Memories of Bristol’s Grand Spa Ballroom

Memories of Bristol’s Grand Spa Ballroom

Some cool plastic molded part images:

Memories of Bristol’s Grand Spa Ballroom
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Dancing Through Time

The Spa in Clifton opened to great acclaim but is now derelict

MANY rising stars of the 1950s, such as Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark and Peter Sellers, appeared at Clifton’s Grand Spa Ballroom. And thousands of Bristolians enjoyed the sounds of big bands here, at a dance hall which has been locked up for more than three decades.

But this was no ordinary dance hall. Situated at the foot of a steep staircase leading off Sion Hill, it had originally been built as the Pump Room of the Clifton Grand Spa and Hydro, an upmarket hotel which opened near the suspension bridge in 1894.

Often entertainment was laid on here for the personnel of Navy ships, such as at the time of the visit of various warships in 1898. It was described as a hall of admirable proportions, 100 feet by 57 feet, ceiling height 27 feet, elegant and light with an uninterrupted view from the windows of Leigh Woods, the Suspension Bridge and Nightingale Valley. In the centre was a fountain of white marble with a raised fluted basin. All doors, window frames, panelling and floor were made of oak.

In 1898 it was reported that the Pump Room, being part of the Spa and Hydro, had not only been redecorated but also a passenger elevator had been installed to give access to all the floors of the hotel.

This had been financed by wealthy publisher, entrepreneur and one-time MP Sir George Newnes, who was also the promoter of the adjoining Clifton Rocks Railway. Seven hundred influential Bristolians were invited to the opening dinner. After a sumptuous meal followed by the obligatory speeches, they were entertained by the Band of the Life Guards and singing from Madame Strathearn.

The directors of the Clifton Grand Spa and Hydro boasted that its grand Pump Room was the “most highly decorated and finest in the kingdom”.

However, by 1922, the popularity of the Pump Room and Spa had waned and it was turned into a cinema. Six years later, it became a ballroom, and by the 1950s and 1960s it was one of Bristol’s most popular dance halls.

Long-serving entertainments director Reg Williams, who had his own top band at the Park Row Coliseum in the 1930s, developed a cabaret policy featuring many youngsters destined to be stars.

The 15-piece Grand Spa band was the first to introduce Latin American rhythms to the city.

The musicians played from a bandstand in an alcove, a place from which visitors once took the spa waters pumped up from 250ft below, through the rocks from Hotwells. Dennis Mann, who ran the Grand Spa Orchestra for 10 years from 1960, remembers the ballroom with much affection.

“It was such a wonderful ballroom,” he recalled.

“As a musician, I’d toured all over the country, but this was something different.”

“People danced between ornate pillars. At the bottom of the staircase there were marble
steps leading into the ballroom.

“I remember that the women were well-dressed. Up north, they danced wearing headscarves, but at the Grand Spa they were beautifully dressed. And the men wore suits
and ties.”

The singer for Dennis’s band was his wife, the late Shirley Jackson.

“We were working in different parts of the country,” he recalled, “and I thought the only way we could see each other was by forming my own band, with Shirley in the nine-piece set up. We broadcast for the BBC’s old Light Programme from the Spa, and we once played with the singer Janie Marden for a live radio outside broadcast.”

“The ballroom was open six nights a week. We called Thursdays ‘reps night’.

That’s when firms’ representatives who were in Bristol for the week turned up for a night out before going back home the next day,” said Dennis.

“Friday nights was always kept for private functions. We used to play at lots of dances for firms like Rolls-Royce, police balls and press balls. Old Bristol firms, like the engineers Strachan and Henshaw, used to have their dances at the Spa.

“We used to get 800 people and more into the ballroom. On New Year’s Eve, it would probably be nearer 1,000. I remember that during the interval the band would jump into their cars and go around to the nearby Coronation Tap for a couple of pints of cider.”

After Dennis left the Grand Spa, he joined the QE2 as bandmaster for six months.

“I was on board when the SAS were winched onto the ship from a helicopter during a bomb scare,” he recalled.

The Grand Spa sparked countless romances, as couples danced between the splendid marble pillars. A popular feature was a machine in the ladies’ toilets, girls who put in sixpence got a spray of perfume.

