Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 23 March 2012

Having a Ball

In the early seventies, when I was at college in Lincoln, we students would enjoy nights out at the local pubs and discos. The highlights however, were the Balls. These days I believe they’re all called ‘proms’! Any excuse for a ball seemed to be the motto: Rag Week, May Queen, Summer and Christmas. Here is a selection of some of my tickets from that time. 

The names of the bands don’t mean much nowadays, although I do remember Judas Priest and East of Eden being quite famous. Formal dress meant long skirts for the ladies and suits and ties for the gentlemen. Two pounds was a lot of money for a student and we probably had to save up for quite while. The local paper snapped me (pink arrow) with my fiancé, on the front row, watching ‘Curly and Lucky (whoever they were). It would seem that the event was open to anybody and I’ve no idea who the two charming ladies on the right were - perhaps they were groupies!
In 1975 we got married, and as my husband was in the Royal Air Force, we attended much more formal balls and dinners. the first picture shows us at home before going to a Summer Ball at RAF Waddington, where we had been involved in decorating one of the many halls and marquees. Our theme was a Mississippi Steamboat, complete with life-size figures. Here I am refuelling at the bar (pink arrow). 














The RAF Balls were always sumptuous affairs with good music, food and drink - our Mess Bill suffered for many months afterwards! Breakfast was usually served from about 5.00 a.m and thereafter we began the business of clearing up and taking down the decorations. What had taken months of preparation was all pulled apart in a few short hours, as the Officers Mess was retuned to normality.

When my husband had left the RAF we were lucky enough to be invited by friends who were still serving, to their own functions. Here we are in the nineties attending an RAF Summer Ball. It was a great excuse to dress up again; on that occasion I remember having to tuck my gown into the dodgem cars we rode in the grounds! 

Here’s a flavour of the more formal menu at a ‘Ladies Guest Night'. This was when wives and girlfiends were invited to attend the usually all-male ‘Dining In’, which was a very formal ‘do’ with speeches and military bands. The only times when I would be addressed as Ma’am - I loved it! 


Of course it wasn’t all formal; here we are dressed-down for a Hallowe’en Party. Great to let my hair down and behave outrageously!



For more outgoing personalities and persons going out, you are cordially invited to attend this week’sSepia Saturday, dress: casual, tickets:free. 


20 comments:

  1. You were at college in Lincoln?! I'm from Lincolnshire :-)

    Great collection of keepsakes and memories, it must be so lovely to have those to look back on

    Jem xXx

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  2. Lincoln, Bishop Grosse girls, Waddington, Cranwell - I know them all from cricket, hockey and rugby days - and a lot of other RAF bases from the late 50s, 60s and 70s. Great memories Nell.

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  3. You all look very glamorous. Those balls must have been a lot of fun.

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  4. Thanks for the tip about word verification...just today another blog friend asked me to remove it. I never thought much about it but I did get rid of it, I think...we shall see. It seemed to bounce back after I removed it.

    Handsome and pretty in those photos. Great times I am sure even if the bands have lost popularity.

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  5. What great fun that must have been. My husband had a real thing for the hairstyle you're wearing in one of those photos. He had a crush on Toni Tenille and Dorothy Hamill. I think it might be best if I don't let him see this post!

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  6. I hope someone saved those life size figures from the dance. They'd be great wall hangings. They're real works of art.
    Nancy

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  7. You've reminded me of all the times my folks got dressed up to go to parties when my dad was in the Navy. They always looked so elegant. Wonderful images.

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  8. Judas Priest and East of Eden? That must have been an experience. Having got my principal degree as a mature student with the OU, I missed out on visiting bands. However, a friend, who was studying law at Southampton in 1971, saw Led Zeppelin perform in the University refectory, of all places!

    Great to have a photographic record of your partying days.

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  9. What fun! Such great memories for you and your husband!

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  10. "Refueling" -- I'm going to remember that. HA!

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  11. I love the idea of going to a Ball then having breakfast at 5am, and I especially like your Halloween photo :-) Jo

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  12. Good gracious. You are recognised in the early photographs, but I wouldn't have spotted John. Going Out is such a perfect theme for old photographs, in the days before digital photography and mobile phones with cameras, it was one of the few occasions when the camera would come out.

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  13. Oh, my gosh! I loved all of this, from the part where you still have all of your tickets to your Halloween picture. What a wonderful, wonderful post. Thanks, Nell, I know that this one took a long time to put together.

    Have a great weekend,

    Kathy M.

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  14. LN this was a great post. I really did enjoy it. We did not call our dances, at a private girl's school proms either, they well balls. I must say how handsome you and your hubby look.
    QMM

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  15. Oh my was exciting times you have had. If only we had things like Balls these day...most the old real ballrooms around here are for weddings! thanks for such a fun post!

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  16. The tickets are a super memento to bring back memories, in combination with the photos. They sound a great series of balls.

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  17. How wonderful to have balls to attend, and to dress in a formal. And the RAF connection makes it even more marvelous...

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  18. I was wondering who the older ladies were in the first photo too.

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  19. Great post, but the menu had me in stitches. Funny when people try writing in french. It should read "Supreme de Volaille a la Creme" and "Cafe au lait".

    You looked good as a Wiccan!! Was he under your spell?!?
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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  20. I'm pretty sure I inherited that maroon cummerbund and bow tie!

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