But hopefully we will be going back far enough down memory lane to mean that many of the things we will be focusing on wouldn’t feature much in our lives today, with or without the lockdown. Of course I may be wrong and but for Covid 19 you would be out boogying every night!
Anyway, let’s start with what you remember of the occasions when you first started dressing up and “going out” as a youngster. It might have been to a youth club held in a school, village or even the local church hall. Perhaps it was a proper dance hall with a proper floor, a hotel or what passed for a night club? Can you remember where and when? As well as the music (live band or disco?) think back to the clothes, the hairstyles and what we shall politely call the refreshments. Did your dad insist on coming to pick you up and driving (or walking) you home?
Was “going out” night a Friday, a Saturday, or both? Was (Thursday) washing your hair night in preparation still a thing? How did you get there and who did you go with? When you arrived were you first on to the dance floor (if so, chances are you are female and quite possibly dancing with your handbag in the middle), or did you prefer to prop up the bar (in which case you are more likely to be male and waiting for the later smoochy numbers.) Or perhaps you just stood around looking cool, waiting the group to play?
It cannot have escaped your notice that it’s not just us who are busy revisiting times past lately. The appetite for nostalgia has expanded hugely in the current situation. Everywhere you look people are enjoying experiencing re-runs of things, including recent returns to Glastonbury. Have these brought back memories of other outdoor music events? Were you an original hippy (beads and kaftans)?
How about more formal events as you grew up? Did you go to dinner dances? Or charity balls? Were there works “dos”? Where were these held? Are we talking black tie? What was your frock like? As well as thinking about clothes, think about the hairstyles, make-up, and the smell of your favourite perfume brands or after-shave.
Maybe you went to a particular pub or social club for your night out. Were you someone who went to gigs to see particular artists? If so, who did you see and where’s the furthest you’ve been to see them?
In addition to remembering music and dancing, there’s plenty more scope for “going out” memories. If you looked forward to going to the cinema, or were a regular theatre goer, what was the name of the venue? What and who did you see? Who did you go with?
How about when you went out for your first memorable gown-up meal (with a special date perhaps?) It might amaze younger generations that when some of us were growing up eating out wasn’t such a common occurrence as it later became. The choice and variation of eating places was limited! Did you have a favourite restaurant? Where’s the poshest place you’ve ever been?
YOUR CHALLENGE (Should you choose to accept it…)
This week is to find some evidence of at least one of the “going out” occasions above! Ideally, a photograph of you dressed up to the nines and looking absolutely fabulous. Maybe you have also kept hold of a memorable menu, or the ticket to a special show or performance? Have you still got anything that you wore? Even if it isn’t the whole outfit, perhaps there is a significant piece of jewellery, a pair of shoes, an evening bag or bow tie and matching cummerbund lurking in the wardrobe? If there is we want to see it! When is the last time you wore this? What stories could it tell?
Don’t forget to add a photograph and a note of the places and people you recall to your personal scrapbook or memory box.
If you have anything you’d like to share with us, and are happy for us to post onto this page, and our social media pages – please email them over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear from you, and make this a fun community activity with loads of people taking part and sharing their stories, photos, comics – and anything else!
‘GOING OUT’ QUIZ
- Who stars in the BBC TV comedy series “Not Going Out” (he is also a regular on “Would I Lie to You?”)
- Who lost a shoe fleeing from a ball at the stroke of midnight?
- Which chain of cinemas was known for its original maritime-inspired Art Deco architecture?
- Which famous University traditionally celebrated the end of the academic year with its elaborate May Balls?
- Where is the famous Empress Ballroom featured on Strictly Come Dancing and famed for hosting the world’s first, and arguably biggest, international ballroom dancing competition?
- Where do acts appear on the Pyramid Stage?
Answers next week
Last weeks answers:
1. In alphabetical order Wisden’s top five cricketers of the 20th Century are: Donald Bradman, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Garfield Sobers and Shane Ward.
2. Sarah Virginia Wade won three Grand Slam singles titles and four Grand Slam doubles championships.
3. Lots of ActivLives groups enjoy a game of Boccia
4. Bobby Robson was manager when the Tractor Boys won the FA Cup (1978) and the UEFA Cup (1981). Those were the days, eh?
5. The middle and long distance runner Zola Budd competed for Great Britain and South Africa at (different) Olympic Games
6. The sports associated with these stars are as follows:
Michael Jordan Basketball
Babe Ruth Baseball
Johnny Wilkinson Rugby union
Seve Ballesteros Golf
Stirling Moss Motor racing
Dick Fosbury High jump (remember the Fosbury Flop?)
7. Ex-footballers, Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves were the presenters of “Saint and Greavsie”