Delphine Lydall, who lives opposite the old ballroom, remembered: “It was very ornate, very Victorian. I met my husband there on a Monday night. Monday was the under-21 club night. It was all run very properly, and it finished at 10.30pm.”

There were blue and green upholstered wooden-framed chairs, and built in red leather settees that lined the room. The huge 1920s lights were retained, but were dimmed, and used in combination with wrought-iron lantern holders, screwed into the oak plinths of the marble columns to make the place more intimate. The raised platform on the North West side that was installed in the 1922 cinema, covering one fifth of the total floor area, was retained. A second new raised platform was introduced in the alcove, where the stone fountain once stood, which served as a jazz band stand. At the time, it was described as a three-level rostrum with a shell-back for the orchestra. The Music Gallery was turned into a buffet and additional bar for refreshments, the main bar was off the hotel end of the ballroom (underneath the marble staircase).

In the 1960s and 70s, the hotel ballroom was converted to a disco. The original retiring room between the Clifton Rocks Railway and the disco had been fitted out as a make-shift kitchen. Against one wall was a laminated worktop lined with a few 1970s floral wall tiles, with a kettle and a couple of hot rings to make teas, coffees and soup. The Music Gallery was bricked up, and plastic padding put between the bricks and the moulded plaster capitals of the pilasters on either side of the archway, to protect them, in the hope that one day it would be restored. By the middle of the 1970s, all the original decoration had been painted black or dark green and covered by a suspended hessian ceiling; wooden frames were constructed round the marble columns, which were covered in hessian, and lights were replaced with disco lighting.

The Grand Spa changed its name to the Avon Gorge Hotel some 30 years ago, and ever since then the ballroom has been standing derelict. Robert Peel, the hotel’s new owner, has submitted a £10 million scheme to redevelop the whole site, including the terraces spilling down the cliff.

He would like to restore the ballroom, but says this can only be done if permission is granted for the whole complex.

“To restore it would be a great feat, but restoring it on its own would not be financially economical,” he said.

The Grand Spa wasn’t the only post-war dance venue in the city. The Mecca organisation bought the small ballroom known as The Glen, situated in an old quarry off Durdham Down. This became so popular that they built a new one, The Locarno. The site is now the Bupa hospital car park.

The Victoria Rooms was another hugely popular dance hall. The big band of Ken Lewis, who later became a full-time official of the Musicians’ Union in Bristol, often played there.

A couple of hundred yards down Queens Road, opposite the university’s Wills Memorial Building, was the Berkeley Cafe, owned by the Cadena group, which advertised itself as the “largest and most up-to-date cafe in Bristol”.

With seating for 1,200 people, the Berkeley Orchestra played three sessions each day.

The popular “tea dances” held in the cafe’s Queen’s Hall every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon attracted crowds of dancers from all over. The building, which retains its original name, is now a pub.

Clem Gardiner and Arthur Parkman, each with their own bands and their own following, were familiar faces at the Grand Hotel in Broad Street and the Royal Hotel on College Green.

Across the river, band leader Eric Winstone moved his musicians into the Bristol South swimming pool in Dean Lane in the 1960s when it closed for the winter. Boards were put over the pool to accommodate the dancers.

Do you have any photos tucked away somewhere of the Grand Spa ballroom, or of people enjoying themselves there, in its 1960s heyday? If so, we’d love to see them, and perhaps publish them on Flickr, so that others can see just what it was like.

2016 – Once-popular Bristol ballroom left derelict for decades could be brought back into use.

For decades, the once-popular Grand Spa Ballroom below the Avon Gorge Hotel in Clifton, has stood empty and neglected, a relic of bygone days.

Now however, there appears to be plans to bring the former venue back into use by the Hotel du Vin, the new owners of the Avon Gorge Hotel.

