During World War II dances were organised in Nunney for the US Army to meet “our nicer girls”.
From late 1942 the American military forces set up camp in large parts of the West Country, including at Longleat and Marston House, to prepare for D-Day.
“It was marvellous to see the Americans so efficient and well-equipped,” according to Mrs Romola Anderson, who lived at Nunney Court during the war.
“They invited us to supper at the depot and we had a beefsteak that would have lasted us a week. It was certainly more than our rations for a week.”
“The Women’s Volunteer Service persuaded us to hold a little entertainment in the Church Rooms in Nunney for the GIs to meet our nicer girls. They sent Tommies round the country villages and brought in girls to come to our dances.”
“We charged sixpence for coffee or fruit juice and a bun, but we made enough money to put in proper flush lavatories and build up the back to a very pleasant sort of lobby for coats.”
She recalled, “The head of unit in Frome and Nunney fell in love with the local dancing mistress. It was just at the time of the jitterbug.”
“He said she was a lovely girl, though she struck me as being quite as old as I was.”
“And whenever he started to jitterbug she used to stop and go and sit down.”