Miss Margo Lorenz at the Stafford Press Ball

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Date:25th of March 1955

Description:Miss Margo Lorenz, the Viennese film star is pictured with guests and officials of the Stafford Press Ball. Left to right: the man on the left is unknown (he did not appear in the printed newspaper picture); the Mayoress, Mrs C Jones; Mr Bruce Harrison, Chairman of the Ball; Mr John Wedgwood, Patron; Margo Lorenz; and the Mayor of Stafford, Mr Charles Jones.

It was reported in the Staffordshire Newsletter on 2 April that Stafford went to the seaside on Friday 25 March, when the eighth Press Ball which was arranged by local journalists attracted over 400 people to the Borough Hall. Tickets to the ball were £1 1s. (One pound and one shilling). There was a fine decorative scheme carried out and over 100 prizes were distributed during the evening. It was expected that over £300 would be raised to be divided between the National Union of Journalists Widow and Orphan Fund and the Newspaper Press Fund. During the last eight years well over £2000 had been raised. For several months a committee of the Stafford Branch of the National Union of Journalists under the chairmanship of Mr Bruce Harrison, worked on the planning and organisation of the ball, which was generally agreed to be one of the best decorated of the series.

On arrival at the Borough Hall guests found themselves in a Railway Station setting at the entrance, with a ticket office at which their tickets were clipped. An added touch of realism was provided by a tape recorder, which played station noises specially recorded at Stafford Station the previous evening. On the staircase first landing guests came to the “Stafford-on-Sea” notices directing them to the beach and they soon found themselves in the main hall. In the centre there was an old fashioned bathing machine and the stage was heavily decorated in the form of a pier, with a bandstand and a lighthouse which cast a beam into the roof of the hall. On the balcony there was a mock “big wheel” complete with fairy lights. The walls were hung with fishing nets, paper fish and a rubber raft. There was a “Mermaid Bar” with life belts, anchors, more fishing nets, a speedboat, a dodgem car and lanterns, there was an Oyster Bar and the main public bar became “The Skylark” which was decorated to give the impression of a sea voyage on a pleasure boat. Hundreds of flowering plants transformed the Borough hall lining the way to the ballroom and the stage. These were hired from the County Education Committee’s Parks and Playing Fields Department. Decorative work was carried out by students of the County School of Art and Crafts by kind permission of the Principal, Mr W J Hollowood. Stafford renewed its wartime links with Margate Corporation which was the Chairman’s home town. Margate’s Mayor sent the Chairman a telegram of good wishes. In addition to providing seaside effects Margate hotels supplied four free double holidays and six three-foot sticks of rock and they shared with the Esso Petroleum Company a supply of balloons, which were released during the carnival hour. Furniture and decorations were kindly supplied by the Stafford and Stone Co-operative Society.

24 year old Viennese film star Margo Lorenz attended the ball and helped in the sale of “Moonshine” the Press Ball magazine published during the evening. Before attending the ball, Miss Lorenz, who was starring in the Ealing Studio film “Out of the Clouds”, which was due to be shown in Stafford, toured the Barlaston Pottery factory of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Limited. Mr John Wedgwood Patron of the ball, entertained her to lunch and presented her with a fine coffee set at the ball. After appearing at the Dudley Hippodrome, Ronnie Hilton, the singing star, visited the ball and he and Miss Lorenz presented the main prizes. Music for the ball was supplied by Teddy Foster and his Orchestra and Alf Hornsey and his Orchestra. Winners of the main prize, which was a round trip to Bremerhaven on a ship of the United States Line were Mr and Mrs C Thorpe of 2 Sherwood Avenue, Stafford, who have attended every ball.

Reproduced by Kind Permission of the Staffordshire Newsletter who retain copyright.


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Creators: Staffordshire Newsletter - Creator

Donor ref:D4527-A11-NN-1292 (201/45279)

Source: Staffordshire County Record Office

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