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Down a flight of stairs and you were in the back room of the restaurant which had an entrance on to Medway Street.
We went to the Star Hotel Ballroom in Maidstone, to the Coronation Ballroom in Ramsgate, to Aylesford Paper Mills social club and to the Orchid Ballroom in Purley.
Most of these bands came to the Pav and Paget in any case but if there was nowt on at either then we went to wherever the music was.
These tunes were played without stop, one after the other and it was imperative that the lads had, by then, sorted out the girl most worthy of their attention especially if the question “Can I see you home? Some of the songs of the day were jazzy or up-tempo and some were dreamy. At 11.45 the dance ended and a fleet of double-deckers waited outside to carry patrons to the four corners of the Medway Towns and a little beyond.
If you were going to see a girl home then you walked her home if she lived nearby or got onto whichever bus she needed and then walked back.
Very few of us lads had cars or motorbikes in those days.
The attraction of these two venues to the young teens of the Medway towns was that they both presented, on a Saturday evening, the top big bands, now called swing bands, of the day and also the very best traditional and modern jazz groups to be found in the British Isles.
The Pav was at the lower end Canterbury Street, almost opposite St Mark’s Church and the Paget was in Paget Row off Paget Street not half a mile away.At the interval we would all meet in the British Queen with our pass-outs and swap so that we got to hear both bands.It was obviously not in the best of interests to chat up a bird in the first half if you weren’t going to be there for the second Drainpipe trousers, with DA styling by Lance Dress codes were specific.His shop was opposite St Margaret’s Banks in Rochester just along towards Star Hill from the North Foreland pub.If you wanted a haircut by Lance on a Saturday afternoon you faced a wait of maybe two hours but it was worth it to get it right.The dress for girls in the “bop” fashion was varied but most often they wore white blouses and a short, waist-length jacket with long skirts to ankle length and flat shoes known as pumps. On Sunday evenings the jazz scene with local musicians, including some off-duty Royal Marine bandsmen, moved to the Piggeries Restaurant opposite Laveys gent’s outfitters.