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Plaza Ballroom Files

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Wedding receiption Plaza
Wedding receiption Plaza

The photo of the wedding was taken in Moffet''s Studio at top of Watson Street/Bridge Street,now trading as am Indian Restaurant.
The wedding took place at Seagoe Parish Church, Portadown, on Monday 20-12-48 of Miss Vera, Margaret Kane, only daughter of Mrs Kane and the late Mr. Harry Kane,

25 Watson Street Portadown and Mr. William Gallery, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs.William Gallery, 28 Alexandra Gardens, Portadown. The Rev. J.W. Appelbe, M.A. B.D. rector officiated.

Given away by her brother, Mr. James kane, the bride wore a frock of white moss crepe with a long white veil and orange blossom headdress Her bouquet was of pink chrysanthemums. She was attended by her cousin, Miss Melba Thomas, who wore a blue moss crepe frock, with blue headdress. Her bouquet was composed of pink and white chrysanthemums

Mr. Thomas Gallery, the groom’s brother, was best man.

Mrs A. Templeton presided at the organ, played the “Bridal March” and “Sanctuary of the Heart.”

Following the ceremony, sixty guests attended the reception, in the Plaza Café.

Bride and groom, who received ninety-four gifts, spent the honey-moon in Bangor and leaving for there, Mrs Gallery wore a brown coat, with brown and pink accessories.

Plaza Ballroom
Plaza Ballroom

Photo is of dancing trophy won by Vera Gallery (nee Kane)in 1948/49.
The trophy was won in 1948 in Lurgan Town Hall & next year in Banbridge.
Her dancing partners were Billy Saunderson in 1948 & Ernest Bennington in 1949.
She puts her success down to tuition received from George Bothwell who taught ballroom dancing in the Plaza.

Blue Shadows Band
Blue Shadows Band

The members of the band were J. Higginson Trumpet. B. Hamilton Clarinet and Alto Saxophone. T. Gallery Accordion. Ralph McNally Vocals and Drums. Billy Gallery Violin. Harry McCusker Piano.
Please refer to the article by Ellen Roney where she mentions the band.
Note the beautiful maple floor which was nearly destroyed when roller skating was allowed for a short time.

Photo courtesy of Mrs D Higginson.

Plaza Ballroom
Plaza Ballroom

The Plaza 40's/50's

As you leave Portadown passing over the bridge en-route to Lurgan, you drive past the Plaza Ballroom probably without a second glance or thought. Before the age of television or Strictly Come Dancing this building was the dance Mecca for the people of Edenderry, a place, where they met to enjoy a night of dancing, share news, and discuss forthcoming events. Boys met girls, wives found future husbands and many lifelong friendships were made in the Plaza.
Monday night was dedicated to ballroom dancing classes, for those who did not know their left foot from their right foot and this unenviable task fell to Mr. and Mrs. George Bothwell, old time and sequence dancing was left in the capable hands of Jack and Mrs Millen and like the ballroom, was enjoyed by all.
At that time the building was owned by Mosey Ellis who also had the Pub next door but for 10 years Mr and Mrs William Gallery had the lease of the dance hall. Music was played by Billy’s Band “The Blue Shadows” The shirts for the band were made by Mrs Gallery. And at that time the band consisted of Billy Gallery, Violin, T. Gallery, Accordion. Ralph McNally and Eric Cassidy, Vocals and Drums. Harry McCusker, Piano. J. Higginson, Trumpet. B. Hamilton, Clarinet and Alto Saxophone. A number of those who attended the classes progressed to win Trophies in the Belfast Plaza.
For a short period of time roller skating was held, but it had to be stopped as the roller skates damaged the floor and it was the best in the district.
A Café was also opened, and a young Adeline Gallery served lunches to employees from Wades, Robb’s or any other hungry worker. The drinks, all soft minerals, were supplied by local firm, Express Mineral Water. In the evenings Adeline, and her sisters, Jean and Josie were in charge of the cloak room.
During World War II the venue was requisitioned by the Army, who were stationed in Watson Street, the factory which later became Wade’s Pottery.
The Government continued to use the hall for a short time as a Food Office for the Ministry of Food where orange juice, baby food, Robeline, etc. were distributed.
The Smith family from Belfast opened Edenderry’s first Fish and Chip shop. and for a few years this was a very popular meeting place, for every one in the area, many of the members of Seagoe Church Lads Brigade and Band affectionately called her “Ma Smith” for on the nights, that the Gym team or the band were home late, she would stay open, so that her boys could have their usual fare!!
For a short time, the building was used for a church.
From 1968 to 1985 Mr D. McClure had a very successful Upholstery Business, in what was the old ballroom, with part of the ground floor occupied by a cobbler Herbie Killops, after he retired, Ivan Abraham, moved into the shop where he made everyone very welcome, even if you had no shoes to be mended, he was ready for a chat or listen and give comfort or advice.
The building is now McNabb’s Funeral Parlour
My thanks to Mrs Merle Edgar for her valuable assistance with my research Ellen A Roney.

Plaza Ballroom
Plaza Ballroom

Cutting from 1947 Portadown News


Last 5 Additions

Book sales
Book sales

Hi All can I please remind everyone that the gasworks book and the Wades book are still for sale if you want it posted it’s £5 U.K. and £15 out of the U.K. The book prices are as follows

Gasworks book £10 plus postage
Wades book £5 plus postage.

Books can be picked up locally if arranged with the Secretary Robert on 07846782466 or matchey@icloud.com.

If I’m not able to answer please leave a message and I will get back to you ASAP.
A little known fact
A little known fact

Portadown’ s water supply used to be pumped direct from the River Bann with it so steam pump where the Regal cinema/ entertainment centre is now.
The old Town Hall
The old Town Hall

Who remembers the old Town Hall?
Deliveries in the early 1900’s
Deliveries in the early 1900’s

An old photo showing deliveries to Brankins Pub around the 1900.
The gentleman standing in centre of gateway is believed to be Thomas Brankin, The gentleman on extreme left of photo is believed to be Eamonn''s great grandfather Thomas Brankin.

The photograph was taken about 1900, Brankins Bar then would have been considered to be on the edge of town, nowadays the site would be considered as the centre of The Tunnel. Obins Street.

Brankin''s used to board people and stable horses in the buildings at the rear of the Pub.
The old signal coming into Portadown north side.
The old signal coming into Portadown north side.

The old signal coming into Portadown north side.

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