Shall we dance? The story of the Co-op Dance Hall

Detail from 1950s evening dress.

Detail from 1950s evening dress.

One of the displays going head to head in the Blab this week tells the story of Nuneaton’s Co-op Dance Hall.

Visitors to the museum can learn how to waltz and can even score each other in true ‘Strictly’ style!  They can also learn how to tie a bow tie and enjoy memories of a night out in Nuneaton in the age of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Co-op Hall was the place to be seen in Nuneaton on a Friday and Saturday night from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Built in 1939, it stood on Queens Road, where Lidl is today. The hall hosted dances, charity balls, orchestras, functions and big bands.

Detail from 1960s dress suit.

Detail from 1960s dress suit.

The venue was particularly popular with teenagers. Many friendships, romances and marriages began there. In the 1960s huge crowds came to see bands including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Tragedy struck in 1965 when four people died in a crush on the stairs. The hall never fully recovered, despite attempts to hold dances and later bingo there. It was demolished in 2008.

Your response to these displays will help us to decide which stories to tell in our Local History Gallery. Come along, share your memories under the glitter ball and tell us whether the Co-op Dance Hall deserves a place in the story of the Borough!

Blab 2 runs from 15 October-11 December and is part of the Creative Museums programme, led by Battersea Arts Centre and funded by Arts Council England.

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