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Mecca Ltd published a 1977 Managers Handbook of all venues. Listed below are those in the Dance Halls and Disco section

Mecca Ltd published a 1977 Managers Handbook of all venues. Listed below are those in the Dance Halls and Disco section. Clearly many of the iconic ones are now gone, some by way of demolition, or change of use. Others exist to this day, usually after a mixed bag of owners, name changes and a multitude of managers.

We hope you find the following list interesting, and perhaps worthy of a comment –

Basildon Raquel`s 23 Market Pavement
Bath Tiffany`s Sawclose
Berwick on Tweed Caesar`s Palace Hyde Hill
Birmingham Gay Tower Reservoir Road, Edgebaston
Birmingham Locarno Hurst Street
Birmingham Mayfair Bullring Centre, Smallbrook, Queensway
Birmingham Samantha`s Pershaw Street
Birmingham Tiffany`s Long Lane, Blackheath, Halesowen
Blackburn Golden Palms St Peter Street
Blackpool Tiffany`s Central Drive
Bolton Palais Bridge Street
Bournemouth Tiffany`s 570. Christchurch Road Boscombe
Bradford Annabella`s Little Horton Lane
Bradford Locarno Manningham Lane
Bristol Locarno New Bristol Centre, Frogmore Street
Bristol Mayfair New Bristol Centre, Frogmore Street
Bristol Raquel`s New Bristol Centre, Frogmore Street
Bristol Tiffany`s Durdham Down
Burnley Cat`s Whiskers Centenary Way
Burnley Lancastrian Centenary Way
Burslem Adulte Ballroom Waterloo Road, Stoke on Trent
Carlisle Tiffany`s 81 – 87 Botchergate
Chester Tiffany`s Foregate Street
Coalville Tiffany`s Marlbrough Square
Coventry Tiffany`s Smithford Way
Darlington Tiffany`s (Opening November 1976 ???)
Darwen Tiffany`s Above Coop, School Street
Derby Tiffany`s Babbington Lane
Dewsbury Tiffany`s Field House, Wellington Street
Dundee Tiffany`s 106 Nethergate
Dunstable Tiffany`s Broadwall, The Quadrant
Edinburgh Tiffany`s 99 St Stephen`s Street
Exeter Zhivago`s 13 – 14 Okehampton Street
Glasgow Plaza Eglinton Toll
Glasgow Tiffany`s Sauchiehall Street
Gloucester Tiffany`s Station Road
Great Yarmouth Tiffany`s Marine Parade
Grimsby Tiffany`s Wintringham Road
Guilford Annabella`s 4 – 6 Upper North Street
Halifax Tiffany`s Broad Street
Harlow Tiffany`s Market Square, The High
Harrogate Bali Ha`i Commercial Street
Harrogate Annabella`s Station Parade
Hinkley Tiffany`s The Horsefair
Hull Bali bHa`i George Street
Hull Tiffany`s/Annabella`s Ferensway
Ilford Tiffany`s 246 – 250 High Road
King`s Lynn Tiffany`s Norfolk Street/Broad Street
Leeds Cat`s Whiskers Meanwood
Leeds Tiffany`s Merrion Centre, Merrion Street
Leicester Palais Humberstone Gate
Leicester Tiffany`s Corn Exchange, Market Place South
Liverpool Grafton Rooms West Derby Road
Liverpool Tiffany`s India Builodings, Water Street
London Bali Ha`i 386 Streatham High Road
London Cafe de Paris Coventry Street
London Cat`s Whiskers 158 Streatham High Road
London Empire Rooms 161 Tottenham Court Road
London Lyceum Wellington Street, The Strand
London Mayfair High Road, Tottenham
London Palais 242 Shepherd`s Bush Road, Hammersmith
London Tiffany`s 24 Shaftsbury Avenue
London Tiffany`s 111/115 The Broadway, Wimbledon
Manchester Caroline`s 111a Deansgate
Manchester Ritz Whitworth Street
Manchester Tiffany`s 27a Oxford Road
Merthyr Tydfil Tiffany`s New Market Walk, The Precinct
Middlesbrough Tiffany`s 234 Linthorpe Road
Newcastle upon Tyne Mayfair Newgate Street
Newcastle upon Tyne Tiffany`s 49 New Bridge Street
Newport Tiffany`s Bridge Street, Gwent
Norwich Norwood Rooms Aylsham Road
Norwich Samson and Hercules Tombland
Nottingham Palais Parliament Street
Nottingham Sherwood Rooms Greyfriar Gate
Nottingham Tiffany`s 74 Victoria Centre
Oldham Cat`s Whiskers Union Street
Portsmouth Locarno Arundel Street
Purley Tiffany`s 112 Brighton Road
Rochdale Tiffany`s 6 Nelson Street
Rotherham Tiffany`s Main Street
Sale Blue Room 56 Washway Road
Sale Tiffany`s 56 Washway Road
Scarborough Tiffany`s Bar House, Aberdeen Walk
Scunthorpe Tiffany`s Doncaster Road
Sheffield Crazy Daizy 11 – 17 High Street
Sheffield Samantha`s Queen`s Road
Sheffield Tiffany`s 33 – 49 London Road
Shrewsbury Tiffany`s Riverside Shopping Centre, Raven Meadows
Southend on Sea Zhivago`s 355 Chartwell Square, Victoria Circus
Southampton Royal Pier Ballroom Pavilion, Royal Pier
Southport Tiffany`s 549 Liverpool Road, Ainsdale
Stafford Top of the World Newport Road
Stevenage Tiffany`s Danestrete
Newcastle under Lyme Tiffany`s Crystal Buildings, Hassell Street
Sunderland Locarno Newcastle Road
Wakefield Dolly Gray`s Westgate
Wakefield Raquel`s The Bullring
Wakefield Tiffany`s Southgate
Wigan Tiffany`s 61 – 69 Standishgate
Worksop Tiffany`s Netherholme Shopping Centre
York Cat`s Whiskers Fishergate

