Do you remember who has performed at Darley Memorial Hall?

The Do-Dahs were one of the many groups that have performed in the venue over the years
The Do-Dahs were one of the many groups that have performed in the venue over the years

Those of you who were around in the Dale in the 50s, 60s and 70s will almost certainly have paid at least one visit to the Darley Dances on Saturday nights.

Sue Welch is desperately seeking photos of the bands and groups that you enjoyed to go into a book to mark the 70th Anniversary of Darley Memorial Hall this November.

Old papers have been uncovered which show all the names of the bands and how much they charged, and how much door money was taken, so Sue knows the names and how popular they were. But the dancers didn’t generally have cameras or mobile phones, so there are very few photos.

The most frequent bands were Gladys Robinson and the Nightbirds, Rennos, Encore , Albert Honeyman and his Orchestra, the New Georgians, Gresham Players in the early 50s, who were then supplemented by Tommy Simms, Ted Kassell and his Music, Syd Pullen and his Orchestra, Hammond Sound, The Dave-a-Tones going into the 60s before groups such as Edge, Twice Removed, The Do-Dahs, The Jaguars came in.

The most famous group was Del Rio who played from 1956 into the 1990s! Photos of that band particularly welcome as they played the Hall over 300 times.

At the New Year’s Eve Dance in 1961, it is recorded in the minutes that there were 565 dancers, and there were high takings on many other occasions.

Of course eventually numbers dropped and discos came in, meaning all the local groups folded. However, Darley’s dancing tradition continues today, with a monthly sequence dance.

Over 100 bands and groups played at the Hall during its 30 years as the Dance Hall of the Dale. Yet Sue has only found photos of half a dozen.

If you were a member of a band or group, or a relative, or know someone who might have a photo, please get in touch on 01423 780970 or e-mail sue@darleymemorialhall.com.

The book will be launched at an exhibition in the Hall on Saturday 11 November.

In November there will then be a week of activities, bringing back many of those who used to play bowls, enjoy country and western nights, go dancing etc.

The celebrations culminate in a village party on 17 November.

More details will be published nearer the time, but mark the dates in your diary.