An earlier ticket for the Granada

It was March 1963 that my Sister and I went to the Granada, topping the bill was Chris Montez and the Beatles were one of the supporting acts, promoting their new single Love,Love me do, as I can recall it was very noisy with lots of screaming which always happened when the Beatles appeared.

I also had all their records that I bought from Syd Booths which was opposite the Co-op in Queen Street. I wish I still had them they would be worth a fortune now.


Can anyone remember the Cavendish Ballroom in Westgate? It was owned by Fred Hancock, and known as the Fred Hancock School of Dancing and there used to be The Fred Hancock Formation Dancing Team, who I believe were very good, it was when Come Dancing was on television in the sixties.

I met my future Husband at the Cavendish Ballroom and we spent most Friday and Saturday evenings dancing the night away, then afterwards there was a group of us who went a few doors away to a coffee bar and drank milk shakes, I can`t recall the name of it, but it was near where Manor Pharmacy is now.


In my early twenties I had a crush on Frankie Vaughan who sang amongst other things Green Door, when I learnt that he was coming to the Cavendish I persuaded my Husband to take me, I must have had some high heeled dancing shoes on at the time, anyway, Frankie Vaughan came walking past us and I was devasted, he was so small but when I saw him on television I thought he looked so tall. I never really liked him after that. It just goes to show that what you see is not always what you get.

I still have most of my Long playing records but no more 45s.

While all this was going on I was starting on a Banking career, but as Ray Von states that is another story for another day.

Comments about this page

  • There’s never been a better place on earth than the Cavendish Ballroom. It was central to my life for a good 10 + formative years. So many happy family memories.

    By Denise Smith (26/08/2023)
  • I remember going to Saturday morning two classes and taking my time changing my shoes as the ballroom class followed, and I loved to watch. Gladys Thorpe was very strict, a perfectionist. Nita Evans also taught. I remember dancing with a boy named Douglas to Stepping out with my Baby but he didn’t want to dance with a girl at the last minute. Also did the dance I’m Looking over a Four Leaf Clover with several more girls, this would be late 1940 1950s

    By Anne Rawding nee Smith (19/03/2023)
  • I remember the Cavendish Ballroom well and used to attend every Saturday morning – probably for about two years. I went along with my then friend Lynne McHugh and remember taking it in turns to ‘be the boy’ as girls far outnumbered the boys. I do remember the cost of 2/6 being a generous provision by my parents for these largish group lessons – the bread and butter perhaps of the dancing school. The well- taught lessons kitted me up for life in terms of remembering the joy of dancing and some proficiency in dancing at social occasions. I think of the positive experience quite often, particularly when watching Strictly Come Dancing. Christine Allport (nee Chapman)

    By Christine Allport (nee Chapman) (04/04/2013)
  • I remember the Cavendish Ballroom very well, both my brother and I Stephen Ramsdale used to teach there, unfortunately Stephen died a few years ago. The ‘poster’ was correct its was Thorpe and Hancock School of Dancing not Fred Hancock school of dancing. Gladys mainly did Ballet, Stage and Tap upstairs in studio, whilst Fred concentrated on ballroom and Latin downstairs in the ballroom, Ihave many many happy memories of the Cavendish.

    By Julie Ramsdale (29/03/2013)
  • Yes I remember the Cavendish Ballroom well. I met my husband there in 1962. Spent many happy hours dancing both there and at the Palais. Still dancing together occasionally after 50 years

    By Aileen Rawding (16/12/2012)
  • I remember the Thorpe Hancock Formation Dancing Team, the only person I can recall is Dennis Arkinstall/or Arkinsall, but they were very good.

    By Jenny Bull (25/07/2012)
  • Personally I never went to the Cavendish I spent my time going to the Palais and for a short period was the Floor Manager mainly stopping Jiving on the dance floor especially as there was a session lasting half an hour to records or to the organ But I did know Jean Brown and her partner Derek Lewis ( seem to remember he went to the States and set up a Dance School I may be wrong in my dotage memory is at times not very good

    By MGR (24/07/2012)
  • Hi Andy, I remember a Russell and Jose, but can’t bring their faces to mind. Your Dad’s partner may have been Iris, I believe she and her boyfriend married and emigrated to New Zealand. I also remember a Sylvia and David in the team who married and lived on one of the Groves in Forest Town, possibly Poplar Grove. I think Niel Bunting was also in the team, he now lives in France. The only competition that I remember the team being in was in representing the East Midlands in Come Dancing on BBC TV. Different regions danced against each other, dancing Quickstep, Waltz, Latin American and Formation Team. East Midlands were a couple of points behind London region once untill the formation dance came on, and the judges awarded enough points to our team for the East Midlands to win the competition by one point. I remember my parents were so thrilled. The Thorpe Hancock Formation Team were a force to be reckond with. They were very good. Peter May, a cricket commentator used to host Come Dancing, and I believe he opend the new Cavendish Ballroom when it was complete. I wish it was still a dance hall.

