Palais de Dance

The old Victoria Hall had been taken over by Mr and Mrs HG Roscoe in September 1929 and re-christened the Palais de Danse. During the Second World War it was requisitioned by the Army as a dining area for the troops stationed in the town.   After the war the building was restored to its former glory and together with its famous school of dancing, thrived for most of the next two decades until its eventual closure in 1967.   Popular acts to appear at the Palais included Jimmy Crawford and the Ravens.   Under new management, the Palais continued as a ballroom but was converted, after damage by vandals in 1973, into a bingo hall and used as such throughout the 70s and 80s.   In the early 90s the Palais was briefly used as a rave club. This phase ended in tears after police intervention. In 1997 it was given another makeover and re-appeared as a new night club.

Comments about this page

  • I played at the Palais, I was drummer with a band called Neil and the Deamons, this would have been the early 60s

    By Geoff Brown (09/02/2023)
  • Sons and Lovers were a great local Ruddington band, don’t think they are playing anymore but anyone that remembers them, good film on You Tube, Sons and Lovers live at the Festival Inn, Trowell, doing ‘I got rhythm’ with original members, great watch

    By barry ancill (16/11/2021)
  • I played the Palais 7 times and here are the dates and the band, 29/04/1966 (Carl Pagan and the Heathens). We had a change of name (same line-up) to Our Young and played there 03/07/1966, 09/10/1966, 26/12/1966 and 21/01/1967.
    Appearing as Two’s Company the next date was 05/11/1967. The final date was the 4 musicians backing Heinz (formerly bass player with The Tornados). We reverted back to the name Our Young. I don’t have an exact date for this but it would be about March/April 1968.

    By Bob Todd (03/10/2021)
  • Great memories of this place. I entered into a singing competition they use to run and I won. It was the Mansfields who were the band during the competition. I remember a young lady called Maggie who won with me, she was a great singer.

    By Bill North (03/11/2020)
  • It’s very interesting that people remember so much about the Palais, I’ve a quantity of records of band stuff, payments for wages etc, and heard of the antics of many. I have some pieces written by Adela and also by Victor Sylvester at her home.

    By Mark Wilson (26/06/2020)
  • Big bands who played at the Palais included Joe Loss. My late father Tug organised one event, it was through this that I knew Uncle Fred and Aunt Adela, I heard of this from Adela and others.

    By Mark Wilson (18/02/2020)
  • I used to go to the Palais twice a week, 1956/7. Wednesday evening and Saturday afternoon. I used to walk up from Mansfield Woodhouse. Dayglo socks were all the rage then but my parents did not approve of them. I bought myself a pair and used to change my socks in the toilet when I got there and again on the way home! Learnt to jive there!

    By Trevor Randall (05/08/2019)
  • Very interesting to read, I knew Freddie and Adela as uncle and aunt, great close friends, father Tug was on police duty with Gordon Ingham of the Forest Town undertakers, father met mum, and as they say its history, Adela married twice, Cyril Palmer visited Adela in her final weeks. She had a dance studio at Bridlesmith Gate Nottm. and Long Row, resided Plains Row Nottm. then Mapperley Hall Drive, finally Tudor Court, Watson Avenue, where she died, a lovely lady we got on so very well as I did with Freddie, she was close friends of Dorothy Hinton who resided adj, also in the music trade, ran the Eight Bells.

    By Mark Wilson (08/07/2019)
  • My name is real and feel free to contact me with any information.
    I am friends with Ric Lee – my friend and I have a Tribute Website to Ten Years After – and
    I would like to hear stories about pre Ten Years After.
    Jaybirds most of all or Jaycats or Jail-Breakers……or yes
    The Mansfields

    I was with TYA and Ric January 11, 2019 in Osnabrück, Germany

    By Dave Willey (13/02/2019)
  • Memories from 1959 – I met a tall good looking lady at the Palais de Dance in 1959 – married her in 1961 and we headed to New Zealand in 1962. We are both still alive and live in a rural area of the Wairarapa – 90 minutes drive north of Wellington. We still have lots of friends in the Mansfield area.

    By Neil Hayes QSM (28/01/2019)
  • Hi to all interested in The Mansfields of the early and mid 60s. On Sunday 25th March 2018 I was at a surprise birthday party for my cousin, Keith Woodcock. Keith replaced Ric Lee on drums after he moved on to greater fame and fortune.

    We were privileged to meet and talk at length with Stuart Lane and Keith Williams (both guitar players in the group). What a pair of real gents they were and full of interesting recollections of their time with the band.

