Palais de Dance

Leeming Street, Mansfield

By Geoff Liptrot

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Palais de Dance' page

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.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Palais de Dance' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Palais de Dance' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Palais de Dance' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Palais de Dance' page
This page was added on 18/08/2009.
Comments about this page

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 .

On 08/08/2010

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
On 04/05/2011

Saw Gene Vincent, Rocking Berries, Barron Knights, Mike Berry there and many other bands, Sunday night was the best time.

By Fred Newton
On 27/01/2013

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
On 17/02/2013

I worked at the Palais for many years. My son carries Freddie's name (Fitzgerald) and my daughter is named (Adele).

By john norman
On 19/02/2013

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
On 17/01/2014

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
On 18/06/2014

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
On 23/10/2014

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
On 08/11/2014

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.

On 13/03/2015

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
On 17/04/2015

Does anyone remember the Mansfield and the Sons and Lovers playing there?

By Bill North
On 30/09/2015

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
On 05/10/2015

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
On 28/11/2015

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
On 19/12/2015

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
On 19/01/2016

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
On 15/04/2016

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
On 25/04/2016

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
On 31/05/2016

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
On 02/06/2016

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.
On 23/12/2017

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
On 28/12/2017

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
On 31/12/2017

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
On 16/01/2018

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