Author Topic: "The Court" Ardwick  (Read 5047 times)

memopad

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"The Court" Ardwick
« on: 12:40:26, 23/06/16 »
This is going back to the 1960s but does anyone remember the Court School of Dancing which was located in the hall adjacent to the Apollo Theatre on Ardwick Green?   The dance floor was on the upper level and the ground floor was occupied by the Wimpy Bar where you get strange circular hot dogs that could be doused in vividly coloured mustard or tomato ketchup.


The Court was one of a chain of dancing schools owned by Courtney Castle.   Very little was known about Courtney but he seemed like a fascinating character.   If anyone knew him or could tell me anything about him I would be very interested to know about it.   Every year there was an awards evening where those who had qualified were presented with their medals.   I think that Courtney himself did the presentations one year and on another occasion they were presented by Mr Rogers (I cannot remember his first name) of Rogers and Lamont (another dance school on Oxford Road).


I was not very good at dancing (I think I finally achieved a bronze medal) but the Court was a great place to meet people.   It would be interesting to know how many people formed relationships or life long friendships with those they met there.


The last time I saw the building it was empty and looked derelict.   That was some time ago so it may now be occupied again.   It would be nice if that was the case as the neighbouring Apollo is evidently still a great venue which attracts audiences from all over the country.   The Court and the Wimpy Bar are no longer with us but something similar (a dance club or restaurant) would be wonderful.

migky

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #1 on: 14:51:33, 23/06/16 »
Never been in the place but this is what it looks like these days  :-\

Migky ;)

I'm a bit like Marmite

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #2 on: 16:20:11, 23/06/16 »
Thanks Migky that is definitely the place but it looks a far cry from its hey day in the 1960s.   If it is still owned by whoever owns the Apollo then I don't understand why they do not try to utilise it in some way.   It is in a superb location close to the city centre yet with plenty of adjacent parking.   Possibly they have left it too long and it is now beyond repair but I hope not.   It used to be a fine building and it has definitely played its part in Manchester's history.

Jim44

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #3 on: 20:20:25, 24/06/16 »
That certainly brings back memories Migky, we sometimes went in that entrance to ABC minors on a Saturday morning. And in my teenage years we also went in the Wimpy bar on the right.

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #4 on: 23:58:05, 25/06/16 »
Yes I remember my dad taking me to see films at the Apollo when I was a child.   I always wanted to go in at the Hyde Road entrance but, if I remember, correctly you had to go in at the main entrance on Stockport Road.   When leaving I think you could go out at the Hyde Road exit if that was more convenient.

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #5 on: 15:29:27, 26/06/16 »
Does anyone have any memories of other "Court" schools in the Manchester area?   I read somewhere that a couple who had been instructors at the Eccles branch had bought the rights to use the Court name from Courtney Castle's son and were planning to open another school with the same name in the same premises as the original.   Sadly the wife died so that was not possible.   Does anyone know what, if anything, happened after that?

Manx

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #6 on: 19:43:44, 26/06/16 »
I remember the the name but no details but was tempted to Google and found an interesting Manchesterbeat link (was this the link you read?)

http://www.manchesterbeat.com/venues/eccles/courtschool/court.php

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #7 on: 12:54:14, 27/06/16 »
Manx thank you very much for that link which confirms what I had thought.   I hope that Bill Benson is now having a great life in Australia.   It is heartwarming to read the memories of so many others whose younger lives the Court(s) seem to have influenced.

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #8 on: 13:14:50, 22/08/16 »
I married someone who I met at the Court Ardwick and we were happy for a long time.   I would like to get some idea of how many other relationships started there.   Does anyone have any memories to share?

manChester46

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #9 on: 19:28:16, 09/09/16 »
I started to learn "Ball room" dancing when I was 15/16 at the "Rodgers & Lamonte " school of dancing which was above the old Regal cinema on Oxford Road/Street near the corner of Charles St, looking towards the "Refuge" building. This was circa 1959/60.
After I became quite adept at the Waltz, Quickstep, Cha,cha,cha and various " Old time" dances 1 had to give up because try as I did, I could not conquer the Foxtrot!!
Later when I met my future wife in 1965, I resumed my lessons at the "Court" school of dancing at the Apollo on Hyde road. I remember this entrance well because that is where as members of the ABC club we attended Saturday morning films.
I never actually went into the "Wimpy" bar on the corner of the cinema because it was too novel for me.
Geoff Williams
ex resident from Ogilvie st, Chorlton on Medlock

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #10 on: 11:07:51, 15/09/16 »
Geoff - Thank you very much for your post I am glad that I am not the only one out there who remembers the Court (and Rogers and Lamont).   I had to laugh when I read that the Wimpy Bar was too novel for you when that, like so much else, is now part of "Memories of Old Manchester".

manChester46

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #11 on: 15:52:09, 15/09/16 »
Memo pad
Thank you for your reply. Please see my other posts on this site, look under"old Manchester".
I am searching for old school friends and neighbours from Manchester 13 circa 1949-1960,
especially from Holy Name school which was on Dover Street, opposite the old Convent. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Malachi Quinn from Dover street  (next to the school) I would appreciate news I have lots of fond memories of my youth

Geoff

myrtle

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #12 on: 23:38:48, 21/09/16 »
I worked in the coffee bar/cloakroom at Ardwick Green in 1965 when I was 16 ... Pam and Larry were the managers.       My dance lessons and entry to the teenage social nights were free .... I paid for the medal tests .... only did Bronze/Silver/Gold .... Happy days  :)

We used to have our staff "do's" at Rogers and Lamont on Oxford Road and we once went to London by coach to a dance/competition at a Court School there .... I danced a quickstep with one of the teachers (Paul) in the comp .... don't remember us getting anywhere though  ;D.   

I stayed for about three years before I started going to the discos in Manchester and didn't do ballroom dancing again until after my divorce 25 years ago .... I now do modern sequence dancing.

memopad

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #13 on: 17:09:38, 22/09/16 »
Myrtle - Did you ever meet Courtney Castle?   If so, what was he like?   I always imagined someone a bit like Barrie Stewart Hargreaves (from Hi-De-Hi).   In reality he was probably nothing like that.

myrtle

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Re: "The Court" Ardwick
« Reply #14 on: 23:18:59, 22/09/16 »
Hi memopad .... no I'd never heard of Courtney Castle and certainly didn't meet him  :(