Social Life & Courting
I worked at the Co-op and they had a monthly social and my friend and I were going and one week she brought her brother and his friend who turned out to be Jeff. I loved dancing and still do but Jeff didn't like dancing. I was 19 when I met Jeff and this year we will celebrate our 59th anniversary. We danced at the Victoria Hall but it is now a sports shop, it had a sprung floor and always a live band. We also danced at The Spot, London Colney, which was always strict tempo. There was a dance hall behind Marks & Spencers, the Barn and the Drill Hall and the Town Hall. You could meet lots of people at dances and it was how young people spent their time, dancing and the pictures.
We had 3 cinemas in St. Albans so plenty of choice. The cost was 9d, 1 shilling, 1/9d and 2/3d and we also went for long, long walks. When the Capitol had a film on the queue was enormous.
Saturday morning pictures for children were popular. I went once but found it too noisy. I didn't like it and never went again.
I used to have lantern slides in my shed and charge my pals to come in. I used to show the slides and put words to them. I used to buy the glass slides from a local shop called Green & Winters.
I met my husband at a social, which included games, and dancing at Culver Hall. We got married in 1955. Years ago it was normal to get married between 18-22 but now people get married much later.
I was not ever allowed to go to the pictures on a Sunday. When I met my husband he asked me to go to the pictures on Sunday because he was in the navy and he was due to go to sea. I was 19 at the time and I asked my mother's permission and she sent to to ask my father who sent me back to my mother. In the end I just went and they turned a blind eye because of the circumstances. How attitudes have changed!
I always tell my granddaughter that my best contraception was my father because I wouldn't have dared to go home and tell I was pregnant. I got engaged quite a while before I was 21 but my father said I couldn't get married until I was 21 and it never occurred to me to question him. Also my nursing training didn't finish until then and he was quite determined I should get qualified.
Peter's ship was due to dock in Liverpool and I wanted to go up on the train and meet him but my father wouldn't allow me to go alone, I was 23 at the time but he drove me up to chaperone me, and especially as the ship was late and we had to stay the night in a hotel.
I was 22 when I got married. I got engaged when I was in the forces, met my wife through cadets because her and her sister used to help out in the canteen for the cadets. You were given a small allowance for refreshments.