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County Arcade, Mecca Locarno


County Arcade, Mecca Locarno
Description:
Undated, Photo possibly dating from the early 1960s, looking from Cross Arcade into County Arcade to the front of the Mecca Locarno Ballroom. This dancehall had opened on 3rd November 1938. Mecca closed in 1969 (a new venue had been opened in 1964 in the Merrion Centre). It became The Stone in 1983 then a cafe in 1994. Notices outside give details of admission prices, varying from 2/6d early on Sunday evening (12.5p) to 6/- (30p) on Saturday nights. A special event is promoted on the round advertisement 'Midsummer Nights Dream Carnival, Wednesday 24th June, 3 bands, hats, balloons, novelties, competitions, 3/6d (17.5p). On the left edge is Vicker's gift shop, on the left of the Mecca is Greenwood's menswear business. Elster shoe shop is on the right, then Banks music in the window is on the right edge.

User Comments:

Name:
Pam Chapman

Comment:
This brings back some fantastic memories. I remember going every night to the Mecca and even some lunchtimes. I remember it was 6p to get in for the lunchtime session. Both my friend and I got the bus from work, danced for 30 mins and back to work, all within the hour. Jimmy Saville was then the manager. I recall the Bali Hi, a coffee bar, where they used to keep a parrot. Upstairs was the Keyhole Club where we went for a drink. All we could afford was blackcurrant juice and soda, but we felt good going in there. In the evening we danced from 7.30pm to 10.45pm (our last bus left Leeds at 10.56pm.)There were numerouse occasions when we missed our bus and had to walk home. I can say in all honesty that they were the best days of my life. What a ball we had! The kids today don't know what they're missing.

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Name:
mel o'malley

Comment:
This was known as the Old Mecca to the"Mods" of Leeds and was one of a number of favourite meeting places.

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Name:
John Rick

Comment:
If my memory serves me correctly, this club was destroyed by fire in the 1970's.

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Name:
michael mcguinness

Comment:
It is really nice to see the old Mecca again, I too used to go down in my dinner hour when I was at Leeds College of Technology.

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Name:
Ruth Wilson

Comment:
I remember the old mecca it was my second home in my teen's, it was a very happy period in my life. First started going 1962,I was 14yrs old. Later I became a member of the Tudour Club, then name changed to La Discotheque. I still have my membership book with my photo on it dated Oct 1964 and also The Dancers Sunday Club 64/67 membership card, you had to be in this so you could dance on a sunday, all to do with church laws and rules. I also use to go in my lunch hour 6 old pence, I had to run like mad down the Headrow to get back to work on time, my feet throbbed from my high heel pointed stiletto's. So sad when it closed, tried new mecca merrion centre, never liked it so stopped going, but I have got such great memories of those day's.

Email:
r.bradley3@merseymail.com

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Name:
Lesley Cooke

Comment:
I worked part time as receptionist at the old Mecca from 1967 until it closed down so have some wonderful memories of great times there. Sadly I have lost contact with other people who worked there at the same time but have some great photographs and extremely happy memories.

Email:
lesley.cooke@ars.aon.co.uk

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Name:
graham daniels

Comment:
Ilike everyone else who has commented spent many of my lunches and nights out at the "MECCA" but one thing prominent in my mind is listening to the pianist in Baks music store which is the shop to the right as you look at this image. A guy called Mike Terry was that amazing pianist. He also toured the clubs in the area as The Warr Brothers and Sis. (HE was Sis). Fabulous showmen and some good fun the lady up the page is correct kids today don't know what they missed out on

Email:
penydarren@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Peter Moore

Comment:
With regards to the comments of Pam Chapman. I dont know which years she refers to when she says you could get a drink upstairs, but I frequented the Mecca throughout the 1950's and the only drink you could get was Coke and other soft drinks, we used to get a pass out and go to the King Edward pub in King Edward Street for a couple of pints of the real stuff.

Email:
dipetmo@aol.com

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Name:
Graham Daniels

Comment:
In answer to Peter's comments about Pam being able to get an alcoholic drink in the Mecca, she is correct I believe she must have gone in the early to late sixties, the bar she talks about was the EL Toro Club when I went to the Mecca.

Email:
penydarren@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Ann Brown nee Wilson

Comment:
My memories of the Mecca are some of the happiest memories of my life. I was there in the 1950's, when Derek Sinclair's band and the Larry Cassidy Trio played there. Brian Ferris was the manager at the time. I would love to see some photos of inside the Mecca, but so far have never been succesful in my search.

Email:
helenbrown71@hotmail.com

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Name:
Peter Moore

Comment:
With regards to the comments passed by Ann Brown and the Mecca in the 1950's does she or anyone else remember when the big band was Bob Miller who had a singer called Ross McManus, he (Ross) went on to father a son who became famous as the pop star Elvis Costello. It's a small world i'sent it.

Email:
dipetmo@aol.com

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Name:
Lesley Cooke

Comment:
The bar upstairs at the Mecca was first called the Tudor Club and then changed its name to the Keyhole Club. You had to have a membership card which had your photograph on it and produce your birth certificate to become a member as only over 18's were allowed in there.

Email:
lesleycooke944@btinternet.com

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Name:
Martin Hopkins

Comment:
Like many of the others ,me & my mate used to go to this great place on a lunchtime for a tanner.Re;Graham Daniels,"Mike Terry" until recently,was playing in Benidorm at the pub called "The Town".

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Name:
brian thomas

Comment:
1956 - It was 3 old pennys to dance at lunchtime, known as the 'threepenny bop' Pre Jimmy Saville a quartet led by Ray Ellington were regular performers here. Ray appeared in the radio 'Goon Show' for a number of years and is accredited to discovering a Leeds girl - MARION RYAN who became quite a famous singer as did her twin sons PAUL and BARRY RYAN. We used to fuel up in the King Edward but you had to be in the MECCA before 10pm. in those days. I agree with all the sentiments re-great times, could it have been because we were all so very young?

Email:
helensdad@mac.com

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Name:
PETER BRENT /PETE BRENT

Comment:
It was great to stumble across this photo.I have fond memories of The Old Mecca/Spinning Disc.I worked there as a DJ in the sixties at the height of its popularity as a Soul music and Mod venue.I was privileged to work alongside many great Soul Artists.Geno Washington,Jimmy James,Ben E King,to name but a few.I was on stage playing all the old favourites on the night it closed.The number of people they had let in was frightening !!.For years I was saddled with the name Pete Tamla Brent which the management at the time used in its advertising.I would dearly love to hear from anyone who attended this wonderful old venue or other old mod haunts in the sixties.I was also responsible for setting up The New Marquee Club on Great George St. I am currently collecting material for my autobiography so any of your memories would be gratefully appreciated and acknowledged.If you visit GenoWashington.com you can access some B/W photos from the time.AMEN!!! Peter

Date:
20-Nov-2008

Email:
brentgoodman@btinternet.com

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Name:
Pat Burns

Comment:
My friend sue and I saw the Equals in 1968 at the old mecca

Date:
07-Jan-2009

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Name:
David Halstead

Comment:
I too worked in THE SPINNING DISC in the KEYHOLE CLUB upstairs as a barmanI later worked at CAROLINES DISCO KIRKSTALL ROAD and previously at THE NEW LOCARNO and BALI HAI club in the MERRION CENTRE.I remember the night that the bands WHITE ELEPHANT and THE NICE played on stage I was working behind the bar listening to a young STEVE PHILLIPS(LATER OF THE NOTTING HILLBILLIES)who was playing BLUES on his STEEL GUITAR.What great times they were.

Date:
28-Jan-2009

Email:
davidles@uwclub.net

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Name:
Maggie and Lucio Freemantle

Comment:
"The old Mecca" This is where we first ever saw each other way back in 1964, got married in 68 and this year celebrate our 41st Wedding Anniversary. Wish we could go back in time, the 1960's were the best Era ever!

Date:
29-Jan-2009

Email:
luciomags@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
k

Comment:
I remember going on a saturday morning it think it was called the spinning disc there was a parrot then. I was too young to drink so it was crusched ice with juice. my favourite song at that time was Jesamine by the casuals

Date:
05-Feb-2009

Email:
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Name:
Raymond Jones

Comment:
It is nice to see Peter Moores comments he must have been going to the Mecca about the same time as me early fifties I can remember the Bob Miller Band and ROSS McMANUS he used to play the cornet as well sing and as you say his son was Elvis Costelo.I once won a Singing contest there first prize five pounds all i did was sing one of the songs that ROSS sang i new the band would know it of by heart, the drinks in the King Edward for all my pals were on me that night. ROSS McMANUS went on to sing with the HARRY ROY band used to see him on tely quite a bit. LARRY CASSIDY was on the go at that time as well. By the way my nick name was SHADRACK if any of my old pals read this send me an email. Raymond Jones FEB 2009

Date:
12-Feb-2009

Email:
raynmavis@btinternet.com

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Name:
christine tomlinson (nee spurr/barry)

Comment:
oh god what memories eh? i worked at marks and spencer from 68 to 75 me and my friend denise casey used to leg it to the mecca every lunchtime for 6d and dance in our 'uniform'. remember doing a charity walk with jimmy saville in 69/70 thro the night it was. we also used to go every opportunity at night, had to be eighteen to get in keyhole club but we wern't!all we wanted to do in those days was DANCE!

Date:
17-Feb-2009

Email:
chris@chrissyt.plus.com

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Name:
martin schoales

Comment:
This brings back memories of the 60's. I used to know it as the Spinning Disc, and also I had a Keyhole Club membership. Though underage, these were easy to obtain, and we even passed the slim membership card through the gap in the fire exit doors so our mates could get in as well. No one checked the photos!! I seem to remember there were cages on the stage with girls dancing...very nice too. The Sunday Dancers Club was also well attended. I even used to go here on my lunchbreak with my work mates. Whatever happened to Linda Darlington???

Date:
25-Feb-2009

Email:
mschoales@ebsa.ch

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Name:
Peter Moore

Comment:
Reference the comments left by Raymond Jones about Ross McManus singing with the Harry Roy Band, I think if you check up you will see he actually sang with the JOE LOSS BAND. Many people used to get up and sing in those days, for myself I was suitably employed as a singer on the clubs in those days, but I do remember a guy called Gary Dent who regulary got up and sang at the Mecca, he later became the Landlord at The Bridge Inn Kirkstall, and later a a pub at Killinghall (between Harrogate and Ripon)

Date:
02-Mar-2009

Email:
dipetmo@aol.com

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Name:
Bob Morris

Comment:
I too remember going to the 'Mecca' on a lunchtime while at Kitson college of Engineering in the mid 60s. Usually had a "Chip Butty" for lunch and leaned on the balcony to watch the girls. Also, with ref to David Halstead note I was there the night the NICE played on stage and , If I recall, Kieth Emerson hurt his back from his on stage antics. ie leaping up on the piano. He could play it backwards too. Also remember Pete Brent as a promoter, even went out at night with him pasting posters on walls, and handing out leaflets to advertise some future event. happy days.

Date:
05-Mar-2009

Email:
rbmorris_47@yahoo.com

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Name:
Veronica Kear

Comment:
I used 2 go here on Sat morning loved it..... there was always a massive queue 2 get in from what I remember. D.J. Jimmy Saville, Absolutley great times, the music everthing about it.

Date:
05-Mar-2009

Email:
ronniesully@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Lynn

Comment:
I used to be a dancer in the cage at the 'New Mecca' in the Merrion Centre. My cage was on the left when facing the stage. This was in 1969/70/71. We wore black trouser suits with tassels. My best friend who I still know and love was in the right hand cage. We also did set pieces on the stage and it was my friend who made them up. We used to practice in her kitchen. We also used to do backing singing for the Band who had two singers, a male and a female. The female singer went on to perform in the group Brotherhood of Man who sang 'save your kisses for me' in the Eurovision Song Contest. Does anyone remember us dancing in these cages or on stage.

Date:
10-Mar-2009

Email:
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Name:
Raymond Jones.

Comment:
You are so right Peter when I wrote that comment I was racking my brain to come up with the name but as you say it was Joe Loss. I stand corrected. Raymond Jones March 2009.

Date:
18-Mar-2009

Email:
raynmavis@btinternet.com

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Name:
Pat Burns

Comment:
Yes i remember the dancers in the cage lynn, a girl in my class Barbara used to do dancing there as far as I can remember.

Date:
01-May-2009

Email:
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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
I met my wife on a Wednesday at the Mecca in 1961, I had been going as a 15 year old since 1956 when they started the dinner time sessions,price thrupence,12-2pm, all proceeds were for the Hungarian refugees due to the Russian invasion of there country. I stopped going about 1964, as a 15year old and an apprentice at R W Crabtrees, Water Lane, I would change in the toilets then run all the way up to the Mecca, meet with my mates for 20 mins then run all the way back to work to clock in before 1.00pm. Does anyone remember "George " who Jimmy Saville took under his wing for a couple of years, in 1990 while on my rounds working for BT I came across George who was then working as a window cleaner.

Date:
06-Jun-2009

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
janet

Comment:
used to go here on saturday mornings with my sister deborah in the mid 1960s,we would queue up the arcade and talk to others in the queue,then when i was abit older joined the keyhole club.those were the days

Date:
10-Jul-2009

Email:
janet.b1952@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
ros baldwin was morley

Comment:
sat mornings were fantastic here in the 1960s

Date:
18-Jul-2009

Email:
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Name:
brian laycock

Comment:
I used to go to the old Mecca in the early sixties to see groups like the Dawnbreakers, The Grumbleweeds and Sammy King and the Voltares.

Date:
17-Oct-2009

Email:
aldine.laycock@googlemail.com

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Name:
Maureen Kershaw

Comment:
I too remember, with a chuckle,going to the lunchtime dance session for 6d. I worked at Thrift Stores head office in Kirkstall and many a lunchtime my colleague Brenda and I used to catch the bus to town, change into a nylon overall with tail comb and silver kirby clips along the pockets, together with Scholl sandals and buy a glass of milk. Why dress like this? A few of the Leeds United players of the time Gary Sprake, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer etc etc would be there after their morning training session. They didn't dance, just watched and all drinking glasses of milk. The footballers always seemed to go out with hairdressers so we fancied our chances!

Date:
03-Nov-2009

Email:
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Name:
Dave Wharton

Comment:
Reputably where Roy Orbison met his wife

Date:
04-Dec-2009

Email:
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Name:
Pete Brent

Comment:
In answer to Dave Wharton.Roy Orbison met his second wife,German born Barbara Jacobs at Le Phonograph Club in The Merrion Centre in August 1968.I was there that night and was a regular at the club as I got in for nothing. A bunch of us from The Old Mecca went there after sessions finished.I had my 21st Birthday Party at Le Phonograph in June 1968.I think that Barbara used to wait tables at the club.They went on to marry in 1969 and had two sons. Hope this helps.

Date:
18-Dec-2009

Email:
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Name:
Chris Martin

Comment:
In reply to Pete Brent, the Le Phonograph would have been known as The Wigwam Club then, if I'm not mistaken.

Date:
21-Dec-2009

Email:
chrisma5803@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Steve Luigi

Comment:
fantastic! I used to go here when it was called 'The Spinning Disc', I will always remember the 'Snowballs' as they called them, a tall glass of crushed ice, with the juice of your choice poured over it, delicious! When I went (in the early 70s I think) I was a Mod and used to go there on my scooter (a Lambretta) and dance to the 'Motown' that was played there, I particularly remember 'The Isley brothers - Behind a painted smile' which was played every week. This was the first nightclub I ever set foot in, and it led to me being smitten, to the point of spending the next 15 years being into Northern Soul in a big way, going to Wigan casino every week and the like. it also led to me becoming a well known DJ in the Yorkshire area which I still do to this day. I blame 'the Spinning Disc' for the way my life spanned out, in a good way of course.

