Dance halls

Dance halls were places of fun and frivolity, a welcome release from day to day life – but sadly, the only detailed reference I have found to Princes Dance Hall, which once stood on the corner of Green Lanes and Princes Avenue, relate to a tragic Saturday night in March 1941 when a bomb struck the building.

The Dance Hall was badly damaged but the majority of the casualties were in shop premises on the corners of Sidney Avenue (opposite the dance hall), on a passing no 29 bus, or were waiting at the bus stop. The dead and wounded were laid out on the pavement.

Mrs Wyn Whiddington was an eye witness  – her story from that night has been included in the BBC People’s War website[1]

Early in the war I was 16 and I went with friends to a dance in Palmers Green, London.

The dance hall was packed, filling the upstairs of the building. Absolutely packed out. My friends and I sat out because we couldn’t do that dance. Everyone was dancing on the floor at the time.

There was a big draught of wind, you don’t hear anything. That was when the bomb dropped. Everything went dark.

We had to be pulled out of the rubble. The whole floor was gone, empty, not a soul on it. Nobody.

Also a bus was hit outside as well at the same time. It was like daylight, the fire was so bright in the blackout.

Shops on the north corner of Sidney Road have never been rebuilt


[1] Story told by Mrs Wyn Whyddington ‘WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at’

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