DCSIMG

REMEMBERING THE MARINE BALLROOM

IF YOU can think back far enough to perhaps the 1960s or '70s, to an era when it was still fashionable to call a discotheque a 'disco' and not a nightclub, to the good old days when you could buy a round of drinks and still get change from a pound, then you are old enough to remember the Marine Ballroom.

It started life as Grant's shoe factory in 1882. In 1937 the building was bought by Frederick Carcone who ran a restaurant at 84-86 High Street. In September that year the Marine Ballroom opened.

Two years later, Helen Duncan, who later formed Duncan Dance Enterprises, acquired the business which the family ran until Mr John Air took over on October 24, 1975.

In the years before Mr Air took over, the Bay City Rollers played at the Marine, as had Christian and Salvation, whose members included Midge Ure.

Slade, too, are well remembered as they were banned. Their skinhead antics when they were Ambrose Slade did not go down well.

During the Second World War, the building as a billet for Polish troops and murals still exist on the rear gable.

The building, which has lain unused since 1983, is now being converted into flats.

The main staircase took patrons upstairs where they went through a door into the dance hall. There was a stage immediately to the right and another stage at the far end, with a small cafe beyond which served soft drinks only. Lukewarm pies were also available on request!

Those of the correct age can perhaps recall the girls in their mini skirts and American tan tights dancing around their handbags in the middle of the floor, with the men 'circulating' around the edge of the dance floor with their bell bottom trousers and Rod Stewart haircuts reekin` of Old Spice aftershave.

On the ground floor was the ticket office to the right where you paid your entrance fee. To the left of the stairs, a door took you through to the downstairs bar (which served alcohol), a small dancefloor and a glorious monophonic disco with few flashing bulbs.

Special memories are of the Hogmanay night specials, where you left your 'cairry oot' with the staff at the entrance booth and left around 11.40 in time for the bells at the steeple.

 
 
 

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