Date:
26-Dec-2009

Email:
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Name:
Pete Waddington

Comment:
Just clicked on here by mistake today - amazing! The first hang-out for Leeds bands was the White Horse on York Road (skiffle etc). Then Scheerer's music store on North Street. I remember Mick Robson walking in one night at the White Horse with a Gibson Stereo guitar that blew everyone away. Then Ricky Harding with a Gretsch White Falcon that blew Mick away! I played the Spinning Disc many times with the Dawnbreakers and at magic venues all over Leeds - Bilue Gardenia; Queens Hall, Town Hall, Cro Magnon, Leeds Twisted Wheel, University and colleges. Later formed Amazing Friendly Apple and the Star & Garter became the place to go on Sundays. I remember a very young Mark Knopfler interviewing us for the YEP at the bowling alley near the Merrion Centre. I have loads of pics from these times. Magical - love to all.

Date:
30-Dec-2009

Email:
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Name:
Peter Waddington

Comment:
Posted the other day , and my email address was not displayed, would love to hear from anybody. email address below

Date:
31-Dec-2009

Email:
Infilkoi@googlemail.com

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Re Pete's comments on the Dawnbreakers You haven't mentioned playing at The Belle Isle WMC in 1964, it was medal presentation night for Crabtree's football team, we had won the Combination Cup that year, also on the bill that night was Neville King the ventriloquist with his " old man dummy " just prior to becoming famous, he later appeared on The Royal Command Performance. I thought the Dawnbreakers were great.

Date:
31-Dec-2009

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Ron Davies

Comment:
I along with some of my friends was a regular at the Mecca around 1959 to 1963. Apart from Jimmy Saville playing the records, does anyone remember The Benny Goodman Band,not the famous American outfit,but never the less very good. Am I dreaming this or did they actually exist. Roy Orbison and Sammy King are both mentioned in previous comments,and there is a link between the two,Sammy King wrote the song Penny Arcade which Orbison recorded,it was a minor hit in 1969. Sammy King now concentrates more on being a stand up comedian, with a small proportion of his act devoted to music. I was lucky enough a few years ago to see him in a Caberet Show, and in between his stints on stage he was sat at our table, and was even funnier off stage.

Date:
06-Jan-2010

Email:
rondavies66@googlemail.com

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Yes Ron Benny Goodman was resident bandleader at the Mecca,on Saturday nights and I think Wednesday nights.I was going to the Mecca during the period 1956/1964.

Date:
11-Jan-2010

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Chris Martin

Comment:
Anyone remember The Dennis Langfield Orchestra, my Dad was the vocalist with them. Frankie Martin. They were residents here till around 1962 then the moved to the Burnley Mecca.

Date:
12-Jan-2010

Email:
chrisma5803@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi everyone, I was a regular at the Mecca from 1961, when I was 15. I went there on two or three nights a week, most midweek lunch times from 1962 until 1965 when I worked in a Leeds office, and occasionally on Saturday afternoons. I remember the 'Benny Goodman Band', which was later replaced by the 'Bill Barron Combo'. On an evening, these bands used to play from 8.30pm until 8.55pm, from 9.30pm until 9.55pm and from 10.30pm until 10.55pm, closing time was around 11pm. In my experience, the bands were very poor compared with the fantastic music that was played on records. In fact most people would leave the floor and go for a coffee in the coffee bar, or a drink in the Tudor Club (members only), when the band played. Of course, everyone returned for 8.55pm or 9.55pm to get someone up to to dance for the '9 o'clock smooch time' or the '10 o'clock smooch time'. Whenever Jimmy was the disc jockey, he usually started the 'smooch times' with "This is the great Mr O", whereupon he would play such songs as 'Love hurts', 'Running scared" or another Roy Orbison ballad. I remember 'George' who has been mentioned. Unfortunately, he appeared to be slightly 'backward' but he was always friendly and was Jimmy's 'gofer'. He often visited Tommy's Cafe in Otley, with Jimmy and Dennis Peace (another Mecca manager), on their bikes as Jimmy and Dennis have always been keen cyclists and Tommy's was a cyclists' cafe (it is now the Cuccina Pizza Bar). The disc jockeys, around this time were Jimmy, Brian, Les, Cliff Green and some others whose names I can't remember. The bouncers were big Tony (who was a gentleman and well known in Leeds), a very quiet possibly Polish chap who was a body builder, and another stocky chap called 'Scotty'. I also remember Wilf Preen becoming the manager. He was a small chap with a moustache. I seem to to remember that people always used to stand in the same place when they weren't dancing. I can remember all of the Leeds United bunch always congregating along the furthest wall from the entrance, the late Mick Shoebottom (Leeds RLFC) and his mates always standing near to the stage in the first alcove, one or two of the local 'gangsters' always standing next to the place where the ladies deposited their handbags (when they weren't dancing around them) and many other regulars who stood in the same spots. I remember going on holiday to Blackpool in 1962 with two friends. It was during the first two weeks in August when all of the Leeds factories, etc. closed down for the holidays. Everywhere we went dancing there were girls we knew from the Mecca as they worked at Burtons Tailors, Prices Tailors, or at another Leeds factory. The good thing was that we all danced in the same way, because that's how we danced at the Mecca. I, too, have very fond memories of the 'Old Mecca' Ian

Date:
12-Jan-2010

Email:
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Name:
Julie Walsh

Comment:
Just read Pete Brents comments about the New Marquee Club which he opened in Leeds. My friend Christine and I worked in the cloakroom for Pete and what a fantastic time we had. All the bands were the best. Would love to hear from anyone with other interesting facts.

Date:
16-Feb-2010

Email:
julie@castlecc.wakefield.sch.uk

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Name:
Jeffrey Collins

Comment:
What memories! I will never forget the days when I was asked to be the "lunchtime DJ" & was asked to play records on 2 turntables so that there would be no pauses between the songs played. I was "nicknamed" Little Jeff because I had to stand on crates to reach the "mike" !!! This was the start of my career in the Music Business. When Jimmy Saville became the manager he paid me a great compliment by telling me that he was "pinching my act" and transferred me to the Wakefield Mecca after using me in Glasgow & Bradford. What GREAT times we had in those days!!!

Date:
22-Feb-2010

Email:
jeffreycollins@famousrecordscorp.com

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Name:
gillian@melaniecraigsolicitor.co.uk

Comment:
I was working in Lewis's department store in Leeds as a hairdresser in 1966 we aprentices just couldn't wait until lunchtime to run down to the mecca for 45 mins of dancing leavaing 15 mins to head back to work we just had a ball.

Date:
11-Mar-2010

Email:
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Name:
Rod Brooks- Dawnbreakers

Comment:
Great to read all the stories.......brings back lots of memories.

Date:
19-Mar-2010

Email:
rodbrooks@ymail.om

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Hi " Little Jeff " Tried to email you as per your displayed email without success.

Date:
22-Mar-2010

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Paul Cooke

Comment:
I would go to the 'Spinng Disc' with my mates from Sherbourne in Elmet and Micklethwate. We saw Edwin Starr, Ben E King, Jimmy James and Geno Washington. When Otis Redding died in December 1967 we all turned up wearing black arm bands. Even though I was only 15 I managed to get a membership card for the Keyhole Club upstairs, where they played blue beat music. Outside the entrance was a menswear shop which sold original shrink to fit Levis, which we wore with brogues, surfer jackets or great coats. Saturday night was always bottle green, beige or navy suit, with cigarette pants and three high button jacket, pockets on a slant, including ticket pocket and the back had a 17" centre vent. The style of the kids with the great soul music played there on a saturday was phenomenal!

Date:
23-Mar-2010

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
kenny rooke

Comment:
I used to play the disc with the zany woordruff operation 66-67 remember a allnighter with a group called the factotums ,also used to play the el centrico,le phoneagraph and bee gees club any one remember these clubs,

Date:
03-Apr-2010

Email:
kenny_rooke@sky.com

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Name:
Betty Crew

Comment:
I think the Polish 'bouncer' mentioned earlier was called Laslow.

Date:
09-Apr-2010

Email:
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Name:
Chris Martin

Comment:
RE- My Comment on the 12-01-10 My dad, Frankie Martin, sang with the Benny Goodman band here and with the Dennis Langfield Sound at Wakefield Mecca before moving to the Burnley Mecca with them, then back to the Merrion centre Mecca in the late 60's.

Date:
09-Apr-2010

Email:
chrisma5803@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
kenny rooke

Comment:
Used to play the Spinning Disc with The Zany Woodruff Operation 66-67 always a good gig,we played a all nighter once Supporting The Factotums a really good harmony band.Other venues played in Leeds were The El Elcentrico (the central) Le Phoneograph and The Bee Gee club opposite c&as,but the best gig was the Boulavarde,york rd Tadcaster,www.zany woodruff.com 7 7

Date:
09-Apr-2010

Email:
kenny_rooke@sky.com

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Name:
derek smith

Comment:
Really loved those days and it was a great venue. .Started going when I was 14 in1966.Saw Geno, eddie floyd .Jimmy James.Still see Jimmy James but now its at Warners !He still has a great voice.Still have my keyhole card-its a bit dog-eared but then so am I.Still dance the night away to soul/motown at the Ritz Brighouse and a regular at the annual mod reunion in november.Keep thr faith.

Date:
23-Apr-2010

Email:
derek.j.smith@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Jim Collins

Comment:
Yes, Now Then, Now Then, Now Then,sa it happens, would you believe!!! The immortal words spoken by Jimmy Saville. I can rememember standing outside the old Mecca ( The New One Being In The Merrion Centre) because I wasn't old enough to get in, although my sister was and I remember hearing Jimmy Saville with all his catch phrases and him playing The Hollies "I'm Alive" it was bouncing out with volume through the PA System, never heard anything like it before, made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck, a mere 15 year old lad, that was the moment I decided I wanted to be a singer, such a buzz and yes I went on to do it but what fantastic memories of fantastic times although we didn't realize it then

Date:
15-Jul-2010

Email:
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Name:
Ray Cooke

Comment:
The polish bouncer was Laslo and Scotty was Johnny Wood also known as Scotch Johnny. Laslo also had hot-dog barrows I think around the station and various places in the centre. I worked on the hot-dogs for Bobby McGraw and Peter Ratchford for a while[great guys,though tough, and they looked after us lads and paid us well]and were often 'in dispute' with the other hotdog crew and the barrows were regularly tipped over for us...but Bob and Pete always looked after us and we were rarely bothered. I remember making £23 on a sat afternoon outside Elland Road when we were playing Everton. The cafe upstairs and club downstairs near the corn exchange were [in 64/65 ish]The Embassy Club and The Chicken Inn. There was also The Ace of Clubs but that wasn't in the centre and our main pubs were The Shaftsbury and the FForde Greene. A lot of folk also made the trip out to The Wild Man on the york/tadcaster road cos that was helluva night out. There was a singer going round by the name of Ricky Somethingorother who had a reel to reel tape recorder with backing tracks on it who was really well known at that time...he gave me singing lessons which have earned me quite a few bob in the time since...anyone remember him or know if he's still aroun?. I'm 62 which will make him 69/70 now and it'd be nice to find him again. A popular place after the clubs shut was Georges Cafe on leeds bridge and another one directly across the road on a corner[name escapes me] where Jimmy Saville would often stay til around 4 to 5am. It was a bit cheaper then Georges cafe whcih was frequented by 'the chaps' in the town and us young uns were often told it was 'full up' haha. Any memories jogged here?

Date:
02-Aug-2010

Email:
ray.cooke3@btinternet.com

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi Ray Cooke, The ‘Ricky’, that you are referring to, could possibly have been Richard Bryan who used the name ‘Ricky Bryan’. He was a great singer who used to sing at venues around Leeds in the sixties and seventies. He was a regular singer at Jim Windsor’s Club on Vicar Lane, which was where I first got to know him. He was a very friendly bloke but lived a fairly solitary life in the Holbeck/Beeston area. He worked during the evenings and usually turned up during the early hours at the Tomato Dip Café on Kirkstall Road. He also frequented the Bridge End Café, the Railway Station Café and the Wellington Street Bus Station Café – in fact anywhere that was open late or all night. He used to drive around in an old Morris 1000 car and I can remember him having his gold stage suit stolen from it outside the Tomato Dip. I used to invite him to sing at functions connected with my work and he never let me down. I have no idea what happened to him as we lost touch with each other. Ian

Date:
17-Aug-2010

Email:
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Name:
Liz Newman

Comment:
The Dawnbreakers popped into my head the other day so I entered them just to see if anything was there and discovered this wonderful site. I've just seen the comments from people who remember going to the Mecca. I used to go too, starting with the Saturday (morning) Club when I was 13, graduating to Saturday afternoons and then finally evenings with my friend Janet, when I was allowed to go out at night. I was at school til I was 16 (the shame, everyone else was working, so, to compensate for this sorry state, when I did make 16 I started smoking to look more grown up). After school every night, me and my school friend Cathy would walk to our bus stops via County Arcade. We would lurk outside Banks Music shop hoping one of the DJs we knew would come out; I knew every single piece of sheet music Banks had at that time, who sang, who wrote, who published and how much. Once I started work, I used to go down in my lunch time, running all the way down from the Leeds & Holbeck Building Society on Albion Street. JS has moved on when I started to go in early 60s, and I never even noticed the footballers, but we all thought the DJs were wonderful, I remember Walter Thomas, and Steve Green, they spoke to us now and then but mostly never noticed us. Steve told me he was Rod Brooks' cousin. The live groups were the best and the Dawnbreakers best of all. We went every time we could when they were on and when they got the Filey season at Butlins, I persuaded my dad to take us for the day and we watched them play their afternoon spot. I also remember seeing them at the Silver Blades Ice Rink on Kirkstall Road but I don't quite know what they were doing there. Everyone had their favourite group member and mine was Rod, I just loved him from afar, even my mum knew all about him and still remembers him. I had a copy of the group picture which I treasured and have just found a copy of it on another site. I went once to the new Mecca in the Merrion Centre but really didn't like it at all, I had really loved the old one so much. I can remember inside so clearly, waiting at the door, buying my ticket and showing it to Tony, then turning sharp right down the stairs to the cloak room and the amazing gilt and mirrored girls' cloakroom, where we did our hair and put on lipstick which was the palest Rimmel could make and made us look like heart attack victims. Ground level I remember the kiosk as you went in, the stage at the front, with the handbag lady at the side (no dancing round your handbag for us) and the coffee bar down a few stairs at the back of the dance floor. I had a pass for the upstairs Tudor Club but only went inside once to see what was behind the door. We used to wander upstairs now and again and stroll round the balcony and look down at the stage and people dancing but mostly we just danced and danced from going in to leaving. Great days, happy memories. If only we had possessed digital cameras.

Date:
27-Aug-2010

Email:
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Name:
Di Harper ne Stephenson

Comment:
I love all this nostalgia. I was too young to go inside the Old Mecca but have fond memories of seeing it. I did used to go to Le Phonogragh and loved speed skating to 'The Tornado's' on Kirstall Rd. Good times

Date:
03-Sep-2010

Email:
diane.harper@leeds.gov.uk

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi everyone - Dennis Peace (78), a former manager of the Old Mecca, died on 30th September 2010. Like his friend and former colleague, Jimmy Savile, he was a keen cyclist and he died in a cycling accident at Bolton Abbey. It is not known exactly what happened and the Police are appealing for witnesses. Ian

Date:
04-Oct-2010

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Patricia Kemp nee Edgerton

Comment:
It seems like yesterday when my friends and I would go on a Monday and Saturday evening. We had the most fantastic times of our lives. I wish I could take my 18 year old granddaughter just once for her to see and feel the atmosphere during the late 60's.

