The entrance to the Cameo Ballroom on Kilmarnock Road, Shawlands. An explanation of the he "Ballroom closed" sign is suggested by the date of the photograph, which was taken in September 1939. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, all places of public entertainment were immediately closed, for fear of an instant assault by waves of German bomber aircraft. When this failed to materialise, restrictions were lifted on 14 September.
Far from sounding the death knell for dance halls, the war ushered in a boom time for public entertainment. Troops and civilians alike sought release from the strain of wartime, and flocked to the dance halls. The need to carry gas masks and restrictions imposed by the blackout were shrugged aside. The arrival of American forces from 1942 gave a further boost to business. The GIs were relatively well paid, and always had a supply of nylons. This made them popular as dancing partners, although their popularity with local women sometimes resulted in fights with jealous local youths.
Reference: Glasgow City Archives, D-CA 8/1658
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
air raids, Americans, armed forces, ballrooms, blackout, Cameo Ballroom, dance halls, dances, dancing, fights, gas masks, GIs, nylons, Second World War