It's Madge Goldsmith and I was born on the 16th June 1919.... I met my husband at a dance at Olney on the 2nd April 1938 and we were dancing to Jack Pauls Band. It was the first time we'd danced together and...unknown to us...they were doing a waltz competition that evening. And we got picked to enter the semi-finals. We didn't get any
And then we moved up to...and then we used to come up to the dances at the Science and Art that the Football Club used to run and also down at the Drill Hall, and...mainly the Rhythm Aces played and they were a really lovely band because they really played proper dance music. They didn't muck it about at all...not at all. And as soon as they started to play the tune, you knew all the tunes they were going to play for that particular dance. And my husband was a very good dancer and...if there was a quick step he was the first one on the floor and...so that he could take long steps...laughs.
But it was like going...when you went out to one of those dances, it was like going out with a lot of family friends, because everybody knew everybody and the band was all friendly, and...as I say...if you had a birthday or wedding anniversary or anything like that and...someone dropped a little word in Doug's (Dytham) ear and he just announced it and than you had to get up and dance round the floor two or three times before anybody was allowed to join you. And so a lot of us kept mum about any anniversaries,...laughs...but we had...we had really good times.
And we started going to the Rotary Club Dances, Ball and New Years Eve. And that was very nice until they started bringing in outside bands that...they played what they called music but it wasn't proper dance music, you know. It was jazzed up and too loud and I'm afraid it all spoilt it a lot, but if the Rhythm Aces were playing, you more or less fought for tickets to get in, you know. And then we used to get dancing down at the Railway Club that they opened where the canteen was and we sometimes had Ben Morris who was in there playing the piano and somebody on the drums or just perhaps Tommy Claridge and...and the Rhythm Aces played there quite a bit, but Tommy was...he could have been a band in himself really because he had these marvellous accordions. And then he bought a beautiful organ and he just sit and play. And I don't think they really needed any music. I think they knew all the tunes, you know. And then Doug would play the saw, which was very ...it was very...it was fascinating to watch them, you know. Because it...the way he got the...how he bent it and got the...I used to think, I don't know...it was only an ordinary saw that he got. N, I don't know how they did it, but he did. And ... and we also...they used to have dances at the Top Club and the Bottom Club but properly Friday nights and Saturday nights. But then they started bringing in these...the big bands and...not the big bands but the Disco's and that kind of thing and it got a little bit out of hand. So I think - as far as I know - they stopped that altogether.
But when we used to go to these other dances we all used to dress up and...and long dresses and - you know - all the accessories and...and it really made a - you know - a terrific night out ...that did. It was marvellous really, when you could go. But then...and then, 'cause...Disco Dancing came in and the Jive and all this, that and the other and it...it wasn't for us older once really ... laughs...we were a little bit too state to learn and then they started these...what they call them?...Sequence Dance Club and 'cause when they all got on the floor there wasn't room for anybody else to do...to dance as they wanted to, unless you could do it as they would...as they've been taught to do it. So it rather put the damper on quite a lot of dances, that did. But as I say, we're all...we're all friends that went, I mean sometimes there was 20 of us all went together and we sat round one table and you know, it was... it was like a family party. But...then it got so that..it got a little bit expensive with supply and refreshments and you took your own! But you still got a drink at the bar. But they all seemed to have died out around here and I don't think there is anywhere at all that has any dances at all, no. Anything else you want to know?...laughs.
During the war and because Jack was in the army and he was away...so I didn't go to any dances but...there was a...there was a camp on the race course which was quite near to where I used to live, they built this camp. But then when the Yanks came over...apparently they used to send the lorries in and used to take girls out to the nearby camps to dance. I never went to any of those and...and I'm afraid people got rather a bad name that did go and...and it wasn't, you know, if you mixed with the Yanks you weren't of the right kind. But as I said, Jack was in the army then, so I didn't go dancing then.
(Stephanie: 'So, what other bands were there in the war as well - or weren't they playing at all?')
No, I don't know if they were up here, because ...I mean... that was when I was living in Northampton and then I moved up to Olney and we went dancing there. We used to go to the Village Hall every Saturday evening and we used to go to Newport dancing. And then when we moved up here (Wolverton)...as I say ... we went to the Science and Art and we also used to go up to the Radcliffe School. They used to have the Rotary Ball and... and then the Friends of the Radcliffe started up and started running these dances and they had them about once a month ...I think...and - as I say - if it was the Rhythm Aces it was a ... you'd got to book your tickets, you know, as soon as you knew they were going to be there. You booked your tickets and...and got them otherwise you didn't get in. But it was ...as I say... during the war the Yanks used to sent these lorries in on to the market square in Northampton as I understand it...as I say..I didn't do it. (Not the cattle market???) No, no, no ... the Market Square, that's - if you know Northampton, that is where they hold the big market near Church's,...yes and then they used to take the ...load them up and ...laughs...(like cattle) ...that's sounds terrible, doesn't it?... laughs ...no, I mean they used to ...the women all used to know when they were coming and that kind of thing and...and then you see, lot of new nylon stockings about and 'wonder were they got them from?!' ...and...and apparently they went out to the camps and danced and then they used to bring them back and dropped them off, I...presumably at the Market Square again, I don't know. As I say...I never took part in any of that so...not that I was a goody-goody, but I just wasn't...no, wasn't fair while Jack was in the army.
So and then we just carried on when ...when he got back and we just still kept dancing and we didn't pack up dancing up until...oh, what was it?...19...must be 1989 when Hazel was ill. And we didn't go very often then and after that he was too ill.....So I'm afraid my dancing days were over 10 to 11 years ago which is a shame because we thoroughly enjoyed it, you know.
(Judee: 'What was the last dance you went to and where?')
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