Date:
09-Oct-2010

Email:
patricia-kemp@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Bernadette Smith/Mcnamara

Comment:
I am so jealous of all the people on here that got to experience this amazing venue! I grew up in the 60's but two of my cousins who were a lot older than me, they may have frequented here!! I used to love their clothes and make up, and whenever I stayed over at their house, I used to watch them putting on their make up and fab 60's clothes getting ready to go out! I so wanted to be like them!! I wish I could ask them, but, sadly I have lost all contact with them now. My mum used to know Marion Ryan back then. She lived on Cockshott Lane, Bramley and my dad went to the same school as Jimmy Saville (St Anne's) & apparently with no shoes on his feet as his family were quite poor. Re comments from Lynn....I remember around 1970 ( I was 12!), my best friend at that time, her father (Eddie? Chadwick) used to play in a band at the New Mecca and we were allowed to go in with him when he went to practise. I remember the stage with the cages and how we got to dance in them on a Saturday afternoon.My friend Julie in her Levi jeans and fringed suede waistcoat and me in my bright pink shift 'mod' dress with purple buttons and pockets and black patent sling backs! I know one time we went in the back somewhere with my friend's dad and there was a woman with long blond hair wearing a beige floppy hat who I believe is the lady that went on to front The Brotherhood of Man. I seem to recall that she was living in a block of flats...maybe Malborough Towers just on the outskirts of the city centre?? Apologies if this is incorrect, but this has stuck with me all of these years!! Ha! we thought we were so IT back then, even at that age! The New Mecca became one of my regular haunts later on and I last remember it being called 'Tiffanys' circa 1976. Like Di Harper, I also was too young for the Old Mecca, but I have very fond memories of speed skating (roller)down at the Rolarena on Kirkstall Rd every w/end! This site is so amazing and thanks to all the comments that are left, it gives me and other generations an insight in to was happening in Leeds back then! A great piece of social history and fantastic to read other people's memories! Take care all of you out there!!

Date:
01-Nov-2010

Email:
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Name:
donald rhodes

Comment:
I WAS A REGULAR DANCER IN THE MID 50S TO 60S,BUT FOR SOME UNKNOWN RASON I NEVER WENT TO THE MECCA. I WONDER IF ANY OF THE COMMENTERS WENT TO MARK ALTMANS BALLROOM OR THE MAJESTIC,AND AT TIMES THE CAPITOL? I MET MY WIFE AT MARK ALTMANS DANCIN CLASSES HELD ON TUESDAY NIGHTS. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE WHO DID AS I DID.

Date:
18-Dec-2010

Email:
donrhodes@pac.com.au

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Donald you will never know what you missed, there was never a better time to go dancing ( bopping ) at the Mecca than the mid 50s to the mid 60s. To hear " now then now then, would you believe as it appens guys & gals" brings back so many memories.

Date:
20-Dec-2010

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
kenny rooke

Comment:
I used to play the Disc in 66 and 67 with the Zany Woodruff Operation, it was a great venue to play at, also we used to play the El Centrico and the Phonograph anyone remember these venues. look up zanywoodruff.com

Date:
28-Dec-2010

Email:
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Name:
Jon Osborne

Comment:
Hi All. Can anyone help please. Does anyone remember a competion being held in Leeds called "Man of the Moment", possibly in 1974 or 75, sponsored by Tabac aftershave with the final being held in London. Until finding this site, I believed the Leeds heat was held at the Mecca Locarno. My memory wasn't too good then, never mind now lol so very sketchy on dates etc. Thanks if anyone can help.

Date:
07-Jan-2011

Email:
jon.osborne@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Julie Walsh

Comment:
Can anyone remember Alan Lumb from Leeds. He was a regular at the New Marquee Club and I remember he was a 'doorman' there. He was a good friend of mine and I think he emigrated to Australia many years ago. I would love to know what happened to him. He used to frequent the coffee bar just at the top of Briggate which was owned by an Italian guy I think called Giovanni. Pete Brent might rembember this.

Date:
11-Jan-2011

Email:
julie@castlecc.wakefield.sch.uk

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Name:
susan benn/nee layton

Comment:
It was wonderful to read all the comments about the old Mecca, the Spinning Disc, although I only went there two or three times. I used to dance at the new Mecca in the Merrion Centre, the Locarno Ballroom most Saturday nights, dancing to the Dennis Langfield sound. The Singer then was Sandra Stevens, who went on to front the Brotherhood of Man. I have great memories too of the Bali Hai Club, with its own separate entrance on the balcony in the Merrion Centre, next to the Locarno Ballroom. That really was the place to be! Wonderful days!

Date:
31-Jan-2011

Email:
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Name:
christine tomlinson (nee bridge,nee barry)

Comment:
i worked at marks and sparks from 1968 to 1975 and i used to go to mecca in my lunch-hour with denise casey and dance the hour away, then leg it back to work! fantastic days

Date:
05-Feb-2011

Email:
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Name:
Bernadette Smith/Mcnamara

Comment:
Re Christine Tomlinson comment! Hello! You do not know me but when I read your last comment saying that you used to work at Marks & Spencers circa 1968-1975, did you know a Susan Hector, who later became Susan Thompson? She is a cousin of mine and she worked as manageress at M&S somewhere in this time frame, certainly in the 70's as then I started working in Leeds and sometimes I would go in on my lunch hour to see her (if she was free). She had her first child in 1974. In one of my previous comments on this page, I am sure that her and her sister Diane used to go the Mecca! Sadly, I have lost contact with all of them as I have lived in different places over the years. I always remember her wearing Miners make up when she used to get ready to go out and wearing the mascara that was in a block and you rubbed the brush over it and if it had dried up, she used to spit on it!! Happy days!

Date:
23-Feb-2011

Email:
bernz.leeds209@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Linda Teasdale

Comment:
Hi, Well what a fab surprise dropping onto this page.. My sister Dianne and I and our friends Jill, Jan, Linda, Diane, Maxine,Julie,Micky,Butch,Pat ,were avid Saturday morning Spinning Disc fans, all the wonderful music and superb Tamla Motown,,dancing,dancing,dancing,dancing on the ideal wooden floor to "The Harlem Shuffle" . My sister Dianne is 3 years younger than me and she was always the first in line to buy a red icy "Snowball" and if possible she would have two . My friend Linda and I won a "miming"competition" we did "Ball of Confusion" by The Temptations,,,it was fab getting up on the stage and our little crowd cheering for us.. We met new friends from Pudsey Paul and Harvey.Our friend Micky used to draw a crowd when he performed the "mocking-splits" on the dance floor. I loved every second of my time spent in there,, it was with a heavy heart when the last record was played and we had to leave into the harsh daylight outside,,,looking forward to our next visit the following Saturday and talking about it all the way home to Rothwell ,.

Date:
03-Mar-2011

Email:
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Name:
christine tomlinson

Comment:
sorry bernadette,but i do not remember your cousin, i worked mainly in the food department, the boss was called aubrey green. the manager of the food was mr bailey. ps. i love the record bernadette!!!

Date:
15-Mar-2011

Email:
chris@chrissyt.plus.com

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Name:
Bernadette Smith/Mcnamara

Comment:
Hi Christine, Thank you for your comment! I think my cousin may have worked more in the clothing dept at M&S, but not to worry! I too loved the song 'Bernadette'.....it has folllowed me around for years! I used to have it on a old 45 and even when it was broken at the edge, I still played it! As I have mentioned in one of my comments, I was just a bit too young to enjoy this faboulous place in its hey days! I would have loved to have gone here in my lunch hour and danced. I used to work at the gas board on New York Road in the mid seventies, so it was not all that far away!! Someone out there should really do a film about this venue covering the eras that it was popular in! There has been a film made about Northern Soul/Wigan Casino set in 1974,(Soul Boy), so to re create the old Mecca through the years, it's people,fashion, and the music would be fantastic, and from all those memories they could recreate what it was like inside and certainly from this photo, recreate the outside in all its glory! Are there any local film makers out there??!! There must be!! I for sure would love to be an extra! And...can you imagine the soundtrack!!?? Bring it on!

Date:
28-Mar-2011

Email:
bernz.leeds209@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Phil Beadnell

Comment:
What memories !!! In 1965 I was 16, old enough to get my drivers license for my scooter, and from that point on I would zip down to the Old Mecca at lunchtime to hang out, get my Motown fix, my 6p bag of chips, then hightail back to school. I still have my Keyhole Club member card, although I cant have been 18 when I got it of course. Eventually I found the Bee Gee club and the Central and every night we would start out at the Bee Gee then race around on our scooters to the Old Mecca. All the bikes lined up at the end of the arcade, all chrome and mirrors. And all the cute mod girls with their short hair and leather coats looking for a lift home. Anyone remember the barbers near the infirmary? It was owned by two young guys, it was a great place... they played Motown while they worked, and it was the place to go for a mod haircut. Girls too, at a time when no one had invented Unisex! They would send customers out to get a tea bag from the shop down the street to make tea!. Getting a haircut always took forever because everyone was hanging out. They even had worked up their own 'hip' code language - I never did figure it out!

Date:
25-Apr-2011

Email:
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Name:
Eleanor M

Comment:
What a belter of comments. I snook out of the house on a Saturday morning to go dancing at the Old Mecca whilst my mum was sleeping after working nights at "Little Sisters of the Poor" as a Care Worker with Jimmy Savilles mum. I had to hide my tarten cloth,patent tipped stiletto heeled shoes about my person before sneaking back into the house because mum didn't know I had them. I was about 15 at the time 1966.I loved every minute there, the only thing was everyone was white except me I'm mixed race so all my friends got asked if they wanted to dance and I would be left on my own, but I loved the music and people watching. Anyone remember a very thin, tall leggy mixed race female around that time?

Date:
06-May-2011

Email:
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Name:
Michael Kirby

Comment:
To answer Phils comment. The hairdressers he refers to was called Character Hairdressing. It was owned I think by a guy called Derek Barnett, his co-worker was called Kevin also known as 'Daz'. Daz had worked at Harolds Hairdressing prior to going to George Street. The shop eventually moved to one of the arcades, not sure which one, but it had a balcony with shops. I had a couple of emails from Daz in the last year. He lives in the states, as does Derek, I think. As Phil says it was always a laugh in the barbershop. Weren't we smart and cool, not like the baggy arsed crew that exist today. I also have loads of happy memories of the old Mecca, lunchtimes when at the Tech College, plus Mondays. I remember the BeeGee, which used to be the Blue Gardenia, and before that the Tropicana, there was a steamy celler there, where great blues bands featured, I remember Victor Brox Blues Train, great. The other main mod hang out was La Concadora cafe bar in (Lower?) Basinghall Street. Three Coins. Then there was the Peel, with Blues and Jazz. Gotta stop now, I'm getting all misty eyed.

Date:
06-May-2011

Email:
mike@bookcraft.co.uk

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Name:
Stuart Marvin

Comment:
Hi there, i was a regular punter at the disc who ended up working there. In April 67 a few of us 'Mods' who regularly went to The B G Club,just off Vicar Lane,The Wheel and Mojo went to work in Jersey, myself and Rick Vaughan amongst others, i returned to Leeds in 69 and started work at the Disc initially as a d.j. in the Keyhole before moving into managment with the company. I moved on to Wakefield Tiffany's when the Disc closed but eventually the pull of a life beside the seaside saw me return to Jersey in 72. I then worked for British Midland as a seasonal worker and spent the European winters travelling, all the usuall suspects, India, Nepal, Thailand ect: I continued this lifestyle untill six years ago when i moved to Cambodia (Siem Reap) where i do some soccer coaching. Rick Vaughan moved to Thailand during the same period and worked as a dj on a local radio station untill retiring. He now lives in Pattaya with his Thai wife. For Pete Brent: sad to say the piles of memorobilia i'd kept for years were left in a garage in Jersey where they possibly still sit, no doubt rottin away. Did you ever get the book out?

Date:
19-May-2011

Email:
lo_swa@yahoo.com

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Name:
Pete Brent

Comment:
In reply to Phil Beadnell and Michael Kirkby.I remember Derek "Tamala" Barnett and Daz being on George Street,Incidentally,the same street I started the New Marquee.The place they moved to was on the first floor balcony of Queens Arcade.Not far from where Hunter Smith set up the first Jumbo Records shop.Hunter and I managed The Amazing Friendly Apple,the band formed from members of The Dawnbreakers.Both legendary Leeds bands.The strange "hip" language Derek and Co. used was a mixture of patois a Jamacian slang."Yo Mon""Ras Clyde" come to mind.I think,according to a recent email from an Old Mecca hand in Cambodia,that they both now live in The States. My old mate Rick Vaughan (and fellow DJ at The Old Mecca)went on to DJ at the New Mecca in The Merrion Centre (traitor or what?)and we met up from time to time when he joined EMI Records as a sales Rep.In fact,I was with Rick at a London hotel,when we bumped into Jimi Hendrix,the night before he was found dead !!The story of Leeds in the sixties and seventies will surely one day be told.Feel free to contact me.Happy Days.Pete Brent

Date:
25-May-2011

Email:
brentgoodman@btinternet.com

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Name:
peter Jackson australia

Comment:
Looking at your comments I am beginning to feel my years, I used to go to the Mecca on a friday and saturday nights,during the 57 and 58's the club upstairs was called The Arcadia, I know cos being of limited intelligence I pronounced it The Arseadia, not for long tho,the joining fee was two shillings and sixpence, membership lasted one year, it entitled you to buy drinks and keep on dancing, it was a place to meet the girls, if you could move let alone dance it was the place to be,I couldng dance a proper step but I could manage to do The Mecca Crawl, no need to describe it here,the other place to meet girls was the Majestic Ballroom, or The 101 in Kirkgate, Mark Altmans was another popular place they even gave dance lessons free.Hepworths Tailors on York Road, some where around The Shaftsebury Cinema was another Saturday night venue, the resident band was led by Charles Marcus,and of course who can forget The Barnbow Ordanance Factory dance on a saturday night,all the venues listed had live bands playing with their resident singers, no D.J.'s playing their records, so many happy memories of happy times so long ago, where have all the flowers gone!?

Date:
12-Jun-2011

Email:
ciaopj@optusnet.com.au

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Name:
Lesley

Comment:
What memories. All those old familiar names - Stu Marvyn, Pete Brent, Rick Vaughan. Do any of you remember some other DJ's there - Jimmy Franklyn and Mick Sheard?? As an ex-employee of the Spinning Disc, I have several old group photos of the staff when we won various cups and trophies. If any of you would like to email me, I would be happy to send copies to you. I know Pete Brent is definitely on one of them and lots of other very familiar faces too.

Date:
01-Jul-2011

Email:
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Name:
Trevor Simmons

Comment:
Perahps some of you can help me here, as I'm trying to locate "Any" info on a band my uncle was in, called The Kotinas. I can only find info on The Cortinas, not the right band. My mum sent me band photos of them at the M.E.C.A.A Command Performance in 1966, but I'm not even sure if this is the right location or not. Does anyone have information on either the band or where this concert would have been located, I would be eternally grateful. You can email me if you have information please :) Regards

Date:
26-Jul-2011

Email:
pwemb@cogeco.ca

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Name:
Robin Murray

Comment:
I remember going to the Mecca in the early sixties on lunchtimes and on monday and thursday nights I was in a group in the early sixties The Comancheros.the singer was Pete Waddington later to sing with The Dawnbreakers and Amazing Friendly Apple. I remember Jimmy Savile standing outside with his tarten hair and long winkle pickers.Happy days

Date:
05-Aug-2011

Email:
robinmurray1@talktalk.net

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Name:
Manoli

Comment:
I am try to find out information on a Greek Cypriot Named Savva Manoli, he was my uncle who I never got to meet? he came to England in 1955 and settled in Blackpool worked as a Chef or Head Chef in the Mecca, and actually passed away in the Mecca in Oct 1971. He Lived at 343 central drive, I don't know if he lived with a lady or was in a relationship? or lived in lodgings. of a heart attack, I would love to get a photo of him but more so speak to some one who may have known him. this is my last avenue I'm trying as I've really hit a brick wall. so if you know any staff especially who worked in the Kitchens, they may be able to help me. I will look forward to your reply, George Manoli

Date:
15-Aug-2011

Email:
georgemanoli@aol.com

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Name:
keith nicholson

Comment:
Re Trevor simpson's letter. You are confusing the MECCA with the MECAA. The latter stood for Manchester Entertainment AND CONCERT ARTISTES ASSOCIATION. I went to one of their Meetings (my memory is failing) at I believe ABBEY HEY CLUB in Manchester. Regarding the old Mecca in Leeds I remember Jimmy Sav being the asst Manager with platinum blond hair and then tartan hair to match his trartan jacket. Not sure which colour of his hair camne first - blonde or tartan. Yes Sandra Strevens as at the Mecca singing with a band called (I think) Jasons Flock formed by I think Stuart Jason. Another regular singer there was Johnny Breslin. Richard Bryan I knew well as he frequented Jim Windsors Club in Leeds and yes he got his suit and music stolen. Ross McManus sang with Joe Loss Band for years and last time I saw Ross Mcmanus was at Main Line Club - long while before his son Elvis Costello made it!! There were many good acts in Leeds at that time like the Johnson Bros (Terry and Jeff) and the Peter Hurley Trio.

