Dance hall golden age revisited

Carol Sanders and Brian Crozier pictured in the 1940s room at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. 'Van Werninck Studio
Carol Sanders and Brian Crozier pictured in the 1940s room at Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. 'Van Werninck Studio

Montrosians will have the chance to relive the golden age of the town’s dance halls next month to help celebrate Montrose Air Station’s centenary.

The town hall will be transformed into a 1940s ballroom for the Centenary Swing Ball on Saturday, June 15 when the sound of the big bands and the swing era, including Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman will be captured by the Sellars Brothers Big Swing Band.

Neil Werninck, ball organiser, said: “This is a chance to enjoy the music of the 1940s at its very best. I defy anyone with an ounce of rhythm running through them to remain in their seats when the Sellars Brothers are playing.”

Entertainment will also be provided by local singer Kirsten Tomlinson, who will perform songs from the era, while dancers from the Esk Academy of Dancing will step out in 1940s style. With a dress code of 1940s fashions, or ‘dress to impress’, the atmosphere of the period will be well and truly captured.

Dan Paton, air station heritage centre curator, said the ball will recognise the connection that existed between the people of Montrose and RAF Montrose, in particular the 2,000 young men and women stationed there prior to and during the second World War.

He said: “Dance halls such as The Angus Hall, The Beach Pavilion and the dance hall at the air station, which had its own RAF band, would be packed with local youngsters and military personnel from the base, including young men training to be pilots.

“Many romances blossomed and there were lots of weddings.”

The ball, backed by funding from Angus Council, will be held in the town hall from 7.30pm until midnight and tickets, costing £25 including a finger buffet, are available from Henry Hogg’s on the High Street and Van Werninck Studio on Murray Street, telephone 01674 673282.