Are ye dancin'? 'We met at the dancing 56 years ago and still going strong'

Like countless others in the 1960s, the dance halls offered Norma and Laurie Brown the opportunity to meet their one true love.

Had Tinder been available on the evening of August 15, 1965, there’s little doubt that Norma Brown, then Nisbet, would’ve swiped right on the blond hunk she saw before her.

Her face covered in a rash, the 16-year-old hadn’t planned to be out at Edinburgh’s Cavendish dance hall at all that night, but fate intervened.

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

Sign up to our History and Heritage newsletter

"I really didn’t want to that night as I’d come out in a red rash and thought nobody would want to dance with me,” she says, “but I was wrong”.

Due to dance halls not serving alcohol at that time, teenagers like Norma had no problem whatsoever gaining entry to the dancing – it was practically encouraged.

Persuaded by her friend, Norma put her dermatological woes to one side, headed to the Cavendish and danced to one of the beat groups that was on that evening.

"It was then at the other end of the hall I saw this tall, blond, good looking boy with his friend,” explained Norma, now aged 72. “They came and danced with us and he asked if I was staying up – but it was the last dance.

"He offered to take me home in his car, but I was only 16, and told him my mum would be furious if I ever got into a car with someone I didn’t know. However, he was very nice and I decided to take the risk.”

Laurie and Norma Brown met in 1965 at the Cavendish in Edinburgh and are still going strong.

Young Norma’s instinct proved to be sound. The couple, who live together in South Queensferry, now have four children five grandchildren and almost 52 years of marriage under their belt.

Norma adds: “My husband Laurie wasn’t planning to be there that night either. He had been out rugby training and his friend persuaded him to go out too. Fate kind of brought us together”.

Read More

Read More
‘Are ye dancin’?’: 1960-69: When Scotland's youth took control
The couple have now been married for almost 52 years.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription at


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.