Date:
17-Aug-2011

Email:
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Name:
anne oldham then anne carroll

Comment:
good memories spent most of my time dancing the night away loved it.does anyone remember the allnight dances at christmas,in the early 60s

Date:
04-Sep-2011

Email:
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Name:
brian hall

Comment:
the dance hall that peter jackson refers to near the shaftesbury was the starlight roof it was part ot the heptons clothing factory i started work there in 1955 and the dance hall was used as the factory canteen charlie marcus did play there as did the johnnie adlestone band the shaftesbury cinema ran a singing contest the first prize was a singing contract with johnnie at the starlight i was present at the finals the winner was ronnie hilton who sang the song \with these hands/

Date:
09-Sep-2011

Email:
brian374hall@btinternet.com

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Name:
anne carroll

Comment:
would love to get in touch with vera wright and denise myers my old work mates from soapy joes whitehall rd leedand allso my best mates from our dancing days at the mecca in the early 60s

Date:
10-Sep-2011

Email:
anne.oldham3@facebook.com

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Name:
Steve Carroll

Comment:
Brings back memories of weekend tea dances at the Spinning Disc in the late 60's as a young teenager.

Date:
01-Oct-2011

Email:
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Name:
Peter Lyon

Comment:
Regarding Peter jackson Australia's comment, The band at the Barnbow Canteen Saturday night dances was called Jack Mann and his Men. They were far and away the best band in Leeds and probably the north of England. I was a patron of the Mecca from 14 years of age and never saw a better band there than Jack Mann.

Date:
15-Oct-2011

Email:
Peterlyon@rogers.com

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Michael Kirby's comment made me smile. The guy he thinks was the owner of 'Character Hairdressing' he names as Derek Barnett. My generation knew a "barnet" to be hair. When I was young my father would say, "It's about time you had your barnet cut." Was Barnett, Derek's real name I wonder. Or was it a play on words so to speak, in order to promote the fact that he was a 'Tonsorial Artist'. Does anyone remember 'Tomlinson's Tonsorial Emporium' on Meadow Lane?

Date:
17-Oct-2011

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi Peter Lyon, Jack Mann and his band were also the resident band at the Capitol Ballroom, at Meanwood, during the 1960"s and 1970's, before it became the Cat's Whiskers. He lived in Scott Hall Avenue. Ian

Date:
17-Oct-2011

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Michael Kirby

Comment:
To answer Graham Schofields question. I'm fairly sure Barnett was Dereks real name. Before Character, he worked in Lewis's.

Date:
26-Oct-2011

Email:
mike@bookcraft.co.uk

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Name:
Chris Watkins

Comment:
I too remember many happy hours dancing away at the Mecca, initially as a youngster on a Saturday morning when Telstar always seemed to be blasting out when we were queueing up,then at lunch times when we escaped from school (Thoresby High School) and practically most evenings when we had left school.Although I remember the late Jimmy Savile I have no recollection of others mentioned by other contributors - I have found reading other comments fascinating and a good memory jogger ! thank you

Date:
07-Nov-2011

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Barry Fitzhugh

Comment:
What gems of nostalgia these comments of the old Leeds Mecca are.Most Saturday nights my mates Chris, Des,Jeff and I would go to the Mecca via Whitelocks and either dance,go upstairs to the Tudor Club or just listen to the music posing outrageously in our sharp suits and winklepickers.I also went on a lunchtime when working at the Yorkshire Evening News as an office boy which was quite near on Trinity Street,what value for a "tanner" that was(the Mecca that is).Does any other bloke remember the embarrasment though of along with a mate making towards a pair of right lookers dancing round their bags,and usually in the middle of the floor,only to get a knockback and then have to return to the rest of your mates and face a barrage of unsympathetic abuse and derision? Joyous days.The Xmas and New Years dances were always packed to the rafters too and everyone seemed to have a great time maybe because everyone seemed to know each other even though hundreds would have gone there,very rarely did you see trouble but maybe this was down to the size of Tony and the rest of the bouncers!In conclusion I think that between 1961 to 1967 were the happiest days of my life and in no short measure due to the Old Leeds Mecca.

Date:
07-Nov-2011

Email:
b.fitzhugh39@btinternet.com

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Name:
Jenny Hughes

Comment:
I have spent a very happy half hour reading these comments. I was a fully paid up member of the Leeds scene in the early 60's and all these places have sooooo many happy memories. The old Mecca being the centre of it all. I too went up the road to the New Mecca...not a patch!! Spent quite good times in the Bali Hai and Fonograph. Not mentioned here was the club up Harehills Lane. Was it Hernandos?? Bit later in the 60's tho. Yes I was a member of the Tudor club and it was really cool to dance and stand in the Handbags corner. I remember the footballers. In fact I remember it all. No mobile phones, internet etc. Just a brill time. I remember going for my first chinese meal on North Street. What an experience!! I even remember what I ate nearly 50 years ago. Sweet and sour chicken. We used to sneak in Yates and have a couple of glasses of extrem plonk to start the night..

Date:
10-Nov-2011

Email:
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Name:
Geoff Procter

Comment:
"Amen" danced with Jimmy James and the Vagabonds on the Mecca stage when I was 17 can anyone remember the name of the Mod Club with cellar downstairs that played all mod music.Sometimes they had live acts,I saw Long John Baldry,and Steam Packet there. Also used to make the trip to Twisted Wheel Manchester on Saturays,I used to be hairdreser.Round hay Park,what memories,have lived in Vancouver Canada for last 40 years love to hear from anyone who was in the mix this time

Date:
27-Nov-2011

Email:
procter@abibeauty.com

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Name:
Michael Kirby

Comment:
Geoff Proctor may be talking about the Tropicana, which was in a side street off of Boar Lane, possibly White Horse Street. The Tropicana had a downstairs 'club' where such bands as Geoff mentions played, I remember the Victor Brox Blues Train playing there. It was very hot and sweaty. The Tropicana became the Blue Gardenia, which was shortened to the Bee Gee. There were other places, but can't remember their names. The Tropicana was the first, and only place, that I have had a discussion with what now would be called a 'rent boy'. It was a bit seedy, but I suppose that added to its attraction. The music was great!

Date:
01-Dec-2011

Email:
mike@bookcraft.co.uk

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Name:
Dave Bolam

Comment:
What memories I have, don't often go into town these days,however a couple of years ago went inside some close shop or other where it used to be,just to look around. The youg girl running the shop thought I was mad!!! I remeber like most others the Tudor club which was more like a kiddies club no one was 18.

Date:
06-Dec-2011

Email:
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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Michæl Kirby mentions 'La Concadora Cafe Bar' which thinks was in Lower Basinghall Street. I remember that somewhere in the mid to late 1950's there was a coffee bar there, just a few doors up from Boar Lane. It was called 'The Del Rio'. Back then, all things Italian were the "IN THING" and 'The Del Rio' was one of THE places to go. The place was run by a guy ( I think he was Italian) and a most stunningly beautiful young woman. It was understood that she was his girlfriend, so as far as we were concerned, she was 'out of bounds'. Isn't life a bitch. Does anyone remember The Del Rio? I wonder if it became La Concadora in later years.

Date:
13-Dec-2011

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
Paul Wood

Comment:
Geoff Procter and Dave Bolam : weren't you both fellow inmates of mine at Brownhill Boys school in the late 50's to early 60's ? Geoff,I too have been in Canada for four decades. Tried to contact you but your email address was unresponsive.

Date:
14-Dec-2011

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Coffee Grinder

Comment:
The Del Rio was in Lower Basinghall Street but should not be confused with La Conca D'Oro, or was it Le Conca D'Ora - the Conc, a mod hangout during the mid and late sixties - which was on the left hand side on the way up Upper Mill Hill.

Date:
14-Dec-2011

Email:
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Name:
Michael Kirby

Comment:
Graham you are right about La Concadora, being in Lower Basinghall Street. I do remember the Del Rio, which was in the next street along, before you got to City Square, behind the big church. From memory you had to go downstairs to the cafe, and there was always a sharp dressed bouncer on duty. Me and my mates would sometimes be allowed in when we would have been 16 or 17, but my impression was that most of the clientele were older than round the corner in the 'Conch'. Wasn't the Three Coins night club close by?

Date:
14-Dec-2011

Email:
mike@bookcraft.co.uk

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Name:
PETE BRENT

Comment:
It is now some 45 years since the heyday of our youth.I have really appreciated all of your comments and memories.Thanks to all of you for posting them and your contact with me.I promise to catch up on all your messages in the New Year. Meantime,I wish you all,a very Happy New Year. God bless and Thanks Amen (The Impressions) P.S.We were there long before Northern Soul

Date:
27-Dec-2011

Email:
brentgoodman@btinternet.com

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Name:
Tony Marshall

Comment:
Wow, this is an amazing list of memories and people from the "Golden Era" of music and dance and I am forever grateful that I was a part of it, this launched both my career and my life. I started here as a DJ in 1963 and in 1967 became a Trainee Manager, eventually becoming the company Managing Director in 1987, I owe so much to this wonderful old venue and its people, both customers and staff. I also developed and opened the Majestyk and Oceana in the Merrion Centre, the later giving me a trip down memory lane as the major part of the building is the Locarno and both Walt Thomas and I were the resident Dj's when it opened. Oh, I could go on forever as I have so many stories about the Old Mecca and the Spinning Disc and I was involved until it closed down, great to see that Pete "Tamala" Brent is on this site and involved, Hi there Pete. Without a doubt this was the most memorable years of my life.

Date:
29-Dec-2011

Email:
tonymarshall155@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Susan Tomlinson now Verb

Comment:
My life revolved round the Mecca,started going on Saturday afternoon when i was 15,then as i got a bit older used to go on an evening,loved every second,I remember Pete Brent but mainly remember Tony Marshall,he could jive like no one else and were still in touch after all these years,it broke my heart when it closed down and i could never go into the shop it became,lovely memories.

Date:
11-Jan-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
J. Tebbs

Comment:
I can remember in the early 1950's, "Teddy Boys" congregating around this area on a Saturday dinner time.

Date:
23-Jan-2012

Email:
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Name:
Heather Bogg

Comment:
We used to race up to the spinning disc at dinnertime dance for about 40 mins and then go back to E.J Arnolds where i worked i remember seeing Sam and Dave there they were fantastic it must have been when they were doing the tour of Britaian that didnt go so well .Me and my friend Marie spent a lot of time there rnolds where i worked.

Date:
25-Jan-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Christina Pippard(nee Appleyard)

Comment:
What wonderful memories you all have - I too have such memories of the Old Mecca approx 1962 - 1967) - I remember winning a "twisting" competition(sponsored by a well-known hair products co.). Jimmy Saville was the DJ - in my tight shift dress - so tight in fact that when Jimmy called me and the lad (someone who had asked me to dance)onto the stage - I had to be lifted on. I remember too the ladies "powder room" - with all those wonderful mirrors; the aroma of hair-lacquer & make-up and all the excitement and giggling conversations about who a girl had met and if he would be walking her to the bus stop etc. Myself and friends called Maria Craven & Linda Hindmarsh (sadly Linda died of cancer many years ago) had such memorable and innocent fun in the old Mecca (and without the need of alcohol) I would love to hear from Maria (her surname is now Foster or Forster. One night we missed the No 32 bus to Bramley and had to walk all the way home - but in the 60's you didn't have to worry about late-night muggings. I remember the night that I won the twisting competition, the charismatic Jimmy Saville had had his hair coloured "Black-Watch" tartan. Does anyone remember going to the Star & Garter Jazz Club at Kirkstall on Friday evenings - they served shandy's in jam jars - I remember doing the "stomp". Another great memory of my teenage years whilst living in Leeds was the All Night (Friday night through to Saturday morning) Dances at Leeds City Tram Sheds - The Beatles -in the flesh plus so many more well-known bands......So many wonderful memories....I am so thrilled that my teenage years were in the "swinging 60's - if anyone remembers me or Maria Craven (Foster) would love to hear from you

Date:
21-Apr-2012

Email:
jlpdsp002@btinternet.com

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Name:
Dave Green

Comment:
What great times was add at the Spinning Disc Do you remember Wilf Preen Manager Sadly he as passed on,i remember him for his kindness to the punters if you had no entrance fee he would let you in, and you pay him back next time you went in Great chap.All so DJ,S Brian Walker,Dave Green, Walter Thomas,and Bill Barons combo they played on a Saturday night and a Wednesday night. sir jimmy Seville was always in and out at times when Jimmy was manager there he Told how to be a good DJ and putting records by beats to the minutes from slow records at smooch time and out faster dance music.And he would not let you speak on the mike till you new how to do it

Date:
20-May-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Terrance Watson.

Comment:
I wish to clarify a piont made by Peter Moore re Gary Dent. Gary Dent the club singer, is birth name being George Witton, the hotels that he was the landlord of was the other way round. Killinghall first and The Bridge at Kirkstall second. was nice to see that someone rembered him for his singing. He was my cousin, and passed away some four years ago.

Date:
21-Jun-2012

Email:
tellwatson@talktalk.net

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Name:
Ray Neath

Comment:
The old MECCA. Wonderful times from 1961 until it closed. It did have a bar upstairs which youhad to join this was called the tudor club. Steve Wood and myself had many happy times there as did my wife, nee Ann Kaye, and myself. A shame it closed. However the "New Mecca" in the Merion Center was also good but did not have the same atmosphere.

Date:
19-Jul-2012

Email:
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Name:
Barry Ryan

Comment:
I remember when I was 15, I went there with my twin brother and some mates and every Saturday I saw this girl who I later found out was called Julie. Love at first sight... After three weeks of looking at her I finally got up the bottle to ask her to dance and remember ALL my mates were watching. I imagined she had the voice of Audrey Hepburn, she certainly looked like her, I'll never forget her reply as long as I live: ME: err. excuse me...err..would you like to dance? HER: (in the strongest Seacroft accent I'd ever heard) You'll 'ave to ask mi mate,' I'm sweatin"

Date:
13-Aug-2012

Email:
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Name:
PETE BRENT

Comment:
Great to see Barry Ryan on the Leodis site.Very significent as I believe his Mum regularly sang at the "Old Mecca" in her early career.I never met her but she was rumoured to be a lovely lady and went on to greater things as did her sons Paul and Barry.I don't know if you remember Barry, but in the mid sixties,I knocked about with you and Paul together with brothers Colin and Dennis Wilson and another friend of yours.I think his name may have been Trevor.I still have somewhere a small photo of the lot of us trying to get into a photobooth at the New Mecca.Happy Days.Would love to hear from you.Pete Brent.

Date:
16-Aug-2012

Email:
brentgoodman@btinternet.com

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Name:
Tom Howley

Comment:
My mother would not allow me to dance at the Mecca. She remembered that American and Canadian soldiers and airmen frequented the hall during the war. However, of course, I did go, week after week in the early 1950s. The resident band was Harry Gray and His Band of the Day, with Ross McManus the featured singer and trumpet player. His most popular song was 'Ruby.' Ross left to play with Joe Loss and is the father of Elvis Costello. I preferred the attic room of the Mecca, where the Tommy Allen Trio played bebop. Some of the West Indian community also preferred to dance to the trio, including a particularly energetic performer who died under mysterious circumstances in Leeds city centre. I also listened to the music of Jack Mann at Barnbow Social Club when the talented musicians played Stan Kenton's Intermission Riff and Gene Krupa's Lemon Drop. Exciting times for a teenager.

