Patsy remembers dancing in the ‘jiving corner’ at the Locarno on a Saturday afternoon.

Margaret recalls doing the ‘Palais glide’ in Dennistoun, and Gordon was king of the quickstep at the marvellous Majestic…

Glasgow’s dance hall days live on in the memories of Evening Times readers like Patsy Aitken, 74, and Margaret and Gordon Wood.

And in Easterhouse next week, those memories will be brought to life at Platform’s Springtime Tea Dance.

Building on the success of a previous event, the tea dance will transform the auditorium into a traditional ballroom, complete with tea, cake and handmade tablecloths and art designed and made by the local community.

Popular dance troupe the Kennedy Cupcakes will be leading the dancing, which will feature everything from elegant foxtrots to smooth waltzes, and a live six-piece band will provide the music.

The event is part of Platform’s wide range of community outreach programmes designed to combat isolation amongst the elderly.

Great-gran Patsy Aitken, 74, who has lived in Easterhouse for 40 years, says the tea dance events are fantastic.

“It’s a chance to do something different, to get out of the house and meet people,” she explains.

“You don’t need to come with a partner, you can just come along and join in.”

Patsy, who is celebrating the birth of her first great-grandchild, four-month-old Parker, recalls her teenage days in the late 1950s and early 1960s, heading to dance halls like the Locarno on Sauchiehall Street and the Plaza at Eglinton Toll.

“That’s what you did on Saturdays – all the teenagers went to the dancing, or the ice-skating at Crossmyloof,” she smiles.

“I used to head for the ‘jiving corner’ at the Locarno, thought I wasn’t much good at it. The atmosphere had a real buzz, there wasn’t much trouble. It was a great thing to do.”

Margaret Wood, who was brought up in Maryhill and now lives in Easterhouse, can rhyme off a list of all Glasgow’s great dance halls.

“The Barrowland, the Plaza, the Albert, the Astoria, the Plaza, the Dennistoun Palais – I remember them all well,” she says.

“It was smashing – everyone went to the dancing back then. I wasn’t much of a dancer but my husband Gordon was.”

Gordon, 75, smiles: “We weren’t good on the dancefloor together – I was six foot three and Margaret is four foot 11. People thought I was dancing with myself.”

Gordon loved the quickstep.

“Those were the days – doing cha chas and foxtrots, when you held your dance partner close rather than standing three feet away wiggling your backside,” he laughs.

“I have lots of happy memories of those days – dancing the steps, listening to the big band music.”

Margaret agrees: “The tea dances are a lovely reminder of days gone by.”

Glasgow is rightly proud of its dance hall history and although most of the old venues are gone, great affection for them remains.

The city had about a dozen dance halls in the 1920s, more than anywhere else in Britain.

Glasgow’s first dance hall, the Albert Ballroom on Bath Street, opened in 1905, and it soon became Scotland’s first ballroom to hold dances six nights a week.

In the 1920s the Locarno Ballroom on Sauchiehall Street was hugely popular for dancing the Charleston. In the 1960s it was reinvented as a discothèque, Tiffany’s, and then became a punk venue in the 1970s.

The Dennistoun Palais was destroyed by fire in 1936 but reopened in 1938 as the biggest dance hall in the city, with a capacity of 1800.

The Palais remained a mecca for dancers until its closure in 1962.

The Barrowlands, the grandest of all Glasgow dancehalls, opened in 1934. It was destroyed by fire in 1958 and the completely refurbished venue opened on Christmas Eve 1960.

The Springtime Tea Dance takes place at Platform in The Bridge in Easterhouse on Friday, March 31, at 1pm. It costs £8.50 or from £4 concession and all ages are welcome.

For more information visit or call 0141 276 9696.

Do you have memories and old photos of Glasgow’s dance hall days? Send them to