Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Top tips for great nights out in Leeds
Trojan
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Postby Trojan » Sun 13 Sep, 2009 10:24 pm

iansmithofotley wrote:
Hi Trojan,

The Old Mecca was licensed in the 60's. There was a 'bar' called the Tudor Club which was situated upstairs behind a plain door in a corner. You had to be a member to go in and show a membership card. You also had to be 18.

The cafe/coffee bar was situated on a level which was just a few steps down from the dance floor and there was open access to it from there. You are right about the bamboo furniture.

Ian.

Ah! Perhaps so. I wonder if there are any pictures or film? Imdb doesn'tlist a location for the dance hall sequence.
There's certainly film of Wakey Mecca here
http://video.google.co.uk/videosearch?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUK317&q=this+sporting+life&lr=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=BAetSvKmNJSsjAeH7vTrBw&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4#
I also remember the Astoria on Roundhay Road had similar sort of furniture - I worked at Levertons and they had their works do there, and then at a ballroom in the Griffin.    
Industria Omnia Vincit
Danny D
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Postby Danny D » Sun 13 Sep, 2009 10:40 pm

IanSmithofOtley - I'd really appreciate the chance to speak to you about your memories of the Mecca in Leeds.
Geordie-exile
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Postby Geordie-exile » Sat 29 Jun, 2013 11:00 pm

One or two tales on this website about Leeds Mecca, Tiffany's and other clubs.

http://www.locarnoboy.co.uk/category/leeds/

This must be Locarno Boy who posted earlier in the thread.

Bottom left of the page is a question about a photo, whether it's Tiffany's Leeds or Hull. I certainly don't think it's Leeds Tiffany's.

I estimate the photo to have been taken around 1970.    
There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots.
Dutch Dave
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Postby Dutch Dave » Sun 30 Jun, 2013 9:27 am

Don't know if it's of any use regarding the Mecca but there is an excellent website, Yorkshire Film Archives, that contains literally
hundreds of local film snips, both pro and amateur, from Dick's Days up to quite recent times. Worth a look. Plenty on there about various aspects of Leeds life over the years.

loiner99
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Re:

Postby loiner99 » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 2:53 pm

[quote="iansmithofotley"]Hi Trojan,The Old Mecca was licensed in the 60's. There was a 'bar' called the Tudor Club which was situated upstairs behind a plain door in a corner. You had to be a member to go in and show a membership card. You also had to be 18.The cafe/coffee bar was situated on a level which was just a few steps down from the dance floor and there was open access to it from there. You are right about the bamboo furniture.Ian.
I had many a happy evening at the Old Mecca. Also frequented the lunchtime sessions as I worked around the corner. At the time I went I the manger was Wilf Preen followed by someone else whose name I temporarily cannot recall. The doors were manned by 3 or 4 bouncers but the one most people recall is Big Tony a fierce looking man you would not want to cross. But after a few minutes chatting to him you realise he is a big soft teddy. A real gentleman. (but still would not want to get him angry).
Yes at the back down a couple of steps was the cafe serving the filling and cheap plate of chips for a few pence washed down with a coke.
The catering was run by a young lad Dave Alexander and some of the resident DJs were (I think) Brett ? Ric Vaughan, Mick Sheard, Spotty Muldoon?? **** Kutz ( cannot remember his first name but he worked full time at the Mecca and sometimes DJd) I remember the waste of dancefloor as we claimed our territory in the middle and all danced around a pile of handbags and vanity cases.
I cannot for the life of me remember where either the cloackroom amd/or the toilets were , if anyone can help? Some of the names that come to mind around that time are, Calvin Wilkes, Margaret Griffin, Margaret barber, Josie Clarke, Ingrid Benn and a couple of Coates sisters Carol and Margaret, Mick Herring... Others I cannot remember.
My memory is not what it was. Some would say it never was but there you go. Please Please if anybody can add names or memories go ahead. They were (mostly) the best of times
batchoy
Di and Gal
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Re: Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Postby Di and Gal » Sat 11 Apr, 2015 3:04 pm

Tony Harcastle was my paternal uncle, he was a lovely gentleman, very fond memories of him when growing up , often saw him at my grandma Flo 's home. Sadly missed.
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Leodian
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Re: Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Postby Leodian » Sat 11 Apr, 2015 3:17 pm

Hi Di and Gal. Welcome to Secret Leeds :).