Date:
22-Aug-2012

Email:
tom.mau@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Tom Howley

Comment:
I was called for National Service with the Royal Aor Force in 1952 and after 'square bashing' was posted to RAF Topcliffe. I celebrated my first Friday night on the camp with a visit to the NAAFI dance and along with about 500 other optimistic young airmen tried to find a partner from the 50 young women bused in from Thirsk and surrounding areas. The 'belle of the ball' was a beautiful 18 year old, who condescended to dance with me. I told her that I was from Leeds and he asked of I went to the Mecca. Learning that I was a regular, she insisted on partnering me for the whole of the evening, asking for details of a famous dance hall that she had only heard about. She told me that she could not believe that she was dancing with someone who frequented the Leeds Mecca

Date:
22-Aug-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Tom Howley

Comment:
The canteen of Hepton's Clothiers in York Road became The Starlight Roof on Saturday nights. Brian Hall is right, the house band was Johnnie Addlestone with Ronnie Hilton resident singer. The Starlight Roof opened for dancing the early 50s and the first night featured the Vic Lewis band which played the music of Stan Kenton. I recall the senior managers of the Hepton company, dressed in dinner jackets for the occasion, putting hands over their ears when the Lewis brass section gave a creditable rendering of Peanut Vendor. The Johnny Dankworth Seven also appeared with Cleo Laine, and a popular group was Harry Gold and his Pieces of Eight which featured the Tomasso brothers Freddie and Ernie.

Date:
01-Sep-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Sue Appleyard

Comment:
Thanks for reviving happy memories of the 'old' Mecca, what great times we had there.Also for reminding me of long forgotten DJ's and bouncers. Re Derek Barnett and Daz of Character Hairdressing. the language they spoke was called Grifel and it was invented by my ex husband. Bob Clark. It was a combination of Esperanto and other languages and Derek really latched on to it. We used to call in to his salon (a haircut took forever as it was like a social club) on a Saturday in the early 70's and he and Bob, and anyone else who was in on it, would have conversations in this strange language. Bob gave everyone who learnt it their own Grifel name although can't remember any of them now although I'm sure Bob would.

Date:
03-Sep-2012

Email:
badgergate@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Katherine Mays

Comment:
What a wonderful site. Brings back so many memories. I started going to the "Old Mecca" on a Saturday morning when I was about 13 or 14 and as the years went on progressed to the lunchtimes and evenings. I can remember during college days skipping games and making a beeline for the Mecca with my mates to dance the lunchtime away. I can't remember when it became The Spinning Disc but I think the manager at the time I frequented was Brian Hall and Mick Sheard was the DJ upstairs in the Keyhole Club. I think I remember the doorway being very dark and shaped like a keyhole. I still have my card although I wasn't old enough when it was first issued. Rum and black was the drink to have which made me feel very grown up. Oh! Tamla Motown and the Mecca, the best years on my life.

Date:
03-Sep-2012

Email:
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Name:
Mags

Comment:
During the late 1950's and early 60's I used to go past the Mecca sometimes and always wondered what it was like inside, because I was absolutely forbidden to go there but I never found out why...? One of the girls I worked with at Lloyds Bank in Vicar Lane used to go there during her lunch break, and she loved it.

Date:
08-Sep-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Bernadette Smith

Comment:
For BARRY RYAN! My mum once told me that she knew your mum and that you used to live on Cockshott Lane just off Stanningley Road, Bramley?? Would this be correct? I guess a lot of people knew your mum!! My mum's name was Jean Hector until she married and then it became McNamara. She was originally from Holbeck then moved to Armley and lived at the Armley Conservative Club with my grandparents until she married in 1949. I grew up in the 60's and have very fond memories of this era...the music, fashions and how I wanted so much to be like my older cousins who frequented places like this (I was born to late)!! Thank you for YOUR music! I would go back to the 60's in a heartbeat!

Date:
21-Sep-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Michael Gledhill

Comment:
I certainly remember seeing The Nice at the Old Mecca.Seems so long ago but does anyone else recall seeing Elton John perform there.If so when would it have been?

Date:
25-Sep-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Stuart Kamasz

Comment:
Great picture that brings back happy memories in the sixties and the Motown classics. Visited the arcade in 2005 and took a picture , it was a high end menswer shop then, the architecture was still noticeable. Remember too wagging down fro St Michaels for the lunch time sessions. Michael Gledhill, if you see this post email me please, be nice to talk to you again. Brilliant times i had there.

Date:
08-Oct-2012

Email:
stuartk@iprimus.com.au

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Name:
Stuart Kamasz

Comment:
Just noticed some of the comments. Remember Pete Brent the dj, Paul Cooke played in the same football team as me. I worked at Alexandre the tailors in West Park, Leeds so got first choice on the reject suits, 17 inch vents, ticket pockets ets as Cookey mentioned. The best night was the all nighter, if i remember it started xmas night or boxing day night at midnight throught til 6.00am. Brilliant to read all the comments and quite emotional reminder of those days.I am down under now in Perth followed my soccer career. Email me if you remember me.. Can anyone remember who the doorman was mid sixties, nice guy, alays good fun on the door.Remember the keyhole club upstairs, half pint of double diamond please. We weren't 18 but we managed to get in. Had some good snogs on the balcony level, they had some alcove seats to snuggle up in....

Date:
08-Oct-2012

Email:
stuartk@iprimus.com.au

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Name:
Roy Bowen

Comment:
I still have my yellow membership card from the members only club upstairs but I am pretty sure it was called La Discotheque. There used to be a guy who used to jive regularly with TWO GIRLS AT THE SAME TIME, this seemed so deliciously outrageous to me as I couldn't even manage to find one girl to dance with. If you saw my photo on the Club membership card you would know why. It became a lifelong ambition to do the same but it took me another 30 years to realise the dream

Date:
09-Oct-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Sandy Fowler as was

Comment:
I must be getting slow in my old age as I noticed this post has been going on for three years now and I just found it laugh. Did it all, got the T shirt as they say. I was lucky to be old enough to go to the Mecca from 1963 to 1967 when I went abroad to work. Loved the atmosphere, the music, the safety and the fact you might meet a great guy to go out with. I still have my pass to go upstairs and it did change its name whilst I had it. Found it in the cupboard a few months ago and it is still nearly yellow. Mention of some of the things I could answer. It was the Three Coins where Elton John was one night. He was with Long John Baldrey and a young lad called Rod Stewart. Cant believe they went in that sweaty cellar. You used to be wet through from all the condensation dripping off the ceiling. I remember meeting a great guy one night who was with the group called Mickey Finn and the Blue Finns. He was helping out with the equipment. He said his name was Marc with a C not a K. Took me and my sister and friend to the tomato dip on Kirkstall Road after the gig. They bought the fry up. Little did I know it was Marc Bolan. He was lovely and said he would like to keep in touch but he never phoned. I remember seeing Paul and Barry Ryan when I lived in Armley. Marion sometimes walked up with them from Kirkstall Road, up Canal Road where I lived. It was unusual to see such good looking twins. One of my fav groups from Leeds was also the Dawnbreakers and I used to work with Rod Brooks sister so saw them a few times thanks to her. Used to be a great bopper and remember dancing with someone good near the front of the stage. Cant remember names alot now from that time. Used to work at Crabtrees down Water Lane so nice to see that was mentioned in the million posts I have just read laugh. Great times with so much dancing. All the clubs had their own buzz. As mentioned we had our own dance at the Mecca so nice to see it marked us out. Worked in Park Square and would run up the Headrow for the lunchtime session to dance but also to goggle at the Leeds United Players. They earned £100 a week in the 60's which was a fortune compared to my office typing job. Sandy Stevens was also a shorthand typist as well as a singer. She also sang with the Joe Loss Band like Ross MacManus. She also lived in the block of flats as mentioned. Well its great to see everyone on here enjoying the good times of the Mecca and other dance halls. Cant remember drinking much in those days to enjoy myself. Loved my white lipstick, my diagonal hair does, stillettos. How did we walk home after missing the last bus and been dancing all night. Those were the days. Bless them

Date:
20-Oct-2012

Email:
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Name:
Mavis Miller (Gledhill)

Comment:
I just discovered the site and what memories! I did the lunchtime dances, checked out the Leeds United players and, along with the parrot, watched as they dangled Walt Thomas from the balconey one day. I also worked the cloakroom and handbag check and still dance Mecca style after all this time. I emigrated to the US 40+ years ago, but still have great memories of good times at the old Mecca.

Date:
30-Oct-2012

Email:
maximiller@gmail.com

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Name:
Janet Clamp nee Manuel

Comment:
What a great way to relive my teenage years.This Leodis site took me back in time. I too spent many an hour in the late fifties,early sixties dancing at the Mecca from the age of fifteen.Met my husband there, up in the Tudor Bar.I also can remember seeing Marian Ryan. Can anyone remember the revolving stage, or have I drempt that? Was facinated with Jimmy Savile and his hair,I think he had it done at Muriel Smiths. How times have changed!

Date:
06-Nov-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Claudia Procter (nee Wilson)

Comment:
In the late Fifties, during my mid teen's, I was working at Heatons Tailoring, me & my workmates went to the Mecca (spinning disc) every lunchtime, Jiving away the lunch hour, J Saville was alway's there with a different colored hairdo, we then had to race back to work, alway's having our sandwiches stood at our machines while we worked, we we're covered in sweat, Norman our foreman knew where we'd been, but never said anything because he knew we'd get the work done, we we're young & had a great time in the Mecca.

Date:
07-Dec-2012

Email:
daveclaudiaprocter@hotmail.com

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Name:
Susan franks was crook

Comment:
Age 12 crypt youth club wetherby. Age 13 Boston spa youth club. Age 14 coffee house tadcaster. Then zarf club York and boulevard tadcaster.saw victor brox, Brian auger trinity &julie Driscoll. Long John baldry&steam packet, Jimmy James, gino Washington and many more.A short period at Harrogate clubs.Age 15 1964 became an apprentice hair dresser with Geof Proctor, who sent in a message in nov 2011, to this site. And Barbara Hawksworth, who is still one of my best friends. The salon was in Rounday. I and my other two friends were from Wetherby. They were Yvonne Tyers and Lorraine Fox,a short tubby girl who new every one at the Bee Gee and worked at the Midland Bankon city square.We briefly went to the Three coins, La-concadore and the Del-Rio. Then of corse the Old Mecca, Mon nights and the Bee Gee every other night we came in to Leeds from Wetherby, or Rounday from work. Mowtown, soul, long leather and suade coats.Cropped hair with grey silver powder finish. We were Mods.Harlem Shuffle, This old Heart Of Mine,Isley Brothers, Jimmy Mack, Amen.Jimmy Radcliffe .( long After Tonight is All Over).Alvin Cash (Twine Time) Boy from New York City. Artistics (I'm Gonna Miss You). Billy Preston ,Willie Mitchel, Sam the Sham,Wooly Bully.Fascinations (Girls are out to get you) Pubs of the time Scarborough Taps ,King Charles and yes Whitelocks.I was seeing (slim)Paul Franks from Farsley.Yvonne WAs with Mick Gallagher from Mortown.HER friend Mechelle Mathison was seeing Martin Bennett from Bramley .WE slowly moved on to The New Mecca,La -Phonograph,Intime Carolinas.Tried Hole In The Wall Bradford.Still regulars at the Boulavard Tadcaster, with being a Wetherby girl We also did around 6. Months age 16-17 going to King Mojo in Sheffiekld mostly.But a few visits also to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester.I remember going onThe Barnsley bus to Sheffield .We hitch-hyked to the Wheel tut-tut naughty naughty. Names from that time I remember. My X(just) Paul Franks (slim),Steve & Jan Trutch,Brother Les,Allen Dinsdale,Little Gary,Andy,Nicky (Alfonce Capone), Derrick Waddington,Paul Speight,Charlie,Mick Gallagher,Older Names Bernard and Elaine Fernell , Two Ginna,s One was Stewart Malvin who I remember going to Jersey, He went the same time as Christine Cubis Who is now happily married to my X I hope?Kalvin a col guy who was a sweet guy and a great dancer. Ken wetherall,Mick Sheard, daz,.Christine Cubises friends carol and Linda. Geof Proctor please reply your E-mail add does not work. Susanfranks439@btinternet.com. The times could be a little mixed up it is 47years ogo . I am 63 now x

Date:
09-Dec-2012

Email:
Susanfranks439@btinternet.com

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Name:
Anne Wilson

Comment:
What a great site!! although I was not allowed to go to the Mecca, I used to go with my friend. I went to Lawnswood High School and, at 14, we used to get Wed afternoons off so we would pop down on the bus to dance for a couple of hours before going home. Songs by Dusty Springfield - and Marvin Rainwater.... Memories! I remember wearing flared skirts which would fly up when we 'bopped', high heels and very very pale lipstick. A few years later I frequented the Piccadilly bar, which was in a back street behind the City of Varieties, and also the Slip Inn up York Road to listen to Terry Johnson. What happened to him? Remember the Del Rio very well and Hernandos at Harehills. In recent years the owner of Del Rio opened the Italian restaurant down by the station but it has closed now. I do remember the cages at the night club in the Merripn Centre and thought it was very glamorous to dance in there! I went to the new Mecca but it did not have the same atmosphere as the Locarno so only went a couple of times although I remember seeing quite a few Leeds Utd players in there when Leeds was at the top of their game. Where have the years gone? Seems like only yesterday....

Date:
19-Dec-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
jan nee fletcher/sonia fletchert

Comment:
Thank you for all the wonerful memeoies.My sister and i sonia and friends spent so many happy times at the mecca.We were in a dancing team,called The Ream Team(yes i know),anway we were described as ,ad lib mod dancing in fomation.Chris hoyle,henry,katie,janice spooner and adrian were all in the team,Tony Marshall and wilf Preen were our managers.We decided to give it up as one our dacners got hit on the head with a chair(nice).These were fun days,no drugs or violence(except when a chair hits you).Its good to know you all enjoyed the wonderful Mecca.ninastatman

Date:
24-Dec-2012

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Malcolm Moorin

Comment:
My son has just made me aware of this fantastic site which has brought back so many wonderful memories for me of afternoons and night spent at the Mecca circa 1963/1966. I first started going there with my friend Colin Speight and pals from where I worked which was R W Crabtree & Sons on Water Lane. I met my wife there and I remember taking her into the Tudor Club for a quick drink during the music breaks then back onto the the dance floor for smooch time (slow dance). Not only did the comments from others bring back such wonderful times but I also (through the site) have managed to catch up with an old school friend Pam Chapman or Lockwood as she was then and Peter Jackson who I worked with at Crabtree & Sons. I didn't realize that like me Peter was nicking up to Mecca in his dinner time and then dashing back to clock in. Like Pam I remember having to walk home to Beeston on a weekend after missing the last bus home. There was no way I was ever going to leave the Mecca while the music was playing or at least till I had to get my girlfriend on the last bus to Tinshill. So says the song "Those were the best days of my life".

Date:
09-Jan-2013

Email:
malcolm.moorin@bigpond.com

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Name:
Lavinia Foster was Lucciarini

Comment:
Oh for the lovely memories, i used to go to the Old Mecca when i was about 14 in 1963,I remember when they used to have live bands there. Some of the bands i saw was The Herd, Amen Corner,Marmalade, and many others too,there was a DJ called Brett Paul whom i went out with for a short while, and down where the cafe part of the Mecca was, there used to be a Parrott that swore on the left hand side of the 4 steps. My brother who is now a popular DJ himself name of Steve Luigi, used to go there when he was a Mod, and this was the making of him going into the Music Business, he used to own The Listening Booth in the Corn Exchange, and also Rax of Wax music shop.

Date:
01-Feb-2013

Email:
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Name:
Rover

Comment:
When I first left Armley Church Boys School in 1048 I went to work for Vickers gift store.He also had a store in the Grand Arcade.

Date:
19-Feb-2013

Email:
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Name:
Ann and Ed Thorpe

Comment:
Lynn Franks having read your blog mail there are names that I remember. We used to go to the Bee Gees, I went out with Mick Gallagher ( I think before your friend). Remember slim who went around with Satch & Chuck. We went to the Mojo in Sheffield on the bus from Leeds, change at Barnsley, I told my mum and dad I was staying with a friend overnight!!! Saw Ike & Tina Turner, Little Stevie Wonder and of course Gino Washington. I vaguely remember your name but would need to see a photograph better with faces. We go most years to a mid reunion, and still see Bernard and Elaine, also we saw Alan Dinsdale who is married to Anne . Sad news Mick Sheard died last year and there were a lot of familiar faces at his funeral. Good memories of that time we had great music, (thanks to Mick) and fond memories.

