Friday, 20 November 2009


The dance hall, Robies, located in the Hawkhill area, held Scotland's first ever twist marathon in the early 60's. The contest attracted around 20,000 spectators over the 4 days it went on for. Dancer, Bobby Cannon eventually won it after having twisted himself dizzy for almost 95 hours! Runner up, Cathie Connelly later went on to become World Twisting Champion in 1964 down in Manchester, dancing for 102 hours and achieving a spot in the Guinness Book of records.
One of the local bands who entertained during the rest periods at Robies, was Johnny Hudson & the Hi-Four (above), a group that featured a young Dougie Martin on guitar (far right).
Below contains some footage of the actual twist contest.
Photo by DC Thomson.


  1. Is that Dougie Martin far right holding the Bass?

  2. The people surrounding the resting/collapsed dancer are an odd assorted bunch. The guy with the coat and pipe-a doctor perhaps. Beside him-a young Alex. Salmond and what the hell is a young High Schooler doing there?

  3. Not sure if there is a 5th band member out of shot, or if there were only 4 playing, but the line-up info I have is - Eddie (no surname), bass - Jimmy Smith, guitar - Dougie Martin, guitar - John Casey, drums & Johnny Hudson (Moran), vocal. They were on the go as The Hi-Four before JH joined.
    The wee school kid is the son of the owner of Robies, Ron Duncan. Any member of the public could go along to see this event, hence the interesting cross section!
    The puggled twister having a rest is John Faulds.

    1. chic taylor , dougie martin ,johnny hudson john casey

  4. Definitely Dougie Martin playing bass there.

  5. Do you know if the Ron Duncan in the photo is the same one who went to be one of the owners of the Sands? Thought there might be a link if owning clubs was in the family.

  6. That must be a later line-up as that is not Jimmy Smith playing guitar

  7. What about the twist marathon(s) in the JM in that same time fram - does anyone have any info/photos on these?

  8. The guy on the left is Chick Taylor
    and I think the Drummer is the late John Casey

  9. Although I was just a bairn at the time so didn't attend any local twist contests, the exact information I have on the above still photo is that it was taken during a twist marathon at the West End Palais (aka Robies) in Well Street, Hawkhill, on 3rd March 1964.
    However, I also have a photo of another twist marathon taken at the JM taken in March 1962.
    So both venues were definitely used. GG

  10. That sounds about right to me, the first one (which Bobby Cannon did win) was in 1962 and was at the JM.

    I can go to my grave in peace now.

  11. Sad to tell everyone that Bobby Cannon passed away in Glasgow on the 8th September 2010.
    R.I.P. Bobby

  12. The woman in the picture is Cathy Connolly who is having a rest she is still twist champ to this day she danced 102 hrs and is in the Guinness world record books