Tower Building

Tower Building & Cedar multis

Tower Building & Cedar multis, , image courtesy of Mitchell Library

This distinctive conical-roofed building is one of the few to escape demolition around the area previously known as Garscube Cross.  Built in 1875 as offices and warehouses for James Allen of Elmbank Foundry, one of the great Victorian foundries which was located in Farnell St at that time.

In the mid-20th century at the height of the dancing craze, the top floor was used as a dance hall and known as the Tower Ballroom.  Access to the dance hall was up a close involving a climb of 69 steps.

Although popular with local people, the Tower was a tough hall with a reputation for fights breaking out.  Two of the local “heavies” were employed as bouncers – John Foy & Joe O’Hara who were known as  Kings of the  Garscube Rd in the 40’s & 50’s.

George Chisholm(jazz trombonist) was a regular performer at the venue and recalls the guys marching around the floor maintaining order and shouting ‘nae burlin‘   He also recalled Friday nights when, with “sickening regularity … all hell would break loose . Once the hooligans had been ejected and order restored  “a little self-appointed MC in a muffler and cloth cap would come on and say ‘Carry on dancing, please’ in a brisk and jovial way that’d almost have you believing you’d dreamt the carnage of a few seconds before.”

 

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