TagMecca Dancing

The night Mike Connolly had to tell Miss World her boyfriend had been shot

Great story about the night Mike Connolly had to tell Miss World her boyfriend had been shot –

It happened on the 3rd of December 1976.

We had the reigning Miss World Cindy Breakspeare (Miss Jamaica)appearing at Tiffany’s Manchester.

During the evening I received a phone call and was asked to get her to the phone.

The phone call was to tell her that he boy friend had been shot in Jamaica, but he survived it.

The name of her boyfriend?


None other than the great Bob Marley!






Marty Wilde and Billy Fury with Henry Quinn after one of Billy`s Last Shows

We received this picture of Marty Wilde and Billy Fury with Henry Quinn – after one of Billy`s last shows. On the far right is Jerry Dobbins, Henry`s bandleader at Leicester Palais.

That image of Marty stripped to his waist would have driven his female fans crazy.

Well! Better late than never!

Henry is now a respected author, and is currently in America promoting his Dr Darwin of Shrewsbury novels.

We wish him every success and a safe journey home.


Henry Quinn – Mecca Dancing – Leicester Palais – and the Eurovision Song Contest???

Henry Quinn sent us the following snippet from his early management days at Leicester Palais 

Leicester Palais 1960

On Monday night we had Uncle Mick`s Talent Show

Prizes £10 – £5 – £3, for the best competitor.

After running the competition for just over a month – a dummy-town boy won 5 times on the trot.

Bill Pickavant the General Manager decided this was not fair – as all the boy had to do was sing a couple of lines from a Bobby Darin song (Mack the Knife) – and the girls would bring down the house –

And the boy would walk off and pick up his easy money!

So Bill told me to tell the boy he could not enter again – I was in fact barring him.

Well I`ll tell you what! If I had been at the Eurovision Song Contest a couple of weeks ago I could have saved the country great embarrassment by performing that duty again.

That`s right!

The dummy-town boy was Gerry Dorsey-

Better known as Englebert Humperdink!!!


Many thanks Henry – a great story – “Sorry Englebert”

Two legendary personalities – but the end of a great company

Many people feared them, but when you couple that fear with respect – you have with the ultimate in leadership qualities.

In the photograph below we have Eric Morley on the left, and Brian Train on the right.

A memorable image of a memorable time. Two legendary personalities – but the end of a great company.

Of course the only people who feared Brian were the undesirables he didn`t want in his ballrooms and nightclubs. His motivational style was to work alongside everyone, building up a bond that only the foolish would ever want to break. This was also the way  he made huge profits for Mecca – by also motivating his customers. He was their friend, and no night out was complete without paying him a visiting.

Eric Morley was a different character altogether. He knew that the only way to truly  motivate his managers was to allow them ownership of their premises. Albeit within the Mecca parameters. His annual inspection visits were the motivational highlight (not for all) of his managers.

In one town he would inspect the rear of the stage, and its mechanical workings. So the telephone network ensured that every rear stage area in the country was spotless.

So in the next town it was the emergency battery room. And you`ve guessed it. A nation of spotless emergency battery rooms.

And so it went. All of which was to the advantage of the manager`s yet to be visited.

Within his armory he also had the “Managing Director`s turn”. A simple, but effective move, whereby he would lead his entourage in on direction, spin into a u-turn and shoot off towards the cleaner`s cupboard or the boiler room!

He also had his advisory team, who game him all the information he needed on the manager before he entered the building. A confusing strategy that led towards many a novice letting down his guard, and underestimating the challenge ahead. Many a fledgling manager fell foul to tough lashing for not knowing a multitude of facts and figures about his business. All because he relaxed a little too much.

One thing the two men had in common was their anticipation of the end of a once great company. They both knew that the winds of change would bring centralisation, diktats from the accountants, and the move towards disregard for the core nightclub management skills – once so vital to the company. A new breed of executive was in the wings. And neither man saw a place for himself alongside them.

Shame – but there are still many more fabulous stories to tell along the way.


Mecca picture – but where is the venue? Hull or Leeds.

We are grateful for the loan of so many photos of the legendary Brian Train`s career – but the venue for this one has us beat.

It is definitely a Mecca picture – but where is the venue? Hull or Leeds? Locarno or Tiffany`s?

Our suspicion is Leeds Tiffany`s – bet the the man in the bow tie to the right of the picture knows.

Can you help us solve the mystery?


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