Monday, 29 June 2009

JM BALLROOM ADVERT - 1962

This ad for the JM appeared on 5th Sept 62. It was a one-off ad referring to the night Dundee FC played Cologne at Dens in the European Cup - the famous 8-1 Dee victory as it turned out.
The wording says "Herzlich willkommen den Koellner Fussball Club. After the game, pop down town to Dundee's most popular dance hall and round off a perfect evening". And I'm sure there probably was quite a few who ended up at the JM that night!!
By the way, I've asked a few folk, and not one of them knew what the "JM" stands for..!!

14 comments:

  1. If I remember correctly,the owner's name was James Murdoch Wallace and the JM came from the initials of his Christian names.I remember him driving a Rolls Royce with the number plate JM 56 or something similar.

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  2. The JM Ballroom opened in December 1954.The building was the former St David's Church in N.Tay St. Anonymous is correct about the owners name.The ballroom was named after his father,James McHardy Wallace the founder of Land O' cakes.There were several Wallaces,all related who all had their own Bakeries

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  3. No.2 The RR was JM9.The family also owned Blackness Bakery + a shop in Hawkhill + City Bakery in Overgate + Lindsay St. coffee stall
    All the shops came under demomition
    & were closed down. The last family business was Macapline Motors.

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  4. I remember the JM Ballroom very well Iwas at the opening night and it was packed everynight .dancing to Gordon Desmonde and his orchestra and vocalist Ronnie Munro.Murdie had 2 sons Neil the eldest managed the place. Happy Days

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  5. There was no manager. J.M. managed the place himself. The eldest son Neill was called up for service in the RAF on 13th April, 1955, his mother's birthday. Neill eventually owned Macalpine Motors until ill health came along.
    He is still on the go, been retired for a wee while but now involved in Youth organizations.

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  6. When the Wallace family bought the old St David's Church in 1947, there were many restrictions on obtaining timber to do the conversion. The first step was to remove the pews from the ground floor area. When this was done it was found that part of the old City Wall had been used as a bearer wall. All the pews were carefully dismantled. The floor boards were lifted. Next came the gallery. Pews, flooring & front wood. All nails were removed. The plaster ceiling under the gallery was removed by standing on the joists & knocking out with a baton of wood. The joists & flooring from the gallery & downstairs were used in the construction of the extension on the front. Cloakrooms & entrance area. The joists were left in place at the dance floor area. The side seating areas & both stairways were original from the church. The gallery joists were used for the balcony & the flooring was also from the old church. The pew backs were used round the balcony front & back. The roof was supported by uprights, a king, a queen & a princess. A very large span. The opening was delayed due to timber being on Licence. This was for the dance floor. Work proceeded slowly. The balcony was built but not finished. The two buffets with switchgear above were built. Cloakrooms, toilets & entrance built. The side crush room & staff rooms finished. In the basement boilerhouse there was a pump. The Scouring Burn ran quite near & the overflow came in. It had to be pumped out by hand. A float that let the pump operate was added. Bliss. In 1954 a timber licence became available & the work then was completed. All the pews were made from Canadian Yellow Pine. The original flooring was normal flooring. All this wood had been in the old church for 150 years. All wood was as good as the day it was put in place originally. The last piece of the wood from the old church was used in the 1990's long after the Ballroom vanished off the scene in Dundee. I trust that this is of interest to some historian interested in Dundee's past

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  7. THis is all fascinating, the Wallace's are connected to me through my Gran or Granddad., who lived in Aberdeen. I remember Jim Wallace had a roller (JM 1) registration. There 2 sons Neil & Murdoch....

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    1. my father, neill wallace, often spoke about an Uncle "A" (pronounced Ah!) is this your connection??

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  8. The Roller in question was JM9, I don't know of any Gran or Granddad connection with Aberdeen. The Wallace family roots were all in Arbroath. J.M's father went to New York in the 1800's. He married there & had 6 children there. He came back to Dundee as foreman Baker with Lindsay & Low, wholesale bakers in Allan Street. The 3 youngest children were born in Dundee. He founded Land O' Cakes bakery in 1898. James Murdoch Wallace was the second youngest of the family. He married in 1925. His wife had a brother who eventually became a Bank Manager in Aberdeen with the North of Scotland Bank. That is the only connection with Aberdeen. His immediately older brother, William was a joiner with his own business. The yard was at the top of Seymour Street, where the telephone exchange was.

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  9. I played in the Gordon Desmond Orchestra for the opening night and for the following 6 months. J. M. Wallace (the owner) also managed the ballroom with his son. Wallace was a staunch teetotaller and no liquor was allowed on the premises. On burns Night 1955 his son came into the bandroom where we (the band) were drinking whisky from cups. The son reported to his father that he thought it strange that the band were drinking cold tea without milk when the could have had a hot drink at the coffee bar.

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  10. been reading above comments.... this was my grandfather and neill wallace is my father....he is now 80 years of age and still going strong!

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  11. The John Barry Seven played a short residency in The J.M. Ballroom in 1964. Murdoch Wallace had thought the Seven was a dance band that played light music. He made it very clear that he would throw them out physically if he didn't like what he heard (as he had once done to Emile Ford), but fortunately the band were very well-received on the first night and relations between them proved very equitable from that moment onwards!

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  12. Does anyone have a picture of the outside of the JM ballroom and the exact location. I have been having a discussion of where it was.

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  13. There is an aerial shot showing the JM ballroom's location on Retro.
    Just go to the post titled "Westport in the 60's".
    Or here's the link to copy and paste...

    http://retrodundee.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/westport-in-60s.html

    GG

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