GIs and the Race Bar in Wartime Warrington

Why did the US army in wartime Britain try to get a Lancashire dance-hall declared 'out of bounds' to a young West Indian? Janet Toole describes an episode - and the brave stand taken by the dance-hall owner – that revealed Uncle Sam's unease about the mixing of black and white.

On December 3rd, 1938, the Melody Maker, then principally a jazz newspaper, reported the official opening of the Casino Club in Warrington, Cheshire. The town's first luxury ballroom was 'something of an eye-opener', said the Melody Maker:
It is no exaggeration to say that the Casino could take its place among the swell joints of London's West End. Ivory and cream relieved with jet black are the features of the decorative scheme of things, and the ultramodernistic note is enhanced by a series of black and white representations of such jazz celebrities as Duke Ellington, Maxine Sullivan, Benny Goodman and the Mills Brothers.
The club's manager, Nat Bookbinder, one of a cluster of Jewish popular musicians who had recorded radio shows with stars such as Nat Gonella, set to work immediately in promoting the club.

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