TagThe Lyceum

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.

Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961

We thought you would like to see a list of the Mecca Dance Halls and Managers from Summer 1961.

Clearly there are many town and cities not mentioned – such as Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow, and many many others, but perhaps there is a clue in the number of planned openings highlighted in the list below.

Basildon Locarno – Town Centre – Manager     M Green

Belfast Plaza – Chichester Street – Manager    D R Clark  – Phone Belfast 25294

Blackburn Locarno – St Peter Street – Manager B Gee – Phone Blakewater 85538

Bolton Palais – Bridge Street – Manager W. McLeish – Phone Bolton 1451

Bradford Locarno – Manningham Lane – Manager Alan Boyce     (Opening 9th September 1961)

Burnley Locarno  – Manchester Road – Manager  C Isherwood   (Formerly the Mechanic`s Institute)

Bury   Prince`s Ballroom – Bolton Street – Manager L Byron – Phone Bury 1705

Coventry Locarno – Smithford Way – Manager R Bloxham – Phone Coventry 24570

Derby Locarno – Babington Lane – Manager A Ferris – Phone Derby 41441

Edinburgh Palais – Fountainbridge – Manager G Knowles – Phone Fountainbridge 7427

Hull Locarno – Ferensway – Manager J Munro       ( Opening 16th September 1961)

Ilford Palais – High Road – Manager B Foster – Phone Ilford 3128

Leeds Locarno – County Arcade – Manager J Savile – Phone Leeds 31046/7

Leicester Palais – Humberstone Gate – Manager G Pickavant – Phone 69967

Liverpool Grafton Rooms – West Derby Road – Manager T Reid – Phone Anfield 3928

London Lyceum – Wellington Street, The Strand – Manager D Preedy – Phone Temple Bar 3715

London Carlton Rooms – 140 Maida Vale, W 9 – Manager J H Richardson – Phone Maida Vale 5289

London Empire Rooms – Tottenham Court Road – Manager C Self – Phone Euston 4173

Manchester Plaza – Oxford Road – Manager P Wild – Phone Central 7441

Newcastle upon Tyne  The Mayfair – (Planned for opening during October 1961)

Norwich  Sampson and Hercules Ballroom – Tombland – Manager R V Shackell – Phone Norwich 21541

Norwich Norwood Rooms – Aylsham Road – Manager G Barbour – Phone Norwich 46751

Nottingham Sherwood Rooms – Greyfriar Gate – Manager N F Kemp – Phone Nottingham 50555

Nottingham Locarno – St Anns Well Road – Manager G Lloyd – Phone Nottingham 44354

Rochdale Carlton – Great George Street –  – Manager E Mills – Phone Rochdale 3347

Sale Locarno – Washway Road – Manager J Goodings – Phone Sale 1508

Sale Embassy Rooms – Washway Road – Manager H Burnett – Phone Sale 7522

Sheffield Locarno – London Road – Manager M S Proctor – Phone Sheffield 22586

Stevenage Locarno – Manager B A Elmer-Smith   (Opening September/October 1961)

Wakefield Locarno – Southgate – Manager R Keith – Phone Wakefield 6515/6

Miss Ireland 1965 – and now we know why there are so many pretty girls at El Divino!

We have been loaned this photograph of Miss Ireland 1965 – and now we know why there are so many pretty girls at El Divino! It`s in the genes!

Miss World was won by Lesley Langley of the United Kingdom in 1965. The final was held at Mecca`s Lyceum Ballroom in London. Miss Ireland – Gladys Anne Walker was the second runner up.  Michael Aspel was the compere, and the final was televised live by the BBC.

Sorry we do not know the names of the other two girls – but we are absolutely certain of one thing though. They are lovely.

Unfortunately we cannot credit the photographer. The rear of the image does not have a record.

Additional information from Wikipidia


The thumbnail image is of the winner Lesley Langley from tipsoninterview.in


My First Days at Stevenage Locarno

Well where do you start – first of all must say a big thankyou to Dick for masterminding this site – all the stories are great which has inspired me to remember some of the great times

But I suppose I should start at the beginning – Stevenage Locarno (pictured below) – late 60’s – when yes – the ‘revolving stage’ was one of the main features and the dj secondary to the band. No bars in the main room but through double doors called ‘The Tudor Suite’. I joined part time to supplement my full time job so I could save to be able to buy my first car – a ‘Hillman Imp’ – top of the range eh!

