House parties around Belle River | Bowing Down Home


File: hancockharold06-oh-houseparties_M.mp3


HH- Harold Hancock

NG – Norman Gillis

HH: They were the best ones really, was the house parties. I remember one time there was a dance up at Angus Beaton's. Remember they built a stage up there; it was Margaret Beaton when she married Randy Moore, I was only a little fellow then. I wasn't allowed to go up there but we sneaked up there anyway. Grover [Beaton] was playin’ the fiddle but then they got a little fight got goin’ after a little while.

NG: You usually did. You get a bunch of Scotsmen together, and there's usually a row.

HH: Neil [Beaton] played the pipes that evening, you could hear him down at our place playin’

the pipes up there.

NG: He probably played the fiddle too because he was a pretty good fiddler. I think there was seven fiddlers in that family at one time. There was Angus, and Neil, and Grover, and Mom's sister played the fiddle a little bit.

HH: Full of music, yeah.

NG: Dougie would sit down and if he was in a bad mood he'd spend all night tunin' the damn fiddle. He'd get stubborn and to aggravate people he just wouldn't get the fiddle in tune.

HH: He was good at that, depending on how much antifreeze was around!

When they opened Northumberland park, Peter Beaton played the fiddle, they had a dancing stage built. There was a pump organ in almost every house.

KP: What went on at a typical house party

HH: Square dancing.

There were different parts to the dance. KN said he heard it called round dancing. Early on there was only a certain number of couples got up, but at the last of it, it was as many as were there. At Beaver Hall, a dance hall in Montegue (Dr, MacIntyre=s wife ran it as a benefit for the hospital) you could have 100 couples on the floor. HH=s first recollection is that there wouldn=t be too many couples at once in the old days. But then it got to be all at once. You went around with the grand chain and swung with everybody.