Image from page 168 of “American homes and gardens” (1905)

Image from page 168 of “American homes and gardens” (1905)

A few nice china mould images I found:

Image from page 168 of “American homes and gardens” (1905)
china mould
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Identifier: americanhomesgar41907newy
Title: American homes and gardens
Year: 1905 (1900s)
Authors:
Subjects: Architecture, Domestic Landscape gardening
Publisher: New York : Munn and Co
Contributing Library: Smithsonian Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: Biodiversity Heritage Library

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Text Appearing Before Image:
rked: I havescarcely a piece that properly belongshere. We shall have to live up tothis house by slow degrees. Butbetter this way than to have a repre-sentative collection of historicalfurniture in a poor architectural set-ting. That is an almost hopelessanachronism because it is practicallyimpossible to do anything with thehouse, especially if the furniture beof the vintage of say 1875. Everycultivated person, nowadays, is afurniture collector who is constantlyweeding out and improving his stock.Another decided advantage thearchitect had was permission to usethe small sized lights in the loweras well as the upper half of thewindows. Not many of an archi-tects patrons will readily agree tothis, and he often had much con-cern how to gain the atmosphere sonecessary to ones happiness with the big sheets of plate glassclients have demanded. Indeed the sash bars do not obscurethe vision as is always argued, more than ones vision isobscured by the projection of the nose. One may look cross-

Text Appearing After Image:
An Artistic Inglenook in the Dining-room Hasa Paneled Seat and a Colonial Mantel A Stairway Within the Stately Doorway Isthe Feature of the Paneled Hall A Quaint China Cabinet Is Built in the Cornerof the Dining-room it, and that is a development of our own day, but with sev-eral advantages, the two piers being united by an arch in theattic. We do not expect every one, however, to note all the his-torical development which has been faithfully carried out inthis Highland Mills cottage. The orthodox details, oneafter another, will impress themselves upon the much in-terested reader, such as the overhanging upon which he willone day discover the molded chamfers which, to give themill that did the work due credit, are beautifully executed,likewise the molded drops, all very satisfactory. The ex-periments of the interior were not less successful, but are eyed, and encounter the objection, but one does not care tolook cross-eyed habitually. It all depends upon the point offocus chosen. Ther

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Image from page 130 of “History of art” (1921)
china mould
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Identifier: historyofar02faur
Title: History of art
Year: 1921 (1920s)
Authors: Faure, Elie, 1873-1937 Pach, Walter, 1883-1958
Subjects: Art
Publisher: New York and London : Harper & brothers
Contributing Library: PIMS – University of Toronto
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Toronto

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Buddhist Art. Lacquered wood. {Louvre.) concealed from Western eyes the true nature of Japan,the Occident was astonished at the speed with which entire chapter, as also all the others treating of the non-European arts, inthe volume devoted to the Middle Ages, which should be looked upon as astate of mind rather than as a historical period. It is to be observed, how-ever, that Japanese individualism tends, from the fifteenth century onward,as in the Occident, to detach itself from the religious and philosophic synthesis which characterizes the mediaeval spirit. JAPAN 103 Japan assimilated the external form of the Europeancivilizations. At a bound it covered the road that wehad taken four hundred years to travel. The Occident

Text Appearing After Image:
Buddhist Art. Buddha. Wooden statue. {Louvre.) could not understand. It thought the effort dispro-portionate to the means and destined to failure. Ittook for servile imitation the borrowing of a methodwhose practical value Japan could appreciate before 104 MEDIAEVAL ART she utilized it, because old habits of artistic and meta-physical abstraction had prepared the mind of thepeople for Western ideas. Under her new armamentof machines, of ships, and of cannons, Japan retainedthe essentials of what had constituted and what stillconstitutes her strength — her faith in herself, hercontrolled passion, her spirit of analysis and recon-struction. The reproach addressed to Europeanized Japan isnot new. She had been accused of acquiring from China—and through China from India—her religion, herphilosophy, her art, and her political institutions,whereas she had transformed everything, recast every-thing in the mold of a savagely original mind. If onewere to go back to the sources of history

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Cool Mould Manufacturing Factory images

Cool Mould Manufacturing Factory images

Some cool mould manufacturing factory images:

Image from page 47 of “Rubber hand stamps and the manipulation of rubber; a practical treatise on the manufacture of India rubber hand stamps, small articles of India rubber, the hektograph, special inks, cements, and allied subjects” (1891)
mould manufacturing factory
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Identifier: rubberhandstamps01sloa
Title: Rubber hand stamps and the manipulation of rubber; a practical treatise on the manufacture of India rubber hand stamps, small articles of India rubber, the hektograph, special inks, cements, and allied subjects
Year: 1891 (1890s)
Authors: Sloane, T. O’Conor (Thomas O’Conor), 1851-1940
Subjects: Hand stamps Rubber
Publisher: New York, N. W. Henley & Co.
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation

