CategoryYork

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.

Why was there always a clown trying to dance to a drum solo?

Many thanks for the comment from Sue regarding The Cats Whiskers York.

Yes it was a special club. Seating for up to 200 people dining around the horse shoe shaped dance floor. The Richard King Set playing for the diners, including waltzes, quicksteps, and a St Bernards Waltz with a cheeky chorus from Dick Smith that went – Dinah, Dinah don`t be slow – On the sofa you must go – Off with your …… Well! we leave the rest to you, but poor old St Bernard would not have been impressed.

Sue is correct, the “Cats” had some excellent cabaret – The Nolans, The Dooleys, Ruby Murray, Kieth Harris and Orville, Max Wall and a host of others. Convoys of coaches streamed into York from Hull, the West Riding and the north.

Tony Adams would often sing with the Richard King Set, as well as working as DJ. One night the inimitable Eric Morley visited the “Cats”, and was captivated by the dancers innovative clapping to the Four Tops “It`s the Same Old Song”. It could be that Tony left “Jump up and Down with Your Knickers in the Air” out of his program that night – but he certainly included The Bedrocks reggae floor filler the “Lovedene Girls.

The whole atmosphere was tremendous – behind the scenes there was Carlo the head chef, with a famous soup that was rumored to have had the same base for years, as it morphed from Oxtail, through to Spring Vegetable, into Minestrone, and onwards and upwards towards Pea and Ham, and only stopping as it approached Mulligatawny.

One of the greatest and most amusing characters was Tilly Clayton. Tilly was overtly gay – which was no mean fete in the middle to late 60`s. He worked as a waiter, and adviser to any of the female staff who were getting married, seeking a new hair-do, or deciding what to wear for a special occasion. An early day Gok Wan, and an amazing character just to be around.

Michael was the kitchen porter. An unsung hero, who suffered the indignity of being knocked off his bike in Exhibition Square by the Rentokil van.

Jack Alison was the first manager, then Brian Sanford, then Derek Lacey. Barbara Hopwood and Linda Lovel were the cashiers, and the reception was managed by John Haig.

Ken worked the lighting effects for both the cabaret and the dancing – all based on theater and professional stage lighting which added that special dimension to the night by accentuating mood and atmosphere.

Opposition clubs were The Hypnotique, The Old World Club and Jack and Jills.

But there was nothing to touch the excitement and professionalism of The Cats Whiskers, yet there was one part of the night that beggared belief –

Why was there always a clown trying to dance to a drum solo?

 

 

The Sound of The Cats Whiskers

There`s nothing like a few pints and a bit of like minded company to bring the old memories into focus.

Alan used to be a waiter at The Cats Whiskers. In our free time we were lads about town, drinking in the Burns, White Horse and Big Coach and Horses. These are now The Hansom Cab, part of the Viking centre and the RBS. We liked these because they had live bands.

Mustn’t forget The Tavern in the Town, now Yates’s. Duckling in Orange Sauce – for working lads!!!!!!! By `eck!

Then up to The Cats Whiskers.

Jack the commissionaire stood at the entrance, dressed in top hat and a long royal blue coat with red and gold braid. He was chief greeter and door opener to a long walk up the corridor –

 


Then into the Bali Hai for few beers and back out to the right hand side of the room where the girls stood waiting for the Trevor, Dick, Max, and Bill from resident band The Richard King.

Tony Adams was resident DJ, and there was a different cabaret each week – Max Wall, Keith Harris and Orville, Jimmy Cricket, The Dooleys etc. The Richard King Set were brilliant at reproducing the records of the time – such as –

 

 

On reflection the raised dance floor/stage area was quite small. Especially at the end of the night, when the lights dimmed and the slow music came, as couples moved towards the centre to smooth and fumble to –

Call us easily pleased if you like, but we had never seen anything like the Polynesian themed Bali Hai before; eaten chicken and chips from the basket, and legally drunk beer into the wee small hours.

But above all the Cats Whiskers attracted girls like we had never imagined.

 

The Ebor Suite forgotten

I have seen a picture of the Rialto and can`t remember a thing about The Ebor Suite! But I think it was originally the casino (before gaming laws changed in the late 1960s).

I suppose it was the ideal link up to the dinner dance cabaret of the joined on Cats Whiskers, and a step into slinky highlife. The office had a two way mirror so that the managers in the office could watch the tables. A man called Don attended to security. He was rumoured to be able to do anything except fly – but I only ever saw him smiling. A large man called Lynden Potter gambled regularly with sums of money that made my toes curl.

The Ebor Suite was eventually redeveloped as a standalone discotheque called Vanessa`s. And if you were lucky you were allowed through the side exit into The Cats Whiskers. It eventually became the Heartbeat and you paid one fee for both rooms.

Joe Whaley was one of the original managers; Barry Jones was the unforgettable one though. A trained actor; tall, slim, dark, theatrical and a manner that charmed the ladies of all ages! His DJ was little Chris Crossley, who made the audience sit on the dance floor while he read “Noddy” stories. He was the master of the double entendre, and a first class entertainer.

The Cat’s Whiskers was crap

The Cat’s Whiskers was crap. What was the point of opening a nightclub for people to relax, then letting coach loads of idiots in to fight and wreck everyone`s night out. No wonder it closed. Unless you could fight or enjoyed watching one it was not for you!

The Boulevard along Tadcaster Road was something else! There was a casino next door and the Wild Man further along. If there was the odd scrap the bouncers knew how to sort things out.

Late night transport was poor, a late bus or expensive taxi. My Triumph Herald got me home in a different direction each weekend – and without Satnav – great times!

I`ll never forget seeing Geno Washington and the Ram Jam band there shortly after the Funky Butt Live album charted for a full year. Great tribute to him by Dexy`s Midnight Runners – Geno!

The Hypnotique was legend! Tucked away off Fossgate in Lady Pecket`s Yard. Dave Cullen oversaw the club for hypnotist Martin St James. I believe the door was managed by Arthur Rhodes, and the lovely Ann Thompson managed the bars. Some of the best times ever – and I don’t remember any violence. But I do remember great music – Mott the Hoople, Rod Stewart, Roxy Music, Canned Heat, Free, Spencer Davis, Manfred Man, Traffic, The Kinks, etc

© 2017 LocarnoBoy

Maintained by Graphic Design DerbyUp ↑

wordpress stats