romantic meetings.

14 comments:

  1. I always loved looking at all the fabrics in shops, but it was mostly just looking. I didn't like to sew much.

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  2. Oh, what wonderful pictures! I'd forgotten (& I know you've mentioned it) that your Mum & Dad were married for 60 years! And they look just as happy on their 60th as the day they were married. Lovely post.

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  3. I too love the "just married" photo and the one 60 years later. Your Mum was so lucky to have work she loved. The dress with the ruffles is lovely.

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  4. Funnily enough, I've been in a fabric shop just this morning with my wife, but she was on a strict time limit. I seem to recall your mentioning your parents meeting in the Winter Gardens Ballroom before, but perhaps it was in response to one of my Blackpool articles. Wonderful story.

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  5. Your parent's story has a Cinderella quality about it. I imagine finding "the one" in a huge crowded ballroom was an exciting tale to tell for 60+ years.

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  6. Lovel;y story about your parents. I understand exactly how your mother felt about fabric shops - I can't resisit them either.

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  7. So glad your dad wrote his Memoirs. A smart man who gave you that gift of stories of his life.

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  8. I'm glad your father wasn't an ax murderer and that it all turned out so wonderfully even if she did go out with him after just the one chat and a "hello".

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  9. I laughed when I read your ax murderer comment Kristin. I thought only my husband used that phrase! Sue I just love that last photo of your parents. Goodness what an enormous dance floor. I can just imagine your poor Dad with his heart in his mouth thinking he'd never see that girl again! So glad he found her two weeks later.

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  10. Thank you to everyone for such lovely comments on my photographs. I am proud to have written it as a tribute to my parents.

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  11. Your dad has a lovely face. No wonder your mum fell for him.

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  12. Your mum is so lovely and probably the bell of the ball! Beautiful photos of your parents through the years, great memories for you.

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  13. How romantic! I’m happy that you too had parents who enjoyed a long and happy marriage. My Dad was also a commercial traveller and in the RAF!

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  14. This is a gorgeous place. The reception area and the waiting room will make you feel special. There is luxury vibes that will welcome you. Aside from this, the conference room contains many technology and catering options.

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