Swinging Showbands

Remember the days when you queued outside Derry’s Guildhall, eager to pay your 10 shillings to dance the night away to Ireland’s top showbands?

Those where the days when local dance halls were on SIX night a week! When a tailored, made-to-measure suit cost just £12 and a woman’s dress a mere £4. And of course, those were the days when from our quaysides poured scores of navy men - much to the consternation of Derry men! Yes indeed, those were fine times.

Dancers pose for a photograph in the Embassy Ballroom around 1962. (270913JC1)

Dancers pose for a photograph in the Embassy Ballroom around 1962. (270913JC1)

Showbands like Johnny Quigley’s All Stars and The Woodchoppers were regulars in the Guildhall in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Then came bands like Peterboy and the Trend, The Woodlanders and The Flingles - in fact, Derry’s showbands were famed as being just about the best in the land!

Now you can relive those days of old when a charity Showband Nostalgia night brings dancing back to the Guildhall on Saturday, October 12, with the Foyle Big Band, fronted by the ever-popular Mickey Wilson.

Tickets, priced £10, are available from organisers Willie Deery, Isobel Doherty, or ring Clare Moore on: 077 0886 4925. Buy tickets from Jobby’s Sports Shop in the Collon, Henderson’s Music or from PJ Newsagent in William Street.