It would be great to know what happened to the venue in your town or city.

A Meeting with Jackie Hilkene

During May I was lucky enough to have a meeting with Jackie Hilkene during one of her visits to the UK – from her new life in Canada.

In many ways “same old Jackie” apart from a mix of Canadian and Gloucester dialect. Still a caring bubbly person, and a joy to be with.

We talked about her first foray on stage at Cheltenham when she was 14 years old, and a vocalist with her father`s big band. When she had all the attributes of an attractive young lady, except ………

“Don`t worry”, said mum – as she stuffed tissues into the vital area of Jackie`s halter neck evening gown. “No-one with know”.

Later that night Jackie appeared on stage, not only looking the part – but also feeling the part. Infact so into the part that her new role completely engulfed her – especially with her ample new bosom. So for her first number she appeared with her back to the audience, arms raised Shirley Bassey style, ready to belt into the new number.

And I worked – but only until a cavalcade of tissues rained down onto the stage.

Character building or what! – she powered out her song and just got on with things.

Because that`s just how Jackie is!

****

Later she joined a group called “Travelling Band”, and entered the world of old vans, humping equipment, and an eclectic mix of gigs. She also spent time at the National Youth Theatre, and then worked with various bands – such as Zucchi, Elite and China Dolls.

Mecca and Top Rank work came along at Bristol Tiffanys, Gloucester Tiffanys, Coventry Tiffanys, Top Rank Birmingham, and Top Rank Southampton.

One of her fondest memories was of the the night they were snowed in at Bath Tiffanys – when manager Andy Younger brought in wheelbarrows of snow – for a snowball fight.

Whilst working at the Top Rank Suite she met deputy manager Mike Hilkene (her maiden name was Malpass). She married Mike around the time she sang “The Lady is a Tramp” to Margaret Thatcher.

****

Both Jackie and Mike became well known within the industry, but when they moved to Isabella`s Leicester – the relationship began to falter – and Mike banned her from the club.

