The Queen’s Ballroom Pontypool

In a recent telephone conversation I had with my friend, Eric Smith, he was telling me that a lot of people do not know where The Queen’s Ballroom was in Pontypool. This is quite understandable because it is now known, and has been for very many years, as The Palais de Dance.

I remember it by that name way back in the early 1940s when dances and other forms of entertainment were held there. At that time it was the only dance hall in Wales with a sprung floor; in fact there was only one other such place in the whole country with such a floor and that was in the Blackpool Tower. You might remember that, a year or so ago, some of the Strictly Come Dancing programmes were held there.

One of the regular events at the Palais de Dance was the annual NSPCC Children’s Ball, an event to raise money for the charity. Eric attended these and, on one occasion, all the children were taken along to Turner’s Fish and chip shop in George Street and were provided with a meal of fish and chips. When Eric asked me to go along to the ball with him I agreed. We were about 12 years old at the time so it was during the war. Sadly there were no fish and chips on that occasion but I do remember going upstairs to have refreshments on the small balcony. I remember it being very crowded with several hundred children in attendance and quite a number of adults.

The entrance to the Palais de Dance, usually referred to by Pontypool folk simply as “The Palais” (usually pronounced “pally”), was directly opposite the top entrance to the market in Crane Street. I don’t have a photograph of the whole building but I do remember it had a fairly large foyer leading to the inside doors. There were a few steps down to the pavement. I do, however, have a photograph of a troupe of performers in their costumes sitting on those steps. If anyone has a better photograph of The Palais, please let me have a copy and I’ll include it in a future blog post.

A troupe of performers sitting on the steps of The Palais de Dance

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5 Responses to “The Queen’s Ballroom Pontypool”

  1. levant29 Says:

    If you can remember there was a flower shop on the left hand side just before you got to the steps, I think this was Powells shop they also had a Big stall in the Market,

  2. Emmerson Salkeld Says:

    I’m led to believe that the mirror ball in Cwmavon’s Village Hall came from the Queens ballroom.

  3. Derek Lewis Says:

    I used to play Trumpet in The George Howard Dance band at ‘The Queens’.We were the resident band on a Saturday night band in the early 1960’s.

    I think I’m right in saying that The Queen’s used to be called The Waverley Hotel,and there is a photogragh of that on my family tree. An Aunt worked there as a Counterhand in the 1920’s

  4. Sheila Hughes Says:

    There was a flower shop in the entrance to the ballroom. It was managed by Mrs. Lewis. My dad was George Howard who played at the Queen’s for many years. He was there in the 1950’s. When Bill and I were married in 1957 Mr Powell gave all the “button hole “flowers as a surprise gift.

  5. Angela Evans Says:

    Anyone remember the cottages next to the Hospitality Pub on Crumlin Street, pontypool ( Numbers 19′ 21′ 22′ ) or have any photos and also do you know when they were demolished.

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