It's almost embarrassing to say it but I never went in the Mecca Locarno, so though I recall where it was I never saw the inside nor what went on! From all the posts in this thread it was though clearly an interesting place! ;)

PS. I've also never been in the premises that are where Mecca Locarno was!
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Wiljoy
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Re: Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Postby Wiljoy » Thu 28 May, 2015 6:19 am

In the early 1950s I took up ballroom dancing seriously and there were several top class dance halls in the city,I had private coaching with a guy called Richard Dinmore who operated in the 101 dance hall on Kirkgate or New York road (not sure which) and I used to go dancing every Wednesday & Saturday nights at either,Majestic ,Scala,Mecca Locarno,(where I met my future wife)Astoria, or the best dance floor in the north of England,at Meanwood,(near the tram terminus). I was wondering how many (if any) of these dance halls are still operating as such.
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jim
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Re: Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Postby jim » Thu 28 May, 2015 9:31 am

None still operating as dance halls I'm afraid. Both the Astoria and the Capitol at Meanwood have been demolished, and the rest converted to other purposes - the Majestic recently burnt out and awaiting some form of restoration, but is many years since any of them was in use as a dance hall.

These days "social dancing" would appear to be restricted to occasional "tea dances" at social clubs and church halls, and the current alternative popularity of "swing dancing" This is mainly focused on 30s and 40s Lindy Hop, jitterbug and jive styles, but does include all the ballroom styles and as many obscure dance steps as the organisers can research! Usually takes place at well located clubs as special events.
j.c.d.
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Re: Mecca Locarno Leeds (County Arcade)

Postby j.c.d. » Thu 28 May, 2015 10:01 am

Wiljoy wroteColonIn the early 1950s I took up ballroom dancing seriously and there were several top class dance halls in the city,I had private coaching with a guy called Richard Dinmore who operated in the 101 dance hall on Kirkgate or New York road (not sure which) and I used to go dancing every Wednesday & Saturday nights at either,Majestic ,Scala,Mecca Locarno,(where I met my future wife)Astoria, or the best dance floor in the north of England,at Meanwood,(near the tram terminus). I was wondering how many (if any) of these dance halls are still operating as such.


My pals an I used to frequent all of these places as they were the places to meet girls.
The 101 was on the top floor of the Westminster Buildings, New York Rd. (famous for the Citizens advice Bureau on the floor below).
The Capitol Ballroom at Meanwood was, in the 50s, a large dance floor with an imposing staircase that led up to the bar area. later converted to a Disco the cinema was closed by then.
The Scala in town above the Cinema was a great place to go on Saturday nights, if you had not bought your ticket 5/- by 2pm that day you did not get in.
Mark Altmans dance establishment nearly opposite the old part of the Infirmary, too posh for us.


The Mecca was fabulous (well documented on here)


Wonder if anyone ever went to Doris Waddingtons, a dance teaching emporium that offered dance lessons plus pie and peas all for 2/-
our gang were dying to learn how to dance, so be could get closer to the opposite sex and also usually hungry could not refuse this offer.
This place was on one of the floors in the building on Boar Lane just before City Square on the left side.
we shuffled in and found there only three girls there. worse was to come as Doris (Margaret Rutherford look a like) started up the music and kitted us out with contraption like three wire coat hangers put together. this was to position ourselves in a dancing pose, then she had us moving round the floor. purple with embarrassment the four Beeston Boppers made our excuses and left. (No P and Ps.) dived into the Whip pub on Duncan St to lick our wounds.

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