One Friday night in the middle of May this year, I found myself in The Turf in Consett watching ‘First Dates Band’.

I’d once again been invited out by my daughters and their friends to join in the evening’s entertainment.

I have to say the band were excellent and warmly received by the audience, who were so obviously inspired by the music they stood close to the stage holding their drinks; and as the evening progressed, expressed their excitement in dancing in a fashion I haven’t –  as I’m too old – experienced or practised. My apologies if I use the wrong terms, but it may be called, slamming, moshing or pogo dancing. I have to say it was all very impressive and as I sat on the same seats I’ve frequented since the 1970’s; it was delightful to see everyone with huge smiles on their faces emanating loud laughter. All enjoying themselves through music and dance.  And it brought back so many memories.

In my day, from the early to the late 1970’s,  I saw and enjoyed the transition from rock to disco, watching some of my favourite artists being influenced by the same disco beat. 

Always being a lover of dance, from attending tap and ballet lessons at the age of 3, to learning country and Irish dancing at school, I frequently gleefully embraced every opportunity to participate in the experience. 

In fact, from dancing to ‘All Right Now’ in St Mary’s youth club in my plum ribbed cropped jumper and matching mini skirt, wearing paleface tights; while watching the tiny pieces of white fluff stand up on everyone’s clothes when the purple strip lighting was switched on!

 I later progressed to The Freemasons Arms disco, wearing royal blue satin trousers with a matching top, confidently balancing on platform shoes; before boogieing to ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and ‘Staying Alive’. This all prerequisites queuing up outside Botto’s to continue the party on the tiny dance floor, where bopping around our handbags we emulated all the actions to Gloria Gaynor’s  ‘I Will Survive!’

In more calmer moments, I did enjoy a twirl to Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’, ‘Lay Down Sally’ by Eric Clapton and Lindisfarne’s ‘Run For Home’.

I have to say though – before my catholic knees took over –  I enjoyed every minute of my dancing history, yet, I can still manage a shuffle now; if the music takes me! 

Funnily enough my friends and I were chatting recently about the good times we had and we decided to look and see if we had any photographs. Suddenly realising, in those days we didn’t have mobile phones – never mind ones that took photographs – and none of us would dream of lugging cameras around. This meant we didn’t have lots to share, forcing  those memories to live in our imagination.

That is, until my adobe photoshopping friend Janice, recreated some moments by superimposing my face on a dancing hippie queen and sent me the picture.

Problem solved!

I’m looking forward to many more of the same; and of course some more nights out in The Turf!

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Lorraine Weightman
Lorraine Weightman who regularly writes a monthly memoir telling of her days growing up in Consett has just published 2 books in conjunction with Firefly New Media Uk, which share 24 stories that were originally seen in Consett Magazine over the past few years.


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