But the living accommodation was above – with its only exit being through  the club – so she was well and truly grounded.

Isabella`s was a great success. Gary Lineker`s held his stag night  there – and his wife`s her hen night

It was also the time that began Jackie her foray into healthclub and nightclub management.

****

She was so successful in management, that her story is well known. Her final club was Shanghai Sam`s Peterborough, where she took the business through the roof, met an ice-hockey player who made her into Mrs Jacqui Kaese -and now has two grown up sons.

The end of Jackie`s story?

Not likely!

She went on to form the Spotlight stage school. To work with Nicole Kidman, Jason Statham, Robert De Nero, Colin Ford and Justin Chatwin, and to make her way onto the big screen herself.

Her debut is in the forthcoming JK Rowling biopic – when Jacqui plays the book store owner where JK Rowling does her first “Harry Potter” reading.

And the rest of her story……….

We must wait and see …. but one thing is for sure……. in will certainly be interesting!

Great to meet you Jackie after all these years.

 

 

 

 

“Are you sure about that?”

I hope they have changed the road signs in Southampton now, because the last time I went there I found umpteen pointing towards the “city centre”, but I always ended up in the same place.

I systematically tried every possible option to no avail, so after travelling miles and miles, but getting nowhere – I decided to seek help. Eventually I found a young lady, so I pulled over, lowered the passenger side window and asked –

“Excuse me, could you tell me the way to the Queensway?”

“Are you sure about that?” Came the reply.

She was very pretty, and wearing a red leather jacket. She leaned in through the open window.

“Yes. I`ve been driving round and round, looking for …………” Then it all became clear. Think it was the red leather jacket that gave it away. Well – it gave everything away. It was unzipped – and I had the top half of a very pretty topless prostitute in my car!

After a strange conversation during which I insisted on finding the Queensway, and she insisted that I was shy and wanted to do “business” but wouldn`t admit it. I was also trying to figure out which was worse – a visit from a pimp or a visit from the vice-squad.

Eventually she decided that I was a time waster, and removed herself out of the car. I raced away, still no wiser as to where the Queensway was.

The following week I got lost in the outskirts of Sheffield – but I drove, and drove, and drove…….

 

Image from scrapetv.com

 

 

Excitement, Originality and pure Showmanship; a Lesson in Nightclub Management

One my most exciting club visits was to the Ikon/Diva/Jumpin Jaks complex in Southampton.

Rank Leisure was up for sale. The industry had entered a dismal period, seemingly bereft of ideas. It was late and I was tired. So I only went out for a quick beer.

Or so I thought!

The second I entered the main room I was wide awake.

It was a dance night. The room was full; not only of people, but also colour, excitement, originality and pure showmanship; a lesson in nightclub management.

The entertainment team certainly knew their stuff. Everyone was dancing, with the lighting perfectly synchronised to the music.

Then a quick black out after which only a raised area on the dance floor was flooded with white light, illuminating a podium filled with dancers wearing a spectacular assortment of silver costumes. Another blackout and back to the dance floor scene.

After a while; another quick blackout after which two spotlights flashed across the room to illuminate a two acrobatic dancers way up high to my left.

Back to the dance floor scene, then another blackout, and this time a sound cut out as another podium was flooded with white light. This time illuminating a second podium full of musicians in gold outfits who kept the excitement pounding via a mass of percussion instruments.

Back to the dance floor scene and the introduction of ultra violet lighting as a flock of huge spectacular blue birds and butterflies flew high above the dance floor, choreographed by stilt walkers intermingling with the dancers.

This was not only a night for the customers, it was also an exercise in presentation and showmanship for entertainers and management.

I spoke with one of the junior management who explained that the only cost was the two “high level” acrobatic dancers. Those wearing the gold and silver outfits were admitted free, and the bluebirds and butterflies were created by art students as projects at the local college.

After this I visited Jumping Jacks.

I think you know what I discovered.

It was packed full of people, atmosphere and showmanship.

Last customer out of the building?

You bet!

Image from acpassion.net

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