Wednesday, June 24, 2020

No dancing - the 1918/19 influenza epidemic

The flu epidemic of 1918-19 killed millions of people around the world, including over 200,000 in the UK. As with the Covid-19 pandemic there were social distancing measures, though these seem to have mostly been implemented at a local level. These examples of dances being cancelled on health grounds come from Ashbourne in Derbyshire and Falkirk in Scotland.

A letter from Newcastle in November 1918 argues that 'It is inconceivable that when people are dying right and left of this dangerous disease that these village dances, generally given in small rooms, should be allowed'

Derbyshire Advertiser, 28 February 1919

Falkirk Herald, 2 November  1918

Newcastle Journal, 25 November 1918