Date:
22-Feb-2013

Email:
thorpe.e1@ntlworld.com

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Name:
Alan

Comment:
Great memories. We used to park our scooters on the road at the spot where the photo was taken at the entrance to cross arcade. I remember joining the Keyhole Club upstairs in 1967 which was supposed to be for over 18's. Out of the four of us, Alan, Colin, Linda and Kathy only Linda was old enough. I still have my yellow membership booklet with photo and rules. Good times

Date:
28-Apr-2013

Email:
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Name:
neville sadio

Comment:
hi its great reading this i was only a kid when this place was up and running.The doormen were tony hardcastle, bob gillespie, lori baranni and my old man maurice sadio. I have not lived in leeds for a long time but love these memories

Date:
30-Apr-2013

Email:
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Name:
robo68.nr@gmail.com

Comment:
Does anyone have any knowledge memories or photos of the 101 club on New York Street please ?. My grand father used to play whist there from the 1940's onwards. Please email.

Date:
11-May-2013

Email:
robo68.nr@gmail.com

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Name:
Carol Haigh nee Hewson

Comment:
Used to go lunchtimes and Monday nights , met my late husband 1963 happy days. I am now with a new partner who was also there during those heady days and our ATMs never crossed. Boxing Day night they used to have an alright disco which in the sixties was very daring.Those were the days.

Date:
19-May-2013

Email:
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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you

Date:
19-May-2013

Email:
milholdas7@talktalk.net

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you

Date:
01-Jun-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Forgot to put my email address its milholdas@talktalk.net the last one was wrong thanks hope to hear from you soon regards Jean

Date:
05-Jun-2013

Email:

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Name:
Leon Parrish

Comment:
Old Mecca.what a place.rock n roll dj even the now disgraced jimmy savile started there.its also were the rest of my life began.i met Roy pepper who was to become one of my best mates.i was bopping with 2 girls I'd just met just a dance.up came Roy hey ur dancing with my mates bird and he's p--sed off he said ok then u take her which one is it .roy looked puzzled.dont know mate he said grabbed one of the girls and we rocked all nite.best mates ever since.lost touch with Roy but if eny one reads this tell him to get in touch ill never forget him.roy along with kieth hainsworth another best mate from Hunslet. We're with me when I met the girl who was to be my life's solemate.a real foggy Saturday .has usual we all would go into leeds city centre meet up with a few other guys and hit the pubs.starting in the central market.come 3 o'clock we headed to the old Mecca a couple of hours bopping( rock n rolling) we all headed to popes pie n peas stall in leeds market fill up with the best pie n peas in the world and has lads did in them days out to pubs and sank a gaiion (beer that is) then back to Mecca.only thing different it was a right pea souper fog so thick it stopped the buses.the Mecca wasno way has full has normal.with the fog then in my drunken stuper I saw her legs absolutely stunning looked up georgous .hey up love I said do you wanna dance.go away your drunk she said.the lads all laughing pash has bin knocked back they said.pash was my nickname back then.i won't take no for an answer so I took her handbag and handed it to kieth for safe keeping grabbed the girl the rest is history we fell in love n bin in love ever since her name back then was Patricia Barnes courted for 3 years and this year on 2 nd October 2013 we bin married for 48 years.yup the old Mecca really was the start of my life

Date:
19-Jun-2013

Email:
Leonpatparrish@gmail.com

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Name:
Leon Parrish

Comment:
Memories just fantastic memories at the old Mecca.i wonder what we all look like now.it would be great if we all could meet up some wear.tony hard castle was the best the original gentle giant I last saw tony when he entered the gardener s in Hunslet he was looking at all the old photos on pub wall it was his hobby(he said) wi pint in his hand which wi the size of Tony's hands looked like a half pint love that guy

Date:
20-Jun-2013

Email:
Leonpatparrish@gmail.com

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Name:
Iris Fairclough (nee Sharp)

Comment:
Loved it went dinner time and night . I worked at The West Riding Trade Protection on East Parade. My Husband to be was in the Navy doing National Service. We got married in 1960 and about 1962 my husband Doug Fairclough sang with the band at the Mecca.

Date:
23-Jun-2013

Email:
douglas.iris@tiscali.co.uk

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks regards Jean

Date:
26-Jun-2013

Email:

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Name:
Barbara Grimes

Comment:
I worked in Call Lane at Wella. On a wet lunchtime used to go to the Mecca for 6p. Had a dance, coffee & sandwich. Great way to pass a lunchtime. Also went a couple of nights a week. Really loved it. It used to finish at 11pm and my last bus went at 11.05 from Eastgate so I literally flew down. Sometimes I missed it so had to walk home 'cos couldn't afford a taxi. Never felt in any danger. Would be different now though.

Date:
27-Jun-2013

Email:
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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much regards Jean

Date:
30-Jun-2013

Email:
milholdas@talktalk.net

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Name:
sue was peacock

Comment:
I used to go to the old mecca from around 1967/8 onwards. Lied about my age to get into the keyhole club the got a shock when they sent me a birthday card saying happy 21st (I was about 18/19) I used to go to a couple of lunch time sessions a week and one night.I remember going to an couple of all nighters - they were great. Me and a friend hitched a lift home on a bin lorry! Pale lipstick, twiggy lashes, american tan tights - lovely days

Date:
19-Jul-2013

Email:
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Name:
kathryn Knight (Neave)

Comment:
I had wonderful dancing times here from being 16-17 1966-7. I used to spend lunchtimes dancing and rushing back to work at the Yorkshire Bank. Monday night was the best night for motown especially.

Date:
24-Jul-2013

Email:
kathknight11@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear foom you regards Jean

Date:
30-Jul-2013

Email:
milholdas@talktalk.net

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Name:
Alan Mitchell

Comment:
I first met my wife Val (Hitchen) on the balcony at the Mecca in 1957, Several of us used to go there after night school, after that we used to meet there on a lunchtime I worked at Perkin & Co Whitehall Road and my wife worked in the office at the Co-op Laundry York Road. This was before Jimmy Savile and the DJ was called Little Jeff. Had great fun teaching the Parrot in the coffee bar to swear. I still see some of the people we used to hang around with down there.

Date:
03-Aug-2013

Email:
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Name:
Alan Mitchell

Comment:
Came across this site by chance, started going to the old Mecca in 1957 with a mate called Brian Peacock after night school, soon became a regular and went there on a lunchtime. Met my wife there and though we are now in our seventies, we still jive Mecca style.

Date:
03-Aug-2013

Email:
Mitchandval@sky.com

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Name:
Steve Gage

Comment:
Does anyone remember Eddy Gage who used to work at the old Mecca in the 50s and 60s he also played drums at Windsors.

Date:
21-Aug-2013

Email:
stevegage59@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
dagmar baker

Comment:
i am trying to locate a band member called Dave Thomas or Sam Small who played with the Mike Miller Band there in the early 70s they also played in Birmingham and Nottingham , Dave is originally from Manchester and married Fran

Date:
21-Aug-2013

Email:
dagmarbaker@hotmail.com

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Name:
kathryn d

Comment:
Loved the Mecca in Leeds.Went mid to late 60s.Saw Edwin Starr & Amen Corner or was it Love Affair?(Not much difference!)Wore my white cricket jumper for my Keyhole membership photo,very trendy for that time!

Date:
03-Sep-2013

Email:
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Name:
norma atkinson

Comment:
oh how l remember the mecca.spent all my free time there l recall going with a head full of rollers and then doing a [comb out]in the ladies.l met my ex husband there in 1963.l recall jimmy saville.being the DJ,with his black and white checked hair.often walk up the arcade where it stood and stand and dream of the fantastic times we had there.ought to have a reunion for all those who went.

Date:
08-Sep-2013

Email:
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Name:
Steve Palmer

Comment:
My late brother Terry, played bass with Bill Baron at the "Old Mecca" & then went to Wakefield Mecca with The Mike Cox Band. I joined the band in Wakefield, but we also played at the prospect off York road in Leeds. We did some Sunday nights at "The Old Mecca" & when the band broke up in Wakefield, I went to the "New Mecca" with the trio there.The big band was Dennis Langfield & the vocalists were Sandra Stevens & Glen South.Glen put a group together, but whilst in rehearsals ,Iwas offered the job at Wakefield Theatre Club.Glen went to the North East & that's the last contact I had with him.

Date:
19-Sep-2013

Email:
stephen.palmer.mail@googlemail.com

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Name:
Mick Stark

Comment:
Just found this site, brings back great times,friends and memories from mid 60's to the sad demise, lunchtime, every night possible, the all nighters...Soul. Motown, Stax, Atlantic, Okeh you can go on for forever. Great DJ's Pete Brent, Stu Marvin, Mick Sheard, Rick Vaughn. All the music fans and mods dressed to the nines. Met and danced with so many, difficult to remember names but it was the greatest time. Been in US for thirty years, go back to Leeds three/four times a year always visit the Old Mecca. walk around the old hangouts/meeting places and Jumbo Records. Susan Franks was Crook '''''Guy's name was Calvin Wilkes, he played rugby league, used to hang out/dance together, great guy, was a magnet for the girls. Anyone recognize me.send a mail

Date:
21-Sep-2013

Email:
mstark49@aol.com

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Name:
Valerie Daniels

Comment:
I am not sure whether my memory serves me correctly but in the 1940s I think my Mother used to take me for tea here and watch the ballroom dancing (tea dance I believe). Can anyone verify this.

Date:
01-Oct-2013

Email:
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Name:
Katherine Mays (nee Finister)

Comment:
Wow, Mick Stark I remember you. The last time I saw you was on an escalator in Lewis's back in the early seventies. You weren't in our "gang" so my name will mean nothing. Glad you come back to your old hunting ground though.

Date:
02-Oct-2013

Email:
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Name:
marie nee rothery

Comment:
loved the mecca me and my friend christine jowett used to go wed nights and saturday afternoons in the late fifties and early sixties twisting away to chubby checker my brother billy rothery was very mod and was one of the first to wear winkle pickers happy memories

Date:
08-Oct-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear foom you regards Jean

Date:
13-Oct-2013

Email:
milholdas@talktalk.net

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Name:
John Porritt

Comment:
This is in answer to a query by dagmar baker,21 Aug, looking for info on Sam Small.I worked with Sam in the engineering trade in the late 60's. At that time he was singing with a band called 'Sammy Small and the Union Blues'. I lost contact with him, but by coincidence my wife worked with one of his daughters years later.As far as I know he still living in Beeston.I also hung out at the Spinning Disc in the late 60's.Saw Edwin Starr, The Coasters, Pete Brent brought The Nice there. Fondly remember Pete Brent and Rick Vaughan. Followed Pete down to the 'New Marquee' and saw all the great bands there.Rick Vaughan MC'd the greatest live show I ever saw, Junior Walker and the All Stars at Wakefield Mecca.Remember the bouncer, Big Tony.One year a group of us went on our scooters to a soul festival in Skegness, Inez and Charlie Fox headlined.Those and many more memories from my mod days.We used to buy lengths of mohair suit material in Leeds Market and take it to a little tailers shop in a back street behind Merrion street, the tailer, Sidney would make you the best custom suit nobody else could find, Like Pete Brent said earlier, we were there long before this northern soul.I've lived in Africa,Europe,middle east and in the United States now for the for the past 30 years, but nothing compares to those days in Leeds.

Date:
18-Oct-2013

Email:
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Name:
Linda

Comment:
Unbelievable trip back in time! I've just discovered and read through all the comments and remember all the clubs mentioned. I used to be a dancer at Carolines, The In-time, & Cinderella's and got to meet all the visiting stars and artists playing at either Wakefield Theatre Club or Batley Variety Club and occasionally artists from the Ace of Clubs,all felt very special and exciting to be apart of it, then later all the artists who appeared at Cinderella's. The Mecca was fantastic and who would have thought the Saturday morning dance session would be so good. I remember Dennis from the In-time, so sad to hear he's gone. Walt Thomas, gorgeous of course. Tony Marshall fab dj and went on to great things. Missing the last bus home (No.32 to Pudsey) didn't matter, we just walked home, as someone said, you never worried about walking home. Many nights after finishing at Caroline's we would walk home at 3am. I thought the hairdresser's nick name (from Character Hairdressing) was Derek Tamala Barnett but I could be wrong. I remember Lynn the other dancer on this page and also Sandra the singer. The Del Rio was run by Gigi and Dagi and Mamma, you never crossed Mamma, all the girls thought Dagi was gorgeous. Girls used to meet at the Milkmaid (think was the name)coffee bar on Saturday afternoons. Moving onto the Nouveau - don't think that's mentioned on here. Loved the Nouveau. We used to meet in the Merrion Bar (Hotel bar)and all the Leeds United players used to come in (Gary Sprake, Reaney, Yorath days)then we'd move onto either Nouveau or In-time. Happy Days, no street trouble, would happily walk from one end of town to the other down through all the Arcades in the early hours of the morning. Also remember a doorman called Big Tony, had a sort of funny eye, absolute gentle giant. Also remember the central just off Duncan Street felt very grown up going in there and yes with the palest pink lipstick, Max Factor stick foundation and mascara in a block, dancing to Jeff Beck, 'Hi Ho Silver Lining...', all seems like only yesterday. Special concerts were at the Queens Hall (huge tram shed)remember seeing Tommy James and the Shondells (Mony Mony), The Herd (Peter Frampton etc)and many more....

Date:
05-Dec-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear from you regards Jean

Date:
06-Dec-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Christina Pippard (nee Appleyard)

Comment:
Does anyone remember some friends who used to go regularly to the Old Mecca (early to mid 60's) Eddie Helm, Linda Hindmarch, Maria Craven married name was Pitts, then Forster) Michael Hopkins or Hopkinson etc. We had innocent fun in the Mecca during this time - We were always late for the No 32 Pudsey Bus (Lived on Spring Valley Crescent, Bramley at the time. Whenever I have travelled back to Leeds I have always visited Mecca Arcade and stood outside - with a smile on my face and so many wonderfu memories flooding back. I also remember Peter Markowski (pronounced Markofski) who I dated for a short period of time. One of the saddest memories was that of a very handsome blond young man who would stand on the "sidelines" and never ask me to dance but he always looked as if the was longing to ask me - I was relatively shy also and would dance with Maria - at the same time just wishing and willing him to come over - he never did - but a few years later (when I was married etc..) he came up close to me in (would you believe) Marks and Spencers store in Briggate. My heart almost stopped beating - I again pretended that I had not noticed him - Can you fall in love with someone that you do not even know? - I wonder - If you ever read these comments - You have never left my thoughts in all these years.

Date:
22-Dec-2013

Email:
jlpdsp002@btinternet.com

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi Christina Pippard - I was a regular at the Mecca from around 1961. I have not lived in Leeds since 1977 (I live in Otley nowadays) but whenever I visit Leeds, which is only a couple of times a year, I do exactly what you have described. Only last week I had to go into Leeds and I went into the 'Mecca' which is now a clothes shop. I stood inside and looked around and up at where the balcony used to be and at a brick wall which blocked off where the stage used to be, thinking of all the great times I had there. I do not remember you or your friends but, there is no doubt, that at the time I would have known your faces. One of my first girlfriends lived on the Greenthorpe Estate, not far from you, and I used to take her to catch the No. 11 bus from the Corn Exchange to the Gamecock Pub on Pudsey Road. - Ian

Date:
23-Dec-2013

Email:
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Name:
Patrick Commons

Comment:
The old mecca and the BG hold great memories for me.I loved those places, when reading some of these stories I noticed a name that sounded familiar it was Phil Beadnel.If I'm right I think we use to hang out in the same scooter gang, I don't know if my name rings a bell for you. Just thought I'd ask.i rode a SX200 there was a John Greenhill and big Adrian who rode a vesba who use to be in the same group also two brothers. Can't remember their names but I do remember that they were a good pair of lads.

Date:
14-Jan-2014

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear from you

Date:
15-Jan-2014

Email:
milholdas@talktalk.net

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Name:
Michael Wilson

Comment:
Hello Lucio, are you the brother of Silvana Freemantle? Who used to work in town in a cafe called Kardomah, my name is Michael Wilson i was a friend of your sister many years ago. We lived in Chapeltown 34 Hamilton Avenue. Your sister worked with Peter Gawthorpe' mam in the cafe. You might know my brother Harry.If its you plse send me an email. I would love to hear from you! MIKE.

