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I couldn't wait to go out dancing at Smethwick baths

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: April 24, 2014

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OH my goodness me! What a thrill to open The Black Country Bugle on page 5 (April 10 edition) and see the wonderful Thimblemill Baths photographed in all their glory!

What memories...as an 17year old dance-mad girl. I would rush home from work, at that time I lived at Quinton, choose what I was going to wear, usually a flared skirt and blouse, (items which had been washed there and then, ironed dry, and naturally still damp around the collar!) Nothing was going to stop me from my dancing at the Thimblemill.

My friends, Teresa Guest or June Miller, whoever was free to go with me, rushed down to catch the No. 9 bus to Bearwood, then walk down Bearwood Road or bus the rest!

I did this regularly for another 2 or 3 years, together visiting another local

dance hall The Coliseum on the Bearwood Road. Sheer bliss!

Then after applying make-up and hair combing, we strolled into the baths and looked around the maple floor to see which young man you hoped would ask you dance.

Now it was common practice to have special partners for certain dances, ie Colin Knight for foxtrot, Michael Newman for quickstep etc.

I know Colin has passed away sadly, but I hope Michael is still enjoying his dancing!

I loved every minute the music played; sometimes I had a young man escorted me to the bus stop, very nice, but dancing was and, still is, my first love of recreation.

Husband James and I try and dance twice a week, including now sequence dancing and I love it still

So to all the young men who danced in the heady days of heaven at the Thimblemill, thank you all so much .. and I hope you are still enjoying a trip around the floor!

Wasn't it fantastic?

Eileen Collins,

(nee Smith),


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