Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Would you like a ticket sir! for the ANNUAL BALL, this week its the "Police Ball"

Haslingden Wheelers and Motor Cycle Club Annual Ball
Photo: kindly from Marie Ives - Printed here at 1 1/2 times larger than actual
See below for contents of programme.


We did not need any excuse for a Ball, in fact the diary at the Public Hall was continuously booked up with all the various “ Balls” which seemed to be on during the winter months especially around the October and November periods.

I remember best the last “Mayors Ball” when Alderman Donald Butterworth (our last Mayor) and his good lady were the host.  With being on the Town Council at the time, we got invitations and so off we trundled me in the old drain pipes (well I think that’s what I might have worn), there again it might well have been “bell bottoms” and my dearest in her “scarlet red hot pants” which brought looks from all around, but who cared it was the early 70's and we were having a “ball”. We were young and didn’t bother too much about protocol (evening dresses and all that stuff) them days.

Click over to enlarge
check further down for
inside of programme
One thing I remember quite clearly was the Mayor inviting us to take a drink with him in the private room set aside for his guest.  Why not I said whilst lifting the glass and downing the Scotch in one! Whilst trying to hide the follow up cough!

“A towd thi that Tayern Hall ud spent thi hard earned cash” – knockin em back on quiet!  WELL CHEERS Mr Mayor I’ll not be complaining!

There were Balls for this, that and tuther, and they were all for good causes and after cost of it all the remainder of brass would go to well deserving charities.

Each of the Towns Services had their Ball which included The Police, The Fireman’s, and a very popular event was the Farmer’s Ball.

I am sure you would naturally guess that the most popular Ball of them all and best attended was the Police Ball. When it was coming up to the time of the Police Ball there were tickets on the go everywhere in the town.  Think about it!  There were no parking tickets them days! And probably lots of minor misdemeanours may have been overlooked and dealt with by a strong warning, but you could guess that it was always followed up by, “Would you be interested in purchasing a ticket for the Police Ball Sir?” Of course officer, I will have four!  I often wondered what would have happened if you said NO!

On the night of the Mayor’s Ball the band was our local Jack Taylor Band, and Jack would have drafted in one or two more members to make the band bigger than is regular weekly dance band.  Another firm favourite band at some of the Balls was the Bob Whatmough Band from Accrington, they were quite a large band with never less than a dozen or so musicians.

Flannel Ball (flannels Optional)
shown here at 1 and 1/2 times bigger
Over the many years I’ll bet there were scores of “Balls” and scores of Cinderella’s attending them, the difference is that they would not all have had to be home for midnight.  Let’s face it most Balls did not finish those days until about one o’clock in the morning!

Maria Ives has kindly informed me that she has a programme for the  “Wheelers Cycle Club Ball” which was held on December 31st 1926 and the cost was One shilling and Sixpence. Even I can remember there being a “New Years Eve” Ball in most years.
Marie, also has a programme for the Flannel Ball which was held on June 26th (no year mentioned).
The Swimming Club also had their Annual Dance which sometimes was on Boxing Day, December 26th. (Marie's programmes will be added to this blog - late September).

“The Flannal Ball” who had the R. Wright’s Syncopated Band to provide the Music.

Politics also came into the Annual Ball, I can remember the Haslingden Liberal Party Ball and also the Conservative Ball.

I have now included a list of well known Balls below and can you think of any others?

Mayors Ball,
Police Ball,
Firemans Ball,
Farmers Ball
Liberal Ball,
Conservative Ball,
Wheelers Cycle Club Ball (see photo of programme),
Flannel Ball (see photo of programme),
Youth Club Coming of Age Ball
Swimming Club Annual Dance
Spinners and Minders Association Ball (Sat Nov 20th 1875) - Public Hall (The Popular Star Quadrille Band played for dancing)
The Children's Ball

This is the inside of the Wheelers and Motor Cycle Club, Annual Ball Programme
kindly supplied by Marie Ives - note the president was Walter Holland (Holland's Pies)

Haslingden Liberal Association Ball - March 1956
(Click over photo to enlarge.)

Haslingden Liberal Association Ball - January 1963
(Click over photo to enlarge)
Haslingden Youth Club "Coming of Age Ball" - October 1962
(Click over photo to enlarge
Liberal Ball c1963 - The Helmshore Methodist Contingent (Click over photo to enlarge)
The Liberal Ball when Frank Mitchell was Mayor.
The photo shows the Helmshore Methodist contingent.
From left to right:-
Kenneth Riding, Valerie Barlow, Barbara Mudd, Keith Riding, Alan Isherwood, Ronnie Wolfenden, Ian Jefferson, Christine Mitchell, Florence Clough and Kathleen Barlow.  Obviously, the alcohol was just for the purpose of the photo!
(Photo kindly sent in by Florence Walsh (nee Clough) on 3rd September 2015.



Haslingden United Clubs - Grand Late Ball
Programme cover kindly contributed by Dave Wise




Local advert for the very last "Mayor's Ball" held at the Public Hall
(kindly sent in by Chris Kirby - Click over to enlarge




Haslingden Childrens Ball 1963 - Mayor and Mayoress Mitchell and John Wood at front left (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: archived (Balls) and uploaded here on 16th March 2016

Thanks to Marie Ives, Chris Kirby and Florence Walsh for their contributions.