Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
IMAGES OF CARLOW
'The Irish Ballroom'
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Every Saturday night at the local dance hall or ballroom a group of young people with their musical instruments would get together to play and entertain the punters, playing the latest hit music from the national Pop Charts which were been played every night on Radio Luxembourg which was the only Pop station in Europe at the time playing popular music to the teenage population.
All the guys would line up down one side of the dance floor and all the girls would line up down the opposite side. Once the band kicked off with their music the guys would make a dash across the floor for the prettiest girl and ask her to dance. Most of the girls were in groups and there would be much discussion between them as to whether she should accept the guys invitation. Once the main rush had ceased the only people left on either side of the dance floor would be would be the shy and or plain boys and girls mostly from out of town. So you can now picture the scene. The townies jiving to the Rock n Roll and the Culchies stepping on each others toes trying to make their way around the dancers in the middle.
Then there was the outfits, and again you could instantly tell who came from the town and who came in from the country.
The Girls were in their Beehive hair styles with enough Lacquer to sink half a dozed battle ships. 1960's was the decade when hair took on a life of its own. From bobs to beehives, hair was very big, exaggerated and even tortured. Back combing was an art form and the bigger the hair do the more inspirational you were.
If the fellow asked you to go for a Mineral, during
you knew the night just became more interesting.
Such great times we had. The girls all lined up in the toilet, putting on the perfume, lipstick, and the bee hive hairdos and the guys in the Gents combing in their DA's and Quiff's and checking their Jackets with the Velvet Collars.
The guys of course had their DA hair styles full of Brylcreem, enough grease to service a fleet of trucks, wearing their Winkle Picker shoes and their Drain Pipe trousers. Then came the Flares and the Platforms.
The DA was adopted as an emblematic coiffure by disaffected young males all over the English-speaking world and beyond (particularly in France and Sweden) during the 1950s. In Britain as well as Ireland it was part of the visual identity of Teddy Boys and Rockers, along with the Quiff and the Elephant's Trunk.
There was no liqueur ('the hard stuff''), (sprits) allowed inside the Ballroom. The strongest drink was Lemonade. Very few people had cars and if you didn't have a bicycle you had to walk.
Some people walked five miles or more miles, bopped from about 9 o'clock until 2 o'clock then walked home afterwards. And then on Sunday morning you had to be up bright and early to walk or bike to Mass for 9 o'clock.
Oh the memories!
The Teddy Boy youth culture first emerged in Britain during the early 1950s, and was strongly associated with American rock and roll music of the period.
It was typified by male youths wearing a modified style of Edwardian clothes. In Britain the name Edward was commonly (though less so these days) shortened to Ted.
Clothing consisted of drape jackets with velvet collars, narrow 'drainpipe' trousers, large crepe-soled shoes (sometimes nicknamed 'brothel creepers'), and bootlace ties. Preferred hairstyles included a quiff combed back to form a 'DA' (duck's arse) at the rear of the head and of course all men wore Brylcream in their hair..
'Teddy girls' adopted American fashions: toreador pants and voluminous circle skirts, wearing their hair in ponytails.
As with some other youth culture movements, groups of 'Teds' sometimes formed gangs and enjoyed notoriety following violent clashes with rival gangs.
In the 1960s, many Teddy Boys became 'Rockers'. During the 1970s, rockabilly music enjoyed a brief period of popularity and saw a resurgence of interest in 'Teddy boy' fashions.
Your Stories of the 50's & 60's
Well, the Galtimore in Cricklewood, London springs to mind. One Saturday night in 1964, a fairly drunken Paddy, still in his navvy clobber asked me to dance with him. When I refused, he replied, why didnt ya bring yar ------- knitten witcha.-charming,not!
From a Moran lady who once lived in Ballynagall, Co.Laois. (Emigrated to Bedfordshire. England in 1958).
A Culchie: Usually found in rural areas apart from about once a year when they venture into big towns and cities to find out what this urbanisation thing is all about. They spend most their day in muddy fields feeding their herds. The speak a unique language which can only be understood by other culchie's.