Dancing days

Even though we were only seventeen, Gordon, Malla and I went to a few pubs to play darts or snooker. Occasionally we went to the lounge bar of the Wellington Hotel on a Saturday night, and sipped a round of three pints of black velvets (a mixture of stout and cider). We then walked to the Town Hall Dance and had a great night. One night, on the way, we met Gordon Sherris, who had just turned eighteen. He decided to go with us. That made a round of four drinks.

Just as we were about to leave, Gordon’s dad came into the lounge with a friend. Assuming that we were all eighteen, he sent over another round of drinks. That was two pints more than our usual limit. By the time we got to the dance we were all quite unsteady. After a few dances I didn’t feel too great and sat in the foyer. One of the bouncers came over, gave me a mint and loosened my tie. He kindly suggested that I should go home. As I was leaving, a long queue of hopefuls were trying to get in!

When I left school, Mam advised me to learn to dance, as this was the best way to meet girls. The lessons paid off and I was confident enough to ask girls to dance when the dance floor was practically empty. All the girls were relieved that I didn’t trample all over their feet. Most of the other lads arrived after 10pm when the pubs closed and waited for a crowded floor so they could just shuffle around.

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