Tudor Ballroom, Belle Vue,
Thursday 16 February 1950
A collection of around 50 water colour paintings created by W Rawcliffe was recently acquired. Two of the paintings, done on a pourous white paper, had been pasted on to heavy card stock as a mounting medium by the painter. The painter identified himself (or, perhaps, herself ?) in the lower right corner with a stylized signature. When the paintings were turned over, for a quick examination of the back sides, a surprise was revealed. The paintings had been pasted on to two halves of what had been a poster.
The poster - hand lettered, and hand coloured, promoted a dance that was to take place at the Tudor Ballroom, Belle Vue, Manchester, England, on Thursday 16 February, with dancing from 7:30pm. February the 16th fell on a Thursday only in 1939, 1950, and 1961. It's believed that the Tudor Ballroom was consumed by fire which started in the early hours of the 17th of January 1958. Unfortunately, no evidence - neither advertisements nor notices about this dance, have been found in newspapers published in Manchester in 1939 or 1950. It seems most likely that the dance took place in 1950.
The sponsor of the dance was presented as 'MOS - Manchester Branch', but it is not presently known what 'MOS' was.
Admission by ticket only was set at 4 shillings and six pence. Refreshments were slated to be available.
The top part of the poster shows holes in the left and right corners, indicating that it had been held in a display setting by two thumbtacks. There are no rain or other liquid stains on the face of the poster, so it was obviously displayed in a protected space.
Overall, when it's 're-assembled', the poster measures about 10 1/2" x 14 1/4".
After it's primary use, the poster was folded, and then torn in half, before the paintings were pasted to the back of the poster boards. A 'stitched' image of the poster is below (please excuse my inept attempt to stitch the two images. I am clearly not proficient at the process - I am, after all, an ardent paper trail investigator, not a digital graphic artist!). But, the board on which the poster details were written was folded, and then torn in half, so there are very rough edges along the connecting edges.
It's presently believed that Rawcliffe painted his water colours in either Manchester, England, or near Kilmarnock, Scotland, in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Visit https://family-historian.com/projects/family-surname-files/rawcliffe/water-colour-paintings-w-rawcliffe-circa-1950 for more detail about the small collection of paintings.
Should you have questions, or know something about either the painter, W. Rawcliffe, the poster, or the facility, please get in touch with the author.
- Bruce D. Murduck
- Category: Rawcliffe