16 Aug 2022

Council seek memories of County Derry dance halls

A new museum exhibition is being prepared.

Council seek memories of County Derry dance halls

Memories from the Dancehalls of County Derry will be put in an exhibition planned by Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

Former patrons of the Dungiven Castle Ballroom are being asked to revive memories, and make contributions to an exciting new exhibition planned by a local council.

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museums Service have put a call out for help as it prepares for an exciting new exhibition about dance halls through the years. 

In the 1950s and 60s, County Derry was home to many popular venues including the Castle Ballroom in Dungiven, the Strand Ballroom in Portstewart and the Limavady Agricultural Hall which were all ran by well-known local promoter Bobby Platt.

He built relationships with band managers and tour promoters in Belfast and London which led to local performances by chart-topping international stars such as Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Lulu and The Who amongst others.

Patrons travelled from all across the region to dances in the famous ballroom in Dungiven - if you remember this time, or have any photographs or memorabilia related to the dance hall era, then Causeway Coast and Glens Council would like to hear from you.

Explaining more, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Ivor Wallace said: “Dance halls were the leading social setting of their time, and it’s where many couples would have first met. If this is you, your parents or grandparents please consider getting involved and sharing your story with our Museums team.

“Significantly, for so many in our community, memories of the local dance hall and the music associated with them, transcend boundaries of class, education and religion – they were a place where people were able to enjoy their shared love of music and dance.

“This exhibition is an opportunity to showcase this exciting period in local history and I’m looking forward to seeing what we uncover with the help of the public.”

The exhibition is scheduled for September to December in Coleraine Museum at Coleraine Town Hall.

If you think you could help the Museum Services team by recalling your memories or loaning any items to help illustrate the history of dance halls, email cms@cause or phone 028 2766 0230.

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