    Stuart hails from Rainworth and now lives in Worthing whilst Keith was from Huthwaite and now lives in Swinton, South Yorks. Both moved on from the band around 1967 to have successful careers in business. Keith Woodcock from Edgehill Grove M/W now lives in Sheringham after a very successful career in the music business.

    All three of them had great memories of their times with the band with Stuart telling me that as my cousin was only 14 when they invited him to join, they had to persuade my aunt and uncle to let him join up and that they as worldly-wise 18 year olds would look after him!

    They also said they played the Palais regularly amongst many local and national venues. Keith also told me that Ric Lee is writing a book and once some legal wrangles are sorted it should be published under the title “From head stocks to Woodstock”. Should be a fantastic read so look out for it.

    Hope this of interest.

    By Neil Woodcock (27/03/2018)
  • cheers John.It was a good pub the Horse and Jockey.  had a good atmosphere as well. Always enjoyed it in there back in 1969. Happy days mate. DM3a

    By John Hurst (16/01/2018)
  • The building which housed the  “Horse and jockey” Is still there, the stained glasswork above the door also I believe still in situ. I think nowadays it’s called “The late lounge” possibly.

    By John (28/12/2017)
  • Horse and Jockey, is it still there? Often went there for a couple of beers before going over the road to the Palais. Happy days. 

    By John Hurst (27/12/2017)
  • Had some good nights at the old Palais as a teenager in the early sixties, probably the most memorable being the appearance/s of the then, Shane Fenton, (later to become Alvin Stardust), sadly no longer with us.

    Very special memories of the old place including the performers and of course the music! Used to have a quick drink in the ‘Horse & Jockey’ just across the road back in those days., as did many Palais-De-Dance fans. 

    By Steeve. C. (21/12/2017)
  • Can anyone remember “Reg Guest Trio” and ” Ian King Trio”? .May not have played at the Palais but I’m sure played in local pubs, I think both used to appear at the “White Gates ” at Forest Town in the ’60s /’70s.


    By G.Burton former Woodus lad (01/06/2016)
  • Hi Bill and John. Went to see Sons and Lovers at The Venue (Potters) at Rainworth last Saturday. There was a good crowd in and we had a really great night. The harmonies were as good as they used to be, they played a good selection of numbers from the 60s and 70s and everybody enjoyed themselves. It was just like being in the Palais in 69 again except for the white hair ( on me as well as some of the band ). Good times.




    By Pete Higgins (30/05/2016)
  • Hi Bill don’t live there myself now but all ways travel down twice a year for the day. Yes it’s still there and think it’s used as a theatre now.

    By John hurst (24/04/2016)
  • Hi John, yes great days, wonderful memories of our younger days. Is the building still there in Mansfield and if so what is it used for now? I don’t live in the town.

    By Bill North (15/04/2016)
  • Hi Bill North yes remember Sons and Lovers 1969. They were brilliant they were on more or less every three months and always went to see them. Excellent harmonies. Still doing cabaret. 

    By John hurst (17/01/2016)
  • Loved the Palais in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I remember the Jbirds and also my late husband Johnny Gold playing there. We moved down to Kent in the late 80’s.

    By Pam Swain (19/12/2015)
  • I remember the Palais when the most popular performers were Johnny Gold & The Sovereigns and The Newtones. I later appeared there as a performer myself.  I was drummer for a Kirkby based group called Roy Ravelle & The Gamblers.  We also played the Festival Hall, Kirkby as well as many pubs and clubs in the area.  Probably our most regular gig was the New Cross Inn, Sutton.  I emigrated to Australia in 1972 but have very fond memories of those times.  I wonder if anyone remembers us now after all these years ?

    By Michael Brightman (28/11/2015)
  • Hello Bill,  I’m not 100% sure but I think it very likely that the Mansfield’s did play the Palais at some stage or other. They may well have appeared when they were called Ricky Storm and the Stormcats from 1962. They changed their name to the Mansfields in 1964. The band members were Keith Williams (guitar), Stuart Lane (guitar), Mick Hodgkinson (bass guitar & sax) and Ric Lee (drums). A few years later Ric Lee joined the well known rock band Ten years After and actually played at the world famous Woodstock festival. He once came to our house in Rainworth to see my brother and gave me a pair of his drumsticks, I wish I still had them.

    By Pete Higgins (05/10/2015)
  • Does anyone remember the Mansfield and the Sons and Lovers playing there?

