From playing host to the only Beatles gig in Aberdeen to hundreds of graduations and weddings, the Beach Ballroom has held a special place in people’s hearts over the past 90 years.
During its rich history, the well-known landmark has survived the Second World War and a disastrous fire.
Staff and visitors to the seafront venue marked its 90th anniversary with talks and tours yesterday by ballroom manager John Johnstone.
Those who joined the tour of the B-listed building, which was built in 1929 and officially opened on May 3 the same year, were encouraged to share their own memories.
Among the tales mentioned was how the building was commandeered as an Army base during the Second World War.
The ballroom – which survived the war almost unscathed – barring £7,000 of damage inside, was returned to the people by Christmas 1946.
It also survived a blaze which ripped through it in 1993, damaging its structure.
Among those sharing her fondest memories was Maureen Hartnett, 72, of Kincorth, who saw the Beatles there in 1963, before the band’s global success.
Maureen said that, at the time, “they were just another band” and said she thought they were “just good”.
She added: “It was the venue we used to go to.
“It was fabulous. I think the Beatles were a supporting band and they had just brought out Love Me Do.
“We came here to see this group and we had no idea who they were and we enjoyed our evening. I remember the ticket was very cheap.
“All of a sudden they were this phenomenon. We still talk about it to this day.”
Maureen, who also worked at the ballroom part-time during the 1970s and 1980s, said due to the last bus leaving at 11pm a lot of people left early, but because she lived nearby she stayed until the Fab Four finished their set.
Meanwhile, 92-year-old Eddie Maitland, from Hazlehead, also has fond memories of the venue, having won many ballroom dancing competitions with his late wife, Betty.
Eddie said he still likes to visit to remember his wife. He said: “We started competing at the Beach Ballroom in 1953.
“We got married in 1952 and then she took us for dance lessons to start. We just kept dancing after that but she died eight years ago. I’ve kept up with dancing.
“I thought I was a dancer before I met her but I was told otherwise. But it didn’t take me long to catch up with her. I’m still dancing. I’m 92 so it keeps you fit! I have a lot of happy memories. I still come to the Beach Ballroom and hear the music.”
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Ballroom manager John Johnstone said: “Throughout the years, it has gone through a couple of different changes, like the addition of the star ballroom in 1963, the lowering of the ceiling in 1977 and the floor itself was replaced in 2010.”
Speaking of a tale from the 1950s, he said: “The most interesting stories have to do with the fountain that used to be in the middle of the dance floor. Around the fountain there were attendants who would stop people dancing so close together.
“There was this little old lady, she must have been about 90-something, said to me ‘aye but they didn’t stop you from behind the pillars’.
“It has been a busy day. At 10am we had a queue outside waiting to get in. People’s memories of this place and those wanting to be a part of the 90th birthday, it is just absolutely amazing.”