The policy at that time – Monday – Spin the disc from 7.00pm to 11.00pm and no bar.

Tuesday – Bingo and selling the Mecca ‘Dance News’ was the job everyone wanted as you did not want to work on the ‘tea bar’.

Wednesday was the highlight of the week with all the top groups appearing live for the pricely sum of 5 shillings – for those not into £sd that works out at 25p. The queues used to start at about 6.00pm and go ‘around the block’. The night was even greater for me when you were asked to operate the lights or the old fashioned Rank spotlights on each side of the balcony. Names that come to mind The Beatles – Rolling Stones – The Who – and latterly The Drifters – the band that the manager at the time tried to rebook for a repeat appearance – but he refused as they put the fee up from £500 to £1000.00!!

Thursday was always private functions where we used to cater for up to 1000 sit down banquet – Lord Mayors Ball – Butchers Federation – etc.

Friday was always the big night when we used to open the ‘Ponytail bar’ in the ballroom – memories of rolling the barrels from the store and lifting them over the counter and never having enough stock in the bar – those were the days – with minimal cooling – lager was not available and the favourite was ‘light and bitter’ for 1s11d – not even 10p!!.

Saturday was for the older age group and the feature always were the resident bands – Danny Leno opening the night and closing – not much fun for the dj in those days.

Sunday back again to the fantastic bingo operation in the evening. A right pain putting carpet out all over the dance floor with the tables and chairs. Then in the afternoon the Serious dancing took part which also featured some of the ‘Come Dancing’ shows/heats.This was always difficult as the dance floor had to be perfect for them. I can remember ‘Jim the buff’ on that floor for hours to get it right.

As part of the Mecca operation we had many heats of Miss England/UK which in later years when starting full time led me to become involved with Miss World and the celebration after at The Lyceum ballroom.

So Stevenage was my first taste of the business under the direction of Maurice de Jonge and catering manager Geoff Parkinson who as an ex regimental sargeant major was a relevation to say the least!!!

One interesting person I first met when I was appointed ‘Trainee Acting Asst Bar Manager’ was Michael Guthrie who went on to bigger and better things within Mecca.

Stevenage was the first and will always hold strong memories for me as it taught me quite alot about the diversity of the business and took me into a career that certainly was interesting to say the least!!


Images from – The Who topfoto.uk and Stevenage Locarno aadip9.net


Locarno Boy wants to hear from you.

Welcome to Locarno Boy – where we are as dedicated to the reality of life in the nightclubs of today – as we are of those in days gone by.

Locarno Boy aims to record the truth about life in the nightclub industry; to link up with as many people who “were there at the time” as possible and to create an accurate record.

The Locarno’s were the flagship dancehalls of Mecca Ltd – where Managers were trained in every aspect of ballroom/nightclub management from how to defuse conflict and manage security staff to overseeing dinner dances, stage presentation and much, much more. The key to it all being their own personality and style to find different ways each week to make their club even more interesting.

Sir Alex Ferguson met his wife at Glasgow Locarno. Julie Walters danced at Birmingham Locarno, security was maintained at Bristol Locarno by Darth Vader (David Prowse) and I’m told Edinburgh Locarno by James Bond (Sean Connery). The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Cream. Sex Pistols, Bay City Rollers etc. etc – all appeared at Mecca venues.

The BBC televised “Come Dancing” from Mecca venues, while the Miss World competition showed Mecca flagship premises such as Hammersmith Palais, The Empire Leicester Square, and The Lyceum ballroom.

Locarno Boy also aims to meet head-on to the challenges of the nightclub world of today, on such matters as the impact of the inexperienced managers. Those who lack training, initiative and vision. Security staff that hide behind the inadequacies of the SIA, and legislative bodies with absolutely no idea of the differences between the management of nightclubs and the management of bars.

Personal stories are flowing in from around the UK, plus reviews of some of the fabulous “must visit” nightclubs.Yes – they do exist and they don`t have to offer ridiculously cheap drinks prices to survive.

We’re looking for your comments and stories – you may want to tell us why you enjoyed a particular night club – or hated it – if you are little hesitant we can edit for you and give you pseudonym .

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