This page by Jim George More memories of Miner's Hall
dances, in the World War II era
I read with interest a rememberence of one person's memories of the Miners Hall as a basketball center, and I also remember playing ball there, but not as a varsity player.
My memories of the Miners Hall are of the Friday night "Dime Dances" as they were called. They were very informal, and we climbed the staircase up to the gym floor level, and paid our dime inside the upstairs hall door to the person collecting the money.
The music came from a small record player in the small kitchen beside the stage area, which was piped over the loud speaker system, and anyone could bring their favorite records to add to the stack already there. This was in the early '40s, during WW II, and the music was of the big band era, with great music from Tommy Dorcey, Glen Miller, Woodie Herman, The Ink Spots, and many others.
We sat on the bleachers or the bench along the wall opposite the bleachers in groups, usually with your buddies, and the girls gathered in groups on the bleacher side, unless you had a date and then you would try to find a dark corner. When the music started, the guys would drift over across the dance floor to ask one of the girls to dance. Of course we headed for our favorite dance partner. The most important dance was the last one, and the last dance was always Glen Miller's "Moonlight Serenade." The lights would be dimmed some and we would try to dance with the girl we were in love with or a girl we wanted to take home afterwards. We looked forward to those dances all week long, and it became the standard on Friday night.
After the dance, we emptied out and crossed the street to Hagen's restaurant to buy a hamburger and a coke. The hamburger was fifteen cents and the coke a dime, so that if you could manage 35 cents you could pay your way into the dance and have enough for a post-dance snack later. These dances, for me, were the highlight of my week. I was somewhat shy with girls, but I could dance pretty well, so I was able to get close to the girls by dancing with them, even though I might not have the courage to ask one of them for a date.
The Miners Hall was special in different ways to different people. I also have fond memories of decorating it with rolls of crepe paper to transform it into a ballroom for the spring Prom each year. We used it for proms when the high school sat atop Chestnut Street, and had no facility for proms. I was sorry to see the old place fall to ruin and to be torn down. Part of my heart went with it.
I was born and raised in Nanty Glo and am retired from teaching and currently live in a retirement community in Leesburg, Florida, and hardly a day goes by that I don't think about my growing up in Nanty-Glo.
© Jon Kennedy 2002