Old Glasgow Club
Minutes of ordinary meeting of Club held at Adelaide’s, 209 Bath Street on Thursday 11 December 2008 at 7.30pm
Mr Gordon (for President)
Mr Gordon welcomed members and visitors to the meeting.
There were apologies from Anna Forrest, Janette Knox, Isobel Muldownie, and Bill McKee.
The minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on 13 November had been circulated and were approved, proposed by Mr Little and seconded by Mrs Urquhart. There were no matters arising.
There was no President’s report, Mrs Forrest being in Cyprus.
Mrs McNae advised that Mr McNae was not on the PA system this evening as he was working the lights for the Dick Whittington pantomime at Eastwood theatre. She thanked those who had donated prizes for this evening’s raffle. Following the closure of the Glasgow Police Museum in Turnbull Street, she reported that the Vice-President had written to the Lord Provost to support plans for its future use. Next month’s meeting (Members’ night) was “Tea at Miss Cranston’s” (6.30 for 7pm) and she hoped that many members would dress up for the occasion; in the meantime she wished all present a good Festive Season.
Mr Gordon introduced Mr Brian Rigby, a member of the Nomad Club, founded in 1895, who spoke on the topic of “Rigging the Jigging”.
Mr Rigby gave the Club the fruits of his research into nostalgia in the form of a talk on his experiences during the 1960’s in attending Glasgow dance halls.
Now a Southsider, he had been born in Aberdeen, but lived in the West End (Novar Drive) as a child, with his parents and 4 brothers and sisters in a 2 room flat, kitchen and bathroom. As a youngster he nurtured an incipient entrepreneurial streak by selling “found” bits of coal, helping with firewood and delivering newspapers, but without financial success, especially after mother’s share was extracted!
Then along came the dancing. He took part in Scout Gang Shows at the Alhambra, did social dancing at school and attended the Roger McEwan dance school. He then discovered the Esquire Jazz Club in the Horseshoe Bar off West Nile Street; here his heart lay for a few years as he fell in love with “trad” jazz. He followed the Esquire Jazz Band, Jim McHarg, George Penman and the Clyde Valley Stompers at Bearsden Town Hall, Broomhill Tennis Club and Whitecraigs Tennis Club.
Having decided with friends that he wanted to “do” something, in a leap of faith he booked the Esquire Jazz Band and the Vernon Jazz Band for the Tudor Ballroom in Giffnock. Tickets were priced 5/6d (27.5p), and they had sold 23 tickets in advance for a hall which could seat 240, but their blushes were saved when 280 turned up. There followed a series of 8 dances with 350 people at each and a Christmas Eve dance with 580(!).
Then he organised dances in Helensburgh (in the present day Commodore Hotel), but as these tended to involve Saturday night punch ups with between locals and visiting sailors, he abandoned these and returned to his ballroom roots, going to the Plaza, the Cameo in Shawlands and the Majestic in Hope Street. After that it was Rock n’ Roll……and nowadays…… his dancing takes the form of embarassing his daughters at weddings.
In answers to questions he stated that he had NOT met his wife at dancing, although they both liked to lead when dancing. He had fond memories of the Harry Margolis orchestra playing at the Plaza, now, sadly, closed and turned into flats.
Vote of thanks
Mr Robertson thanked Mr Rigby for his nostalgic talk, which had been entertaining and humorous.
Mr Gordon invited Mr Rigby to draw the raffle prizes.
He advised that the next directors’ meeting would be immediately after tonight’s meeting and the next club meeting would be on 8 January.
Mr Gordon wished all a safe journey home.