who set up a
possibly in Picardy Place
© Reproduced with
acknowledgement to Angela Miles
Thank you to Angela Miles,
Colchester, Essex, England for sending me the photograph above of her
Great Grandfather, a well-known Edinburgh Melodeon player, 1879-1919, who
made a record in 1909.
Colchester, Essex, England
Angela Miles sent the
following details to me. If you have any comments in response to her
e-mail me so that I can pass on your comments to her.
James Brown's death his wife was left with nine children (plus one on the
way!) and started up a dance hall, which featured a band led by one of her
sons, and a daughter as mascot and occasional singer and dancer.
believe it was in Picardy Place. Do you know of anyone who could tell me
the names of dance halls in that area during the 1920's please?
Colchester, Essex, England,
25 July 2005
I have checked some of the
Edinburgh trade directories for the 1920s and found no reference to a
dance hall in Picardy Place,
However a series of articles on the history of Dance Halls in one of the
Edinburgh newspapers included the following: comments:
Unfortunately, I have not been able to discover which paper published this report
when it was published
"The casual visitor would perhaps be
most inclined to visit the hall from which the band has been broadcasted.
In this case, he or she would go to the Dunedin Palais de Danse in Picardy
At this dance hall novelty and originality attract large audiences,
which remain undiminished even in the height of summer ...
It is enchanting to enter the ballrooms when a foxtrot is in
progress; the swift-moving white forms give a suggestion of the
delightful coolness of a tennis club dance.
If, on the other hand, one enters during a twilight waltz the scene
is like one from Fairyland, the multi-coloured ever-changing lights
gleaming in fantastic splendour."
The article above also spoke of:
- The dance hall's 2 balconies and mirrors round the walls
- Recent novelties, the 'Snow Dance' and the 'Storm Dance'.
- 'The Romany Revellers'
ten or twelve musicians.
Mark Griver, the singing banjoist.
- 'The Midnight Revels'
- The well-equipped instructional staff of 25 ladies and gentlemen
who made a point of obtaining the latest dances from London: the
newest one appears to be the three-step waltz.
Stubbs, 26 July 2005
Thank you to Jennifer Greenhill-Taylor, Florida,
USA, who read the comments above then e-mailed me with further details of
Edinburgh Dance Halls, telling me that her
grandfather played in one of the bands in the 1920s.
seven years after adding Recollections 1
above to the web site, I received a message from another descendant of
James Brown. It came from John Brown who wrote:
"I am a grandson of James Brown and I thought
you might like this photo of him."
John Brown, Japan: October 3, 2012
In this photo James Brown is the Melodeon player
on the left. I've sent an email to John Brown, asking him if he
knows who the other two musicians are in this photo, and if the group had
I've also asked if he can provide a larger copy
of this photo.