Daily Drawing: My Mum’s Old Time Dancing Medal 1956

Drawn with Manga G-Pen

This my mother and her grandmother together at a dance contest c. 1956 the year before she met my father. I wrote about the dancing in a poem :


The 78s my father bought
seemed to break of their own accord.
Splinters of black shellac
bulging the faded paper sleeves.
Perhaps each crack took a moment with it.

My father in tassled cowboy shirt
setting needle on Capitol and Brunswick.
Or with my mother, before their wedding,
practicing steps in the front room
like they did before every dancing contest
on the sprung dance-floor of the Co-Op.

Somewhere there are medals to prove
that all that lace and Brylcreem
really did spill and twirl between
the banks of collapsible wooden chairs.

By ’73 the ballroom sparkle had died
replaced by a shop-floor of Hoovers
that I’d slouch through as mum
cashed in her book of dividend stamps.

Some Sunday evenings they’d play records
as bomb and bullet crackled on TV
trying to teach me and my sister
the foxtrot, tango and waltz.

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