Date:
21-Jan-2014

Email:
michael.wilson.45@arcor.de

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Name:
Michael Wilson

Comment:
Hello Lucio, are you the brother of Silvana Freemantle? Who used to work in town in a cafe called Kardomah, my name is Michael Wilson i was a friend of your sister many years ago. We lived in Chapeltown 34 Hamilton Avenue. Your sister worked with Peter Gawthorpe' mam in the cafe. You might know my brother Harry.If its you plse send me an email. I would love to hear from you! MIKE.

Date:
21-Jan-2014

Email:
michael.wilson.45@arcor.de

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Name:
donald rhodes

Comment:
I WAS A REGULAR DANCER IN THE MID 50S TO 60S,BUT FOR SOME UNKNOWN RASON I NEVER WENT TO THE MECCA. I WONDER IF ANY OF THE COMMENTERS WENT TO MARK ALTMANS BALLROOM OR THE MAJESTIC,AND AT TIMES THE CAPITOL? I MET MY WIFE AT MARK ALTMANS DANCIN CLASSES HELD ON TUESDAY NIGHTs,about( 1958 to 1961) I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE WHO DID AS I DID.

Date:
22-Jan-2014

Email:
donrhodes@pac.com.au

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Name:
james murphy

Comment:
In 1959 The Mecca changed my life. One Friday night I was listening to the Les Hague Quartet and at the break I went into the Coffee/Milk Bar with the flea bitten parrot with the attitude (swearing) when Les Hague came in and sat beside me. I mentioned I was trying to learn the guitar and seemed to be getting nowhere. Les said 'are you seriously wanting to learn' and I said 'definitely'. He said 'come to my flat in Hanover Square and I'll teach you tomorrow morning'. So Sat morning I went at 10.00. Les aaid 'I will teach you in 1 hour and I'll see you next week same time'. I practiced hard all week much to the annoyance of my family. The following Saturday he listened to my playing and said 'that's it you've learned the guitar, you can tear up your Bert Wheedon book'. 3 months later I was on TV singing and playing with our group 'Los Trovadores', playing the music from Paraguay and Mexico. The rest is history.

Date:
05-Feb-2014

Email:
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Name:
Terry Beckett

Comment:
Great memories of the Mecca, met my wife Cynthia here 46 years ago went most nights and lunch time when attending Kitson College,I consider my self to have been there in the best era of rock and pop music. Such good times and brilliant music.

Date:
07-Feb-2014

Email:
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Name:
john.sewell.372@facebook.com

Comment:
I won scooter at the club. It was a raffle prize and when you entered the club you were given a free ticket. I won a SX200. Can anyone remember this event?

Date:
03-Mar-2014

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Sonja Wood

Comment:
I loved dancing at the Mecca. My whole family would go ballroom dancing Grandma, Grandad, Mum, Dad. But the person I remember the most was Ruth (Morris)...she was beautiful, and she loved me like a big sister,and I her. She really taught me how to dance...to this day I still can due to her efforts. Wish I could find her.

Date:
24-Mar-2014

Email:
sonja.wood@gmail.com

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Name:
ian drury

Comment:
I use to go to the old Mecca as much as poss in the sixties from being 15, even at lunch time if i could. I worked at Appleyard of Leeds in the Jaguar dept then. I made lots of friends and also use to go to the Majestic every Friday night. It was not that east when i joined the Leeds Fire Service, then when i worked on the buses i met one of the old DJs from the Mecca. Great days and yesi would relive it all over again

Date:
01-Apr-2014

Email:
ian.drury@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
john wylie

Comment:
just come across this site, what fantastic memories of the sixties.We lads from leeds college of technology, printing dept used to go down to the Old Mecca at lunch time from 1966 to 1968.On weekends used to go to all the coffee bars - del rio ,conc ,el toro,hernandoes at hare hills.Used to knock about with michael magee,lloyd trickett,pete waters.All met up at Oakwood Clock.GREAT DAYS.

Date:
29-Apr-2014

Email:
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Name:
ed

Comment:
anyone remember the jeans shop at armley junction-black jeans with coloured turnups,a stripe down the side and slant pockets in the same colour....cool wish you could still buy them!!

Date:
29-Apr-2014

Email:
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Name:
Mick Stark

Comment:
Hi Katherine Mays........early 70's I worked at Hepworths and went into Lewis's most days to chat with the girls I knew at the Hairdressers and Miss Selfridge. Old Mecca, King Charles, BG, Phonograph, all the coffee bars etc, was such a great scene and time in our lives. I ended up DJ at Mecca Merrion Center and Samantha's for a few years. Been here in the US since 81, curious to understand how you remember me, are you on FB.....regards

Date:
30-Apr-2014

Email:
mstark49@aol.com

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Hi Ed I along with my mates from Belle Isle got our jeans made to measure at the shop in Armley, it was near the Rose & Crown pub. I got 3 pairs , one sky blue with black edging on the turnups and zip pockets. another in black with white edges and finally a light brown/fawn colour again with black edges. We thought we looked the business. This was in 1956/7. Have commented on this on another leodis photo of Armley.

Date:
01-May-2014

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Jean

Comment:
Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear from you Email:milholdas@talktalk.net

Date:
25-May-2014

Email:
milholdas@talktalk.net

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Name:
brenda mccartie nee taylor

Comment:
i used to go the mecca when the awful js was manager there,i loved the dancing,i used to go with my sister Christine,i remember a group up turning js yellow bubble car over.also i went with a friend called Maureen McBride,we also used to go in a coffee bar caled the clondyke on the headrow,this was 1958/61

Date:
03-Jun-2014

Email:
brendamccartie@btinternet.com

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Name:
Jacqui Sharp (Diggle)

Comment:
OMG....stumbled across this and all the comments, some from people that have crossed my path of life, have taken me right back to my youth as though it all happened yesterday! I started going to the Spinning Disc when I was 13 (1965)....still got my keyhole club card (from when I was 15....naughty me!) Used to go every a lunchtime for a dance from work when I was 15. Was friends with Rick Vaughan and Mick Sheard (and his brother Tony)....also used to hang out at BG, Conc etc etc and Whitelocks another favourite where we used to all meet (got asked for ID in there on my 18 Birthday...lol) Worked at the Intime as a waitress full time and my friend Pam worked the small bar....Dennis Peace was my 'protector' (long story!)...sometimes worked the entry desk with him when Shelly was off. Len Cohen poached Pam and I to go work for him at Get Stuffed............loads more memories to many to write about..............What Happy Days :)

Date:
21-Jun-2014

Email:
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Name:
Phil Nabozny

Comment:
used to hang about at the BG (Blue Gardenia), Del Rio, The Phonograph, although I think I only got in there once, and the New Marquee Club, knew it was the Marquee but thought I was dreaming until I read these posts. Saw some great bands at the Marquee, The Nice, Jethro Tull and probably a lot more that I can't remember, pity there's not a list somewhere. I was only about 16 at the time and must have looked older. The other great place to go was the Leeds Union Refectory where I saw Fairport Convention and Pink Floyd, must have been about 1967. Also started an "Arts Lab"" downstairs at the Del Rio, we put on a couple of bands down there the names which escape me. I do remember we spent a lot of time tidying the place up and making it as Psychedelic as possible! The "King Mod", in the BG days, was a guy called Daz,who was the brother of a mate of mine called Sean, he had a souped up Lambretta. I remember being very envious of somebody who was actually old and rich enough to have a scooter. Good Memories, well those I can remember are!!!!!!!!!!

Date:
13-Jul-2014

Email:
phenab@lineone.net

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Name:
Peter Hillion ron cooper

Comment:
wow so many names and memories from the 1950s still have my Tudor Night club card i had a car repair business opposite the british legion car park down from the merrion centre a swift pint in the 3 legs before hitting the Mecca and club, dressed by Harry Hopkins Tailors for my Teddy boy drape jacket and drainpipe tousers,, the only place in leeds to get ted gear.. could get jeans down in armley.now i live in aus mail me for chats

Date:
13-Aug-2014

Email:
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Name:
Jess Hardcastle

Comment:
Hi everyone, I have been reading with interest all your memories of the Mecca, as some of you have Mentioned Tony Hardcastle, i thought i should let you know he was my grandad and sadly we had to say our final goodbyes to him yesterday. I loved listening to him tell me about his times "working on the doors" and it is lovely to read all the positive comments about him. He really was a gentle giant and a gentleman and will always be my hero x x

Date:
12-Sep-2014

Email:
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Name:
Claire Beaumont

Comment:
Hi, my grandad Tony Hardcaste was a bouncer at the Mecca and he sadly recently passed away, can anybody possibly share any memories of him back in the day? Thank you

Date:
13-Sep-2014

Email:
claire_beaumont11@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Mick Stark

Comment:
Jess and Claire..so sorry to hear of your sad loss, Big Tony was a very well known figure at a number of establishments during the mod, soul and r&b days, always friendly and chatty when you got to know him,a real character of the Leeds social scene, and someone you treated with respect, he will be in the thoughts and prayers of all of us who had the pleasure to have known him, may he rest in peace.

Date:
29-Sep-2014

Email:
mstark49@aol.com

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Name:
Cathy Preen

Comment:
Hi, I have enjoyed reading all these comments. My dad was the manager of the Mecca, Wilf Preen. Does anyone have any memories of him? He died when I was 3 and I would love to hear some stories about him back in the day.

Date:
01-Oct-2014

Email:
Cathyp69@hotmail.com

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Name:
Eric Howgate

Comment:
I was just reading the comments about the old mecca in County arcade where i use to go from 1961 to 1966 5 times a week and Wednesday afternoons @/^ on a sat evening and ^ pence on an afternoon . I read the comment what Barry Ryan wrote ,I remember that well i was one of his mates along with two other twins Micheal and Brian Baines we had to push him to go ask her for a dance those were the days .If you read this Barry do you remember going to a girls birthday party up easterly Road , I think her name was Dorothy Peach and you were there with Paul playing the Beatles please please me Lp you had when it first came out

Date:
01-Oct-2014

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Linda

Comment:
To Cathy, Jess and Claire So lovely to hear the legacy of Wilf and Tony lives on. Wilf was great to work for. Tony always (as a dancer) looked out for us, we always finished very late, early hours of the morning and he would make sure we got the taxi or left safely. A true gentle giant. I am sorry to hear Wilf passed away. When was this? This treasure of a site is a clearly not just nostalgia for us but also (I hope) giving you a bit more info about your family. Some great characters mentioned above, all makes for a great trip, seems like yesterday.

Date:
09-Oct-2014

Email:
lindaab9@aol.com

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Name:
Christine Jagger

Comment:
Sorry to hear about the death of Tony Hardcastle. I remember being in floods of tears in 1966 having been dumped by my boyfriend, Tony was so caring,he gave me a cuddle and told me it was not the end of the world and that I would soon find someone else. I did and reminded Tony of the story many years later when I saw him in the Wheatsheaf Pub on Geldard Road one lunchtime. We had a good lunch hour going down memory lane.

Date:
15-Oct-2014

Email:
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Name:
James

Comment:
I remember tony hard castle what a lovely man he once saved me from a beating when 2 drunks came at me outside the the mecca never forgot him RIP tony

Date:
18-Oct-2014

Email:
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Name:
keith Johnson (ginner)

Comment:
I started going about 58 and regular untill about 66, with regards to the clubs upstairs first I remember it being the Arcadian club then it changed to the Tudor club .DJ's obviously Saville and remember a lad called think it was Cliff Green had a white patch in his hair at the back,,,,,,HAPPY DAYS.

Date:
02-Nov-2014

Email:
keith6617@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
ed thorpe

Comment:
mod reunion at the wardrobe saturday 15th nov - 2014 mick sheards son tim d.j. ing admission £8.00 all old mods (and young! welcome)

Date:
10-Nov-2014

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Mick Stark

Comment:
Wish I could have been there, how was the crowd, all the best from USA

Date:
18-Nov-2014

Email:
mstark49@aol.com

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Name:
Kevin Edge

Comment:
Jesus , just found this site and it feels like my legs can dance all over again. Memories of those days and the scooter gang (not one of us could fight)Pete Wilson, Eric (Wooly) Woolfoot), Kenny Stead, Paul Garrity, Barbarra Cooper, Christine Higgins, Adrian (so tall he could touch the sky,) Geoff Rose, Mick Edge, Paul Lally , Speight (Stanks), Dave Ford , christ, so many names. Leeds Autocars, Crabtree Vickers, Alexanders the Tailors, Scrivens machine tools, Eng Co (off Roseville Road). All worked at, and ran to the Mecca at dinner time to teach my mates how to get rubber legs. 63 now and it still feels like 5 years ago when I was 15. Got to rush, their strapping me to a chair this afternoon as I've wet myself laughing out loud at all the fond memories of those wonderful youthful days. Never had a tanner to spare back then, borrowing wing mirrors to add to my 26 on the Vespa 150 Sprint, which could do 60 miles an hour down Garraby Hill. It was sweet to dance to violins back then, when love an life was fair.To dance to lutes to dance to flutes was such a delicate thing and rare. The Bee Gee, when no-one had to tell you what being an Ace Face was. On the odd occasion when I pulled a bird and knew every big window in Leeds in which to show myself off in riding the bike, leaning backwards on the scooter for style effect. No doubt they'll up my medication tonight, as I've not had such a big smile across my boat in years. Well I never, hey, I WAS THERE.

Date:
26-Nov-2014

Email:
edge1@tinyworld.co.uk

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Name:
Ann Brine (nee Parkinson)

Comment:
well where to start...Used to love the old Mecca.first started going when I was 14 (1961) Saturday afternoons with my friend Andrea and Ruth....then as I got older Saturday Nights and of course the Sunday night Club night....always stood in the Handbag corner...and yes everybody could dance with one another as we danced the Leeds Mecca way....a bit like northern soul dance....many happy memories loved it....still love to dance now ....

Date:
21-Jan-2015

Email:
griff.brine@gmail.com

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Name:
dave wilkins

Comment:
Hi, Does anyone have any memories of Leeds bands from 1960 to 1970? Bands like the Fender Men, Ricky Seton & The Avengers, Del Conroy & The Contours and many more.............We have set up a website for Yorkshire bands of that period, who did not make the big-time, but who gave so much to our teenage years..................Check out rollbacktheyears where you will find lots of info of those times.

Date:
03-Mar-2015

Email:
davidwilkins1@hotmail.com

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Name:
Rita

Comment:
Just found this fascinating site. The fabulous dance floor you used to dance on at the Old Mecca was regularly polished by my husband who was trainee manager at the time and it was part and parcel of his job when everyone had gone home. I, was part-time, evenings and absolutely loved it. All the people who say they were underage in the Tudor Club must have gone passed me as I worked with Ernest on the entrance, making members. Was there dancing every lunchtime, let in for free as I worked there and then working every night and I loved it. When me and my husband Pete (married 44 yrs) were there Wilf Preen was manager and was a lovely man, died so young. He was so full of fun and a real joy. Tony Marshall was assistant and was also lots of fun. He was our best man and am glad to say we are still friends with him to this day. He is still in the nightclub business and has just had his 70th birthday. Dj's at the Mecca at the time were Brett Paul, Pete Brent, Rick Vaughan, John Waddington, Cliff Green, Mick Sheard. Bouncers Tony Hardcastle, Norman Roberts, Danny Gilboy. Many more names which escape me. Maybe someone reading this can add a few names.

Date:
17-May-2015

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
chris

Comment:
I only went there twice first time they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't wearing a tie the next week I had a tie but they didn't like my black shirt didn't try any more

Date:
26-Jun-2015

Email:
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Name:
Michael Kirby

Comment:
Like Chris, I once made the 'mistake' of wearing a black shirt, but I did have a white knitted tie on. I was wearing Stylo crepe soled 'beetle crusher' shoes, (59s 11d.). The bouncer on the door called me over to him and said in my ear, 'don't come here again, dressed like that', made me feel quite tough! Must have been early 64, because I converted to being a Mod about that time.

