Edith’s Memories of Wallsend

You didn’t go to dances to meet anyone, just to dance.

Editor’s Note: Edith was born in Willington Quay in 1925 and took part in the Hand in Hand Reminiscence project in 2008.

One of my favourite jobs was in Pett’s in Wallsend High Street.  It was both a toy shop and a pet shop and I loved it.  We kept all sorts of animals, including rabbits and budgies.  I remember even having a hen there once.

The big passion of my life was dancing.  My mother was in the Labour Party and we used to go to their hall in Sycamore Street for dances.  The whole family danced.  When I was seventeen and eighteen I used to go to see the big bands at the Oxford Galleries in Newcastle.  I didn’t finish work until 6.00pm so it was quite a dash to get ready and get up there on the green bus.  I saw all the big bands, including Joe Loss, Ted Heath and Edmundo Ross.

The dance hall at the Memorial Hall was always packed. I remember once winning a spot prize, when I was dancing with a sailor.  One of my favourite dancing outfits was a gypsy blouse and a dirndl skirt.  You didn’t go to dances to meet anyone, just to dance.

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