Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

55 Years Ago: Hello to Newcastle Mayfair; CITY'S BALLROOM BECAME A MUCH-LOVED CONCERT VENUE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

55 Years Ago: Hello to Newcastle Mayfair; CITY'S BALLROOM BECAME A MUCH-LOVED CONCERT VENUE

Article excerpt

Byline: NOSTALGIA DAVE MORTON recalls the people and places of the North East EMAIL: david.morton.editorial@ncjmedia.co.uk TELEPHONE: 0191 2016437 WRITE TO: Dave Morton, Nostalgia Editor, The Chronicle, Groat Market, Newcastle, NE1 1ED @DaveSMorton Newcastle Chronicle - History

IF Newcastle Mayfair is remembered as one of THE best ever rock music venues, it began its life as a traditional ballroom venue on this day 55 years ago.

The charts in September 1961, featuring the likes of Acker Bilk, Adam Faith and Joe Loss, reflected an era, after rock'n'roll had burst on to the scene, when UK pop tastes returned to a more sedate form - for a while!

Into this world, the Mayfair on the corner of Newgate Street and Low Friar Street was opened.

Run by the Mecca organisation, the resident band, Jimmy Bence and his orchestra, was on hand for formal dance nights. The hall could accommodate 1,500 people - and there was a stage on one of the long sides of the dance floor.

These pictures, courtesy of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, were taken in the early 1960s by the renowned Newcastle-based photographer, Turner's. They show the pristine nightspot newly opened and ready for business.

Over its 38-year life, the Mayfair would host ballroom dancing, staff parties, North East clubland concerts, disco nights, bingo, hairdressing competitions, rotary events, raves and much more as the revellers of the North East flocked to the city centre venue.

But it was as a superb, and today sorely-missed rock venue that the Mayfair is best remembered.

Some of the biggest acts in the world would grace the venue's modest stage - but it would also play host to countless up and coming young bands.

By the mid-1960s, and after the arrival of the Beatles, Stones and the like, the Mayfair looked towards the new, burgeoning rock movement. …

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