November 1909: Samaritan Ball in Glasgow – “Brilliant Spectacle in St Andrew’s Hall”

The Glasgow Herald devoted two columns to reporting on the Fancy Dress Ball, on page seven, on Saturday the 13th of

November, 1909.


The Ball, which was in aid of the Royal Glasgow Samaritan Hospital, was a major social event. Like many other institutions,

the Hospital relied upon public philanthropy, and had suffered due to the depression in trade. The Ball was a means of raising

funds, and was organised by the Ladies’ Auxiliary Association, whose convenor was Lady Stirling-Maxwell of Pollok. It aimed

to realise £1000.


As noted in another entry on this site, the dance programme was a blend of the old and the new. The dancers wore period

costume for the minuets and gavottes, and the Herald provides details of the participants in the various sets.


The rest of the article includes more information on the “Old-Time Dances”; “Some Characters”; “Minuets”; “Eightsome

Reels”; and “The Organisers”. Altogether, these provide a fascinating insight into Glasgow’s social life in the early

twentieth century.


As the Herald noted in its opening paragraph: “the Ball … realised the sentiment of the poet who sang, ‘Search the world

all around, no sight can be found like dancing.’ ”



George Fairfull-Smith, August 2022.