Scottish Music Hall & Variety Theatre Society

The glorious days of Scottish Music Hall and Variety Theatre

The Glitz and the Glamour

FROM THE MOXON GIRLS TO THE TILLER GIRLS

In 1935 May Moxon formed a troupe of dancers and approached the famous Galt's Agency in Glasgow for a weeks trial. The Agency agreed to this and the Moxons first engagement was at the Glasgow's Empress Theatre. The management of the theatre were so pleased that they offered May Moxon another week, and from here the rest is history.

May Moxon supplied troupes of dancers for many variety shows in Scotland for four decades. The dancers were known over the years as "The Moxon Girls", "The Moxon Ladies", "The Moxon Dancers" and "The Moxon Lovelies".

The Moxon Girls were really the "Tiller Girls" of Scotland. During the four decades the Moxon line-ups appeared in Many Variety shows and Pantomimes in all the major cities in Scotland from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen to name but a few.

Lex McLean (front row, bottom) and the Moxon Girls at the Palace Theatre Dundee 1950


"The Backbone of the show"
 
The Moxon girls were all known in the variety business for being very experienced dancers who could perform any dance routine which the producer of the show would like. Many of the routines could range from acrobatic, ballet, tap, highland, hornpipe and line up of high kicks.

Some variety shows maybe had a Scottish, sailor or gypsy scene and the girls would rehearse different routines which suited the theme of the particular show.

THE MOXON GIRLS TO THE MOXON LOVELIES OVER FOUR DECADES

DECEMBER 30th, 1935
Metropole Theatre, Glasgow:
"Jack and Jill", 5th annual Panto. Enormous success with Bert Denver, Charlie Kemble, Peggy Desmond, and the Moxon Girls.

JANUARY 1944
The Empress Theatre, Glasgow:
"The Revels of 44" present the Pantomime, "The Old Woman who lived in a Show", with Jimmy Nicol, Ken Campbell, Fay Lenore (SMHS Member) Bijou Gordon and the Moxon Ladies.

WINTER SEASON 1956/57
Metropole Theatre, Glasgow:
"Scotland The Brave", with Clark and Murray, George Burton, Hugh McIlroy and Sixteen Moxon Ladies.

APRIL 1st 1963 FOR FOUR WEEKS
Metropole Theatre, Glasgow:
"The Spring Show", with Clark and Murray, Danny Regan, Anne Fields (SMHS Member) and the Moxon Ladies.

16th AUGUST, UNTIL NOVEMBER 6th 1971
Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow:
"Lex McLean's Super 1971 Show", with Una McLean, Walter Carr, Charlie Sim, Helen Randell and the May Moxon Lovelies.
 
As we all will remember the "Moxons" were Scottish. In England there was the famous "John Tiller Girls", a troupe who were founded by John Tiller a properous Manchester Cotton-Merchant who could not dance a step. In 1885, he started to train dancers and this was where the Tiller troupe were born. By the 1920's girls were known famously for their professionalism and perfection. The Tillers were dancers who were disciplined like guardsmen to perform with polish and precision. In certain shows a Tiller line-up could be as many as 32 girls who were selected for uniform height and weight and could kick as high as their ears.
 
Comedian Jim Dale with the 1960's Tiller Girls at the London Palladium
 
 
 
 
 
 
The World Famous John Tiller Girls - Photograph by kind courtesy of Avril Owton who can be seen in the centre of this Tiller line up.  Please see The Cloud Hotel on our links page.
 
 
The Original 1960's Tiller Girls at a Lady Ratlings Charity Evening