    By Terry Barrows (22/07/2012)
  • Terry, Was it not Peter West who was M.C. for the BBC’s Come Dancing ?

    By alan curtis (22/07/2012)
  • Hi Jenny, sorry about the delay, but yes, I am the same T.B. Used to work with Miles dad, Frank at MB, then later in Rhymney, S Wales.

    By Terry Barrows (18/07/2012)
  • My mum and dad were in the formation dancing team. They were Russell Bailey and Jose Bailey [nee Kerry]. I believe that although they were in the same team they were not actual dancing partners. I believe my dads partner now resides in New Zealand. Can anyone supply lists of competitions the group won please or competitions entered. Many thanks. Andy Bailey

    By Andy Bailey (01/05/2012)
  • Terry, are you the same Terry Barrows that was married to Pauline and was best man to Miles and myself? If that is so, it would be good to meet up somehow, perhaps via the Mansfield Museum. Yes, I believe Barry Parr was a lorry driver. By Jenny Bull 25/11/2011

    By Jenny Bull (25/11/2011)
  • Yes, I remember Barry Parr, I believe he was a lorry driver. I had private lessons in ballroom dancing in 1959 and onwards, joining the medal classes and getting as far as the gold medal. When the new ballroom was being built, we used to dance around a brick pillar that was built in the middle of the old dance floor. I used to dance alot with Pat Wodsworth from Pleasley and used to date Shelia Hawkins off Berry Hill road, and walked home after the dances with Mollie and Neil Bunting. I remember Iris and John from the formation team who later married . We used to have some super times there, and to see Fred and Gladys dancing was something. I miss it very much and am saddened when I walk past the old Cavendish now.

    By Terry Barrows (24/10/2011)
  • Many thanks to John Hedgecock, the only Barry Parr I know used to live on Woodland Drive many years ago, if it the same one, who knows. Penny Lane i.e Jenny Bull

    By Penny Lane i.e Jenny Bull (15/05/2011)
  • I well remember the Cavendish Ballroom and I am forever grateful that my Mother made me go for lessons there. That was back in about 1953. The correspodent asking about Barry Parr. If he is the Barry Parr from Forest Town he now resides in Auckland, New Zealand, as I do.

    By John Hedgecock (31/03/2011)
  • Yes I remember the Cavendish Ballroom, I knew it before it was converted to the ballroom, for many years I had ballet, tap, modern dance and ballroom lessons under the name Thorpe, Hancock School of Dancing, I also worked as a teacher on Saturday mornings at the beginners classes and I also worked in the coffee bar for the dances on Friday & Saturday nights. Last time I was in Mansfield I went to have a look and was very sad to see that it had burnt down and was all derelict.

    By Zarane Warren (11/03/2011)
  • Thanks to Mick Bingham and Martin Kiszel for their comments about Fred Hancock`s school of dancing, also the cafe `Rhodes cafe` my late husband Miles and I spent many a happy hour after an evening dancing. Does anyone remember Barry Parr, I believe he was part of a crowd of dancers who also enjoyed milk shakes!

    By Penny Lane i.e Jenny Bull (18/01/2011)
  • Then afterwards there was a group of us who went a few doors away to a coffee bar and drank milk shakes, I can`t recall the name of it, but it was near where Manor Pharmacy is now. Could it be the Rhodes cafe.

    By Martin Kiszel (18/11/2010)
  • I remember the Cavendish well, we knew it as the Thorpe and Hancock, Gladys Thorpe being the wife of Fred Hancock. I went through the medal classes gaining my 6th gold bar, Gillian was a teacher as was Mollie. I used to go nearly every night of the week and Saturday mornings for private lessons, practice and social dancing, the band on Saturday nights Johnny Berry and his band were superb. They were great times alas never to return. More memories please! Mick Bingham

    By mick bingham (14/07/2010)

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