She needed a break from her busy routine. By 1968, Patricia had a full life: married, mother of a toddler, and working as a nurse at a large hospital in Glasgow, Scotland — all at the age of 25.
Because her husband was a Royal Air Force corporal stationed in England, she and her son had been living with her parents for awhile. They had been happy to look after their grandson when necessary in the past, and so Patricia asked if they'd mind looking after him on the night of Feb. 22, as she'd decided to go out for an evening.
Some of her friends liked to go to the city's Barrowland Ballroom on Thursday nights, when the popular dancehall catered specifically to those aged 25 and up. An evening with friends, dancing (and maybe some innocent flirting) might be just what she needed. Patricia put on one of her nice outfits, fixed her hair and makeup, and walked out into the darkening streets of Glasgow. In Douglas Skelton's 1992 book "Blood on the Thistle," Skelton states that Patricia first went to another dancehall, the Majestic, before going over to the Barrowland later in the evening.
Patricia didn't stand out in the Barrowland crowd that night, so it is difficult to retrace her movements or to identify all her dance partners. Some people later remembered her being at both dancehalls, but they could not provide a lot of details. Apparently, however, she was escorted home by someone she'd met at Barrowland.