    By Bill North (30/09/2015)
  • Just reading the 1957 Mansfield Gazateer for 1957 and noticed the  page for the Musician’s Union. The Tommy Allen Trio, Bill Buttery and his Band, Harry Theakstone and his Band and Downbeaters Group etc last contact was Ramsey Allcock who played for the Blue Ramblers in the early 50s and was a Teacher at Yorke St School, MW in the 50s. At the bottom of the sheet it mentions INSIST ON A UNION BAND FOR YOUR DANCES!  Anyone remember any of these bands?

    By Tom Shead (14/04/2015)
  • I met my wife to be at the Palais in 1959. My future wife, Sylvia Chesterman was from Alfreton and I was born in Mansfield – many years ago! We married in February 1961 and emigrated to New Zealand in October 1962. We worked and lived in Wellington until 1992 when we moved to the Wairarapa Region and celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary this year! We have two adult sons and we’ve all visited Mansfield on several occasions.

    By NEIL HAYES (12/03/2015)
  • Loved the Pally from 1960 – 1965

    You went in one night and picked up a ticket for free entry for next night.

    By Viv Frisby (08/11/2014)
  • Enjoyed other peoples recollections of the Palais, the place where I met my now wife Margaret & actually danced to musicians. It was that popular at weekends that traction put on late night buses to get us home to all the surrounding villages

    happy times

    By barrie butler (23/10/2014)
  • This was quite a place, I remember wanting to go there with my brother. I remember the music being so loud, it would have been the early seventies

    By Enid (17/06/2014)
  • Many happy memories of the palais,Ted Heath did not play there,but the place for big bands was Festival Hall Kirkby, Many big bands played there admission 3/6d to 5 shillings.Ted Heath I paid 7/6d a very lot of money in those days. If any body remembers me Mansfield, Blidworth, Rainworth areas ladies and gents Hello. Now reside in Norwich,Mansfield visit to see family every 6/8weeks Ron Brown

    By ron brown (16/01/2014)
  • I worked at the Palais for many years. My son carries Freddie’s name (Fitzgerald) and my daughter is named (Adele).

    By john norman (18/02/2013)
  • I spent many happy hours at the Palais in my teens, late 1950’s early 1960’s . Ballroom, rock N Roll you name it. Such a shame when the twist and other non partner dances took over. When we weren’t dancing there we were probably at the Cavendish. BTW is M Raynor any relation to Beryl Raynor who I worked with at Ladybrook Primary School in 1961?

    By Aileen Rawding (16/02/2013)
  • Saw Gene Vincent, Rocking Berries, Barron Knights, Mike Berry there and many other bands, Sunday night was the best time.

    By Fred Newton (26/01/2013)
  • Cannot remember Ted Heath playing at the Palais in Mansfield…He did perform at Welbeck Abbey in the summer of 1951. Lita Rosa, Dennis Lotus ans Dicky Valentine sang with the band. It was in the underground ballroom at the Welbeck Abbey.

    By alan curtis (04/05/2011)
  • It was really the Good Old days. In the early Fifties the management and running of the Palais fell to Adele Roscoe and Freddie Fitzgerald (her Husband and Dancing Partner for many years It Virtually became the place to go Dancing Etc The first change they made was to bring in the Hardy Smith Orchestra Which after a Few years were replaced by Art Lester from Nottingham. Many of the Musicians from the former Orch. joining Art. They remained in residence until a Fire caused its demise and its closure in 1967.The format was —— Mondays General Dancing (with an Half Hour Jive Session to Records (later replaced by An Organist (Freddy Carlilse) Tuesdays I believe was Personal Tuition Wednesdays was STRICTLY BALLROOM DANCING mainly for those who were receiving Tution and those who were involved in the finer aspects of Ballroom Dancing with Tutors in attendance Thursdays I seem to think it was not open unless it again was put on one side for Dance Lessons Fridays was always available for Private Dances and Functions (tickets only) This was the Only Night there was a Bar Saturdays was Similar to Mondays ( If you attended On that night you were given a Token which allowed Two for the Price of one (providing one of each Sex) for the price of 2/6 In their early Career Adele And Freddie were very much involved in Old time dancing being not only Judges Nationally but they had invented several Dances and won many competions nationally most notably a dance called Lingering At times Championship Ballroom Dancers would do an Exhibition during the interval and on a few occaisions a variety act. I seem to remember the TED HEATH ORCHESTRA AND SYD LAWRENCE AND HIS ORCHESTRA playing at the Palais during the Sixties but I may be Wrong .

    By MGR (07/08/2010)

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