Date:
21-Jul-2015

Email:
michaelkirbychow@btinternet.com

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Name:
Alan

Comment:
Okay, well I am going to add my tuppence worth to this. Gee what a walk down memory lane this inspired. To be honest I can't recall all the names, too many to list. I guess I was hard core old mecca from about 68-72, though I think the early part of the 70's was spent more at the Central but you never forget your first love and I think from the first moment (a Saturday morning session) and the sound of the Elgrins (still one of my all time favourites "Heaven Must have Sent You) blasting in my ears I fell in love with Tamla and the old Mecca. Girls in mini minis, white tights, cashmere jumpers, platforms and cavalry boots, long bob's and feathered boy cuts. Blokes in Levi's and Ben Shermans, super slippy leather soles from Rivals and tanned leather Wrangler jackets, Watson and Cairns bike shop, the Dubia of the mod/rocker world one of the few place they could meet without too much trouble. Some one in a few post back mentioned suits with 17" vents and ticket pockets. I used to have mine made by 2 different tailors. One called Schollies (I think that's how you spell it) who made the jackets (1/4" hand sewn, machine stitched, around the lapels, 3 or 4 button cuff, can't quite remember now) and high buttoned (only fastened the top button)and Robinsons who made the trousers (perfect parallels). I had a 1967 SX 150 (red and white, with enough 'chrome' to blind on coming traffic after dark) and an M51. cooler than cool and then I grew up.......What happened? Well not quite, 40 odd years later, I still wear Levis, I still buy Ben Sherman (only now the're XXL not slimfit and definately no pleat down the back), I still wear leather soled brogues (and occasinally Doc's), the leather jackets a bit longer and more of a 'comfortable' fit and I have a classic (not quite as'blingy') 1963 original LI150 S3, the mandatory M51 and of course some of the best Tamla ever (now on CD). great times, never to be forgotten. Oh and by the way; one of those lovely girls (white tights, boots an' all) has been my partner and best friend through it all (although her days of laying back againt the KL with her feet stuck in the fishtails are over, or so she says!!!!) Al

Date:
23-Jul-2015

Email:
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Name:
Barbara Mills

Comment:
Ah, I remember when Love Affair were on there in 1968 as Steve Ellis was wonderful (or so I thought back then)! Spent lots of happy hours there and saw lots of great groups and singers. Very, very happy days

Date:
28-Jul-2015

Email:
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Name:
Sheila

Comment:
I met my late husband at the Merrion Centre Mecca in August 1964. We were together exactly 50 years to the day he died. He told me he used to go to the Old Mecca where Jimmy Saville worked when he was on his lunch break from from Kitson College.

Date:
01-Aug-2015

Email:
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Name:
Michael Wilson

Comment:
Does anybody know if Cliff Richards ever had a gig at the old Mecca? I would love to know and when it was?

Date:
20-Sep-2015

Email:
michael.wilson45@arcor.de

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Name:
Olly

Comment:
For all the people who were Mods in the Mecca in the 60s we do a reunion night every year in the Wardrobe in Leeds . This year it is on the 14th Nov . All welcome. You will remember Mick Sheard who was the DJ in the spinning disc well he was the DJ at the reunion every year until he died 2,years ago. We have a fantastic night playing all Tamla and Soul till the early hours.

Date:
16-Oct-2015

Email:
Olwen.elliott@sky.com

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Name:
Geoff Leventhall

Comment:
I fremeber my father, not long after the war, telling us about a crazy new manager at Mecca Locarno whi had died his hair green. It was Jimmy Savile!

Date:
12-Nov-2015

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
karol

Comment:
I went to the 6p lunchtime sessions and remember the parrot my friends and I went in the school lunchtime rolling up our skirts to make them short taking our ties off and pulling our shirts over the hugh waist made from the turned waistband and putting lipstick on in the shop windows so we looked 16 ,when I was 19 I worked in the mecca and the Bali hi nightclub which opened late and you had chicken in a basket

Date:
23-Nov-2015

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Tim Sheard

Comment:
Wow, stumbled across this thanks to my Mum. So wonderful to hear tales of my Dad's days at the Mecca. He talked about little else for the next 40 years! Please tell me more tales of Mick Sheard and I'll let you know when we've got a date for the Mod reunion in Leeds next year. Can't wait to meet you all

Date:
11-Dec-2015

Email:
Shedlad@gmail.com

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Name:
joan hogan

Comment:
Very good memories of this place ..The old Mecca had may a great night there with my mates back in the late 60s

Date:
29-Jan-2016

Email:
joanhogan1953@outlook.com

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Name:
Wendy Collins (nee Hirst)

Comment:
I spent many happy hours (perhaps too many) at the Mecca with my sister Maureen, and friends Ann and Jean. I recall most of the bands and singers that people have mentioned and also a group called the Vipers. We always stood in the same corner of the dancehall and often danced with the same boys each week. Some of the people I remember were Judith Walker and her sister Kathleen, Valerie Lightfoot and her friend Norma, Melvin Birkett, John Kay, James Byrne and Frank Lusardi. I would plough through snow in my stilettos to catch a bus into Leeds rather than arrive in my wellies - oh the stupidity of youth. Now in my 70s, it's good to see all these nostalgic and happy memories from the Mecca.

Date:
08-Feb-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Geoff Procter

Comment:
Hi shout out to Paul Wood , e mail is gprocter@abibeauty.com. Also any old Mecca & Bee Gee attendees. Awesome memories from posts, Incredibke times and influence on my life cannot be measured. Great characters, fashion and music have left indelible impression that has filtered down to 3 lovely children. Left Leeds November 1969 for great life in Vancouver / Canada but planning possible farewell visit to Leeds November 2016 I hear there is " Mod Reunion " would love to hear from old freinds past

Date:
21-Feb-2016

Email:
gprocter@abibeauty.com

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Name:
joan hogan

Comment:
This bring back loads of happy memories of going to the mecca in Leeds as a mod in the mid 60s i loved tamala moto...

Date:
21-Feb-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Michael Stark - Mick

Comment:
Hey Tim Sheard, knew your Dad from the Old Mecca, lovely fella, used to sit with him in the Keyhole Club upstairs, where he played alternative/blue beat music. He is part of the folklore of the Old Mecca, home of the Mods and great soul and R&B.The greatest of times, dressed to the nines, serious dancing, if you were part of the In Crowd you really OK Kid. Every time I hear the Tamla wall of sound and Memphis soul it takes me straight back to the great times at the Old Mecca. Best wishes to you and yours...mick stark

Date:
26-Feb-2016

Email:
mstark49@aol.com

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Name:
lovelyleo

Comment:
Used to visit on Saturday nights in 1967/68. Evening started of at The Del Rio coffee bar on Lower Basinghall Street. bus home at 10.45 pm. My friend and I were 13 and 14 at the time, and our mothers thought we were going to a youth club. No way would they have let us go to what they thought was a really rough dive! It wasn't that all, just good Tamla music, and dancing round handbags, and a Coke in the coffee bar place in the back. Remember they occasionally had live groups on. Remember seeing The Showstoppers live once. They had a hit "Aint Nothing but a House PArty" just remembered there was a balcony and we watched from there. In the 70,s progressed to Cinderellas which was far more sophisticated! My friend died 2 weeks ago of brain cancer, age 61, but in her last weeks we reminisced about The old Spinning Disc. all happy memories

Date:
12-Mar-2016

Email:
leoleodis@btinternet.com

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Name:
Di Noble

Comment:
My sister told me of this site this evening, cannot believe I didn't know it existed. Started going to the old Double Decca in 1960 when at school, Jimmy Saville was the manager then the disc jockeys were Cliff Green, Les McVeigh, Roy Galsworthy, Brian (don't know his last name). What a fabulous place, wouldn't have missed it for the world. I remember Sue Tomlinson (Verb)the late Marysia Jozefowicz Wendy and Betty Mathers, Elsa and Lillian, Jackie Fish, Colin Cain, Jeff Webley, Johnny Flynn, Danny McLeary, William Campbell, Tony Else, Frank Kurylo the Leeds United crew, Mike O'Grady, Mick Shoebottom Ray Illingworth. I am still in touch with Gita who stood the foyer for a time in top hat and blue silver outfit, so many guys and gals from the early 60's. Such wonderful times and a great crowd.

Date:
17-Mar-2016

Email:
nobledianna@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Jane Breeze (Shaw)

Comment:
Just found this site with comments. HOW FANTASTIC. Must be the original "Northern" soul venue. I too still have my yellow card for the Keyhole Club. Just remember the fantastic Tamla/soul music. 1967 was the date of my extended college lunchtime trips and occasional evenings. Did we really dance in hush puppies with white tights or am I dreaming this?

Date:
30-Apr-2016

Email:
janebreeze@hotmail.com

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Name:
Christine Carter was Smallwood

Comment:
Lovely memories, does anyone remember a singer who looked like Eden Kane I think his name was Lance possibly would be 1959/1961. I loved the Mecca dancing in my lunch hour, happy days!

Date:
05-May-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Andre

Comment:
In 1964/5 we would dash down from Harehills Secondary School in lunchtime to the Keyhole Club - still got my membership card in my memory drawer... Very sad to go to the building as a local copper in 1970 when it went up in flames never to reopen The New Mecca wasn't a patch although Cinderella/Rockerfellas was the bees knees! Talking of knees...... I reckon my 66 year old knees ache now from all that dancing....

Date:
28-May-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
iansmithofotley

Comment:
Hi Christine (Carter) - In 1960 there was a singer called Lance Fortune who recorded a few songs including 'Be mine', which was often played at the Old Mecca. If you check on Google or Wikipedia you will find further details. - Ian

Date:
01-Jun-2016

Email:
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Name:
John Dolan

Comment:
Linda,if you were dancing at Carolines,you must remember the favourite dance at the time,I'll give you a clue, S-i-it in -he s-y

Date:
01-Jun-2016

Email:
Jdolan@xln.co.uk

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Name:
julia shaw nee amies

Comment:
just want to echo others' comments as well. My friend Vera Powell (now Travis) and I used to meet up for the lunchtime session on Mondays. we were only 15 and so couldn't go into the bar so never knew that alcohol wasn't served. we used to always get a blackcurrent slushie from the machine and often got photos from the booth, which I have still got. It was such a novelty to have photos processed in a matter of minutes. How yound we were. I remember we saw the Equals and Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band there with safety pins holding their shirt sleeves together Happy days....!

Date:
30-Jun-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Mavis Logan

Comment:
I practically live at the old mecca (spinning disc)lunch times evenings, all nighters that started at 12 we had to go out at 10.30 then que to get back in again, spaces like, cupids corner, tudor club (then key hole club) Gondola coffee bar Tony Marshall became manager, DJs at the time Brett Paul Hutchinson, Michael Ratcliff (alias spotty Muldoon)great times and happy days x

Date:
19-Jul-2016

Email:
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Name:
Christine Carter

Comment:
thank you Ian from Otley, It might be the Lance I remember but not sure, I was very young but I am sure I met him at the Mecca and had one date with him, he seemed very sophisticated. I did look him up on Google, amazing, thanks again. Otley is one of my favourite places.

Date:
02-Oct-2016

Email:
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Name:
Gina

Comment:
Those were the days,I remember them like yesterday Used to go several times a week, in fact at every opportunity I'd be there. I remember well the doormen, one in particular extremely handsome guy called John, cant recall his surname, but he left in 1965. I didn't rate the new Mecca at all, the old Mecca in the County Arcade was tops.

Date:
03-Nov-2016

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
I have to concur with Gina on her comparison with the two Meccas. There was nothing at all wrong with the new dance-hall, being as it was, functional in all respects, but when compared with the original, it seemed nothing more than a rectangular mundane space in an even more mundane bland modern building. - - - None of the grandeur of a Victorian Arcade to guide you to its door. - - - Gone was the ornate balcony which used to undulate its way around, above the dancers. - - - Not even a hint of the elaborate decorated walls and ceiling that mirrored the 'Golden Age' of the Belle Époque Period, and the 'atmosphere' which all that helped to generate. - - - What we had now, were the functional clean lines of what many would call, boring architectural modernity.

Date:
16-Nov-2016

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
Peter Jackson

Comment:
Too right Grahame

Date:
17-Nov-2016

Email:
petermj67@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Brian Topp

Comment:
My father Reg was bouncer at the Mecca in the early fifties until he was headhunted and took on the doorman job at Mark Altmans on Great George Street.

Date:
13-Jan-2017

Email:
briantopp@btinternet.com

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Name:
Joyce

Comment:
Yes I remember the two dancers in the cage in the Mecca in the Merrion Centre. I thought they danced great and wore some nice outfits. I had some great evenings there. Happy memories. I remember Sandra Stevens very well. My parents used to go to the Mecca too. I used to love it when they put the records on. I remember they played Amen Corner and Tamla Motown stuff. Great. Those were the days.

Date:
05-Feb-2017

Email:
Not displayed

________________________________________________________________________________

Name:
Jean

Comment:
Comment:Loved it used to go in 1960s I worked at Lewis's in my dinner hour dashed down with my work mates to dance and dance the twist if any one else can remember please email love to hear from you does anybody remember Andrea hearne and Enid Johnson who worked in the offices with me in 1958/1960s at that time thanks or any one else who worked there in the offices at that time also can any one remember Rosalyn Taylor please contact me on my email address milholdas@talktalk.net thanks very much love to hear from you ________________________________________________________________________________

Date:
10-Feb-2017

Email:
milhol7@talktalk.net

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Name:
Roy Walker

Comment:
Banks' Music moved from this location,to the Merrion Superstore,and traded for many years.

Date:
24-Mar-2017

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Derek Smith

Comment:
I remember vividly my first visit to the old Mecca .It was 1966, a Monday evening ,I was 14 and wearing a made to measure mohair suit from Arthur Littlewoods on Kirkgate !Having done the church hall live band venues , the Zodiacs singing Uptight in a broad Leeds accent , I was about to graduate to the Mecca nervous that I would be turned away as I remember the entrance age was 15 .I got in and had the best time ever , the music was incredible , the two deejays Ken and Daz (?) did a 4 tops selection followed by the Drifters- baby what I mean - and little Richard -get down and get with it - and that was it , sold on soul /Motown for life . There was in those days a small kiosk inside the main entrance and I was stood there wondering what to do when a girl asked me to dance ! I had an exam the following morning so had to leave early'ish but went to bed on a high , my head buzzing and didn't sleep a wink but still did ok in the exam . The old Mecca was unique and when it closed with Jimmy Saville playing I'm gonna miss you , the Artistics , it was the end of an era.The new Mecca in the Merrion never quite captured the atmosphere. Great days and if that is Jacqui Diggle -sharpe -of 32 iveson drive , where on earth did that come from as I cannot remember what I did yesterday ! - then I hope you are well and life has been kind to you . Remember the mod reunion , November -the wardrobe. KTF .

Date:
25-Mar-2017

Email:
Derek.j.smith@hotmail.com

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Name:
john waddington

Comment:
yes i was a dj in those brilliant 60s at the old mecca.Monday was a live night but all other sessions were vinyl my name then was Little J my sessions were 1 hour slots each evenind and the whole 2 hour session at lunchtime.between the lunchtime and evening sessions we had to polish the balltoom floor I did many of the all night sessions which were held upstairs in the tudor club haddy happy days

Date:
01-Apr-2017

Email:
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Name:
Jackie white

Comment:
I still have my membership card for the Tudor Club at the old Mecca in Leeds

Date:
03-Apr-2017

Email:
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Name:
Ronald Peter Cooper-Hillion

Comment:
The Rock n roll days of the 1950s

Date:
20-May-2017

Email:
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Name:
Ronald Cooper-Hillon

Comment:
Happy days 150s

Date:
20-May-2017

Email:
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Name:
Jimmy Sollitt

Comment:
Remember it well, the music shop was on the right of the picture (Sheet Music) And if I dare add (Sorry) the regular D.J was the infamous Jimmy Seville. The upstairs was the place where we all went to get a coffee, Bamboo Cafe!. Price in 1958 was, I believe 2/6d to enter for a dance. At 9pm it was announced it was 'Smooch Time' and the lights were dimmed to blue! (Wonder why ?) To the left of the picture and up the arcade was a shop called the 'Dolls Hospital', a fine toy shop... at the top was Briggate. I remember going there with my young girlfriend Lesley.. good times.

Date:
21-May-2017

Email:
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