Burnley and Pendle

Cyclists Touring Club

C.T.C. Notes - An Evening of Make Believe - c1930

Variety is the spice of life, and presumably the C.T.C. agreed upon that point in more ways than one, when, last Saturday, they temporarily deserted their cycles and indulged in an evening of gaiety and dancing. The occasion was the popular annual Fancy Dress Dance, which this year, was held in the Co-operative Assembly Room, Albert Street, Nelson. Its popularity was again sincerely confirmed by the large attendance of members and friends, who came, not only from Nelson, Burnley and Colne, but even from such outlying districts as Keighley, Rawtenstall, Darwen, Barnoldswick, and - I nearly forgot it — Brierfield, whereby filling the hall to a comfortable capacity. The Bohemians’ Dance Band was in attendance, and. under their rhythmical influence and the able ministrations of the M.Cs! (Messrs. Hudson and Wood) a choice: selection of dances was enjoyed by an appreciative assembly. Naturally, the outstanding feature of the evening was — apart. from minor spot dance prizes — the grand parade, with the judging of costumes and the presentation of prizes. The result was to the entire satisfaction of all concerned, and the judges (Mr. and Mrs. Dewhurst and Mr. and Mrs, Dixon) are to be commended on the impartial manner in which they dealt with that arduous task, made all the more so by an unusually high standard of costumes.

The following were acknowledged winners in their various classes : Ladies : Neatest, Miss Alston, as “Bonny Prince Charlie"; Original, Miss Emmot. as "Flanders Poppies; second Neatest, Mr. Hudson, as "Masquerade"; Most Original, Mr. Smith, impersonating a Turk; Comic, Mr. Willers, as a clown.

Hereunder I submit a few impressions of that evening's jollity. Having safely negotiated the pass between "Shylock" and the door, without loss to life or limb, I stand, wonderstruck, upon the threshold of a new world. From across the hall drifts in rhythmical concord, the wailings and moanings of a saxophone and cornet, the lilting of a violin, the strains of a piano, and the crash of cymbal and drum; their combined efforts blending into a dreamy waltz. Gradually the floor becomes more and more congested as man and maid rise and take their place amongst the apparently mad, whirling throng. What a riot of colour! What a conglomeration of make-ups! Here a dark-eyed, dusky maiden of the South Sea Isles embraced 1n the arms of a “Questionable Character,” gracefully glide by; there a sleek-faced, almond-eyed "Chink" twist and turn in wild confusion, his gypsy maiden dexterously following in his wake; a pious monk in sackcloth attired, walks sedately by, chatting pleasantly to - whom?: Why, bless me, the very "Mephistopheles" himself, his dark, malicious smile dangerously evident. Jovial clowns rollicking sailors, gypsies, matadors, a convict, a cook, a Turk, pierrots, and Mexicans, the place seems infected with nationalities and impersonations of all kinds. Presumably yonder fellow came with the intention of having a "nap" judging by his apparel. Hi! waiter, bring me a little refreshment, please. What, bring it yourself. Sorry, mistakes will happen, and to whom am I speaking. Ha! allow me, for he is worth knowing, here’s Doodles. Really he is not a bad fellow, although his shiny, red nose and acrobatical capers bespeak of a partiality to intoxicants; he is really suffering from excessive rouge and volability. However, whither I look at his shiny "topper," or his white be-spatted shoes, or his white, be gloved hands, my eyes always deviate to what he affectionately calls a collar. However shall T describe it; for it is beyond me, and also beyond him, not only does it' prod his own ears, but those who have the fortune (or otherwise) to-partner him in dancing. Anyhow, suffice it to say that quite a number of persons enquired if he had acquired gliding as a hobby. Hello! there goes; S-----, deluding himself into the thought that he is doing what he fondly terms waltzing. Well opinions differ. Ha! what is that? . Why, it is D-----! Apparently judging from his contortions, his feet have assumed the ungovernable proportions of a couple of obstinate canal barges; and his partner, a touching image of forbearance, charity, disappointment, and anguish, mentally, morally and physically (sorry, my stock has run out, but any how, she has my deepest sympathy). Well, it is time I waded into the fray, so, with “May I have the pleasure of this dance, please?" — "Certainly, it is all yours,” I seize my opponent — sorry, I mean partner — and proceed to push and kick her round the room.

—J.H.G.

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