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anized product. Sheet rubber is made as above;is vulcanized by some of the absorption processesdescribed in the chapter on vulcaniza-tion. We now come to the second product: regularlymixed and cured rubber. Its starting point isthe washed India rubber from the washer andsheeter. We have seen that the ^^ure gum or caoutchouc isvery sensitive to changes of temperature. At thefreezing point of water it is hard and rigid, and at 42 RUBBER HAND STAMP MAKING the boiling point is like putty in consistency.There are several substances wliich can be made tocombine with the gum and which remove from itthis susceptibility to change of temperature. Theprocess of effecting this combination is called vul-canization, and the product is called vulcanizedindia rubber. Sulphur is the agent most generallyemployed. In the factory the normal vulcanization is carriedout in two steps, mixing and curing. The washedsheet india rubber which has not been masticatedand which must be perfectly dry is the starting

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Making i^Iixed Ritbber. point, andtlie mixing rolls sliown in the cuts are themechanism for carrying out the first step. Theseare a pair of powerful rollers which are geared so asto work like ordinary rolls, except that one revolves AND THE MANIPULATION OF RUBBER. 43 about three times as fast as the other. They areheated by steam, which is introduced inside ofthem. The sheet is first passed through them afew times to secure its softness, and then the opera-tive begins to sprinkle sulphur upon it as it entersthe rolls. This is continued, the rubber passing andrepassing until perfect incorporation is secured.About ten per cent, of sulphur is added, and a work-man can take care of thirty pounds at a time. This material is incompletely vulcanized. It isin its present condition very amenable to heat andis ready for any moulding process. Generally it isrolled out or ^^ calendered into sheets of differentthickness from which articles are made in mouldsby curing. These sheets are of especial

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Image from page 413 of “Canadian foundryman (1921)” (1921)
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Identifier: canfoundryman1921toro
Title: Canadian foundryman (1921)
Year: 1921 (1920s)
Authors:
Subjects: Foundries Foundry workers
Publisher: Toronto : MacLean Pub. Co
Contributing Library: Fisher – University of Toronto
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Toronto

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supplies.Our lines com-prise the highestgrade equipmentobtainable any-where. You Cant Afford to Overlook theseMoney Saving Opportunities We are offering you at prices beyond comparison the high-est grade Foundry Equipment obtainable anywhere. If youare wide awake for real values investigate these lines. Get Our Prices on Ladle Bowls and Shanks.Steel Bands Steel Slip-over Jackets.Steel Core Plates.Wooden Snap Flasks. Youll find longer servicein our flat bottom steelladle bowls. These bowlscome in capacities from 50to 800 lbs. Dont shove this oppor-tunity aside. Write atonce for Prices and liberalDiscounts. All Steel Core Ovens Thes* core ovens have nocast parts to break. Extrasmoke pipe connection takesexcess smoke away. Alldoors have Battle Plate toreduce heat loss when door isopen. pAMP pROS Tote Box, Barrels, etc.All-Steel Core Ovens. Manufacturing and Welding Co. We can supply AluminumPattern Plates in any size. 825 DUPONT STREET, TORONTO, ONTARIO 26 CANADIAN FOUNDRYMAN Volume XII

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Heres the history of this jobin a jobbing foundry beforeand after machine-moulding:- Weight, 275 pounds.Flask (inside). 42 x 33 x 24 high. Before Mounting—One man put up4 moulds in 7 hours After Mounting— 4 men and one No. machine put up 45 moulds in 7 hours. 435 Labor Required For moulding, coring, closingand pouring each moudBefore—2V* man-hours.After—8-10ths man-hrs. Cost of Mounting Pattern,including labor andmaterials, .00. Labor Cost reduced 62 M: /<. Cost of Pattern Mounting saved on the first 28moulds. Reducing costs to meet1921 requirements J7CONOMY in productionis the keynote of 1921 man-ufacturing and selling prob-lems. Extravagant produc-tion costs can no longer bepassed on to a helpless con-sumer. Machine-molding must be util-ized wherever possible in orderthat selling prices will seemreasonable to buyers.The Osborn Manufacturing Company INCORPORATED Main Office and Factory 5401 Hamilton Ave. Cleveland, Ohio New York San Francisco

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Cool Moldings Equipment China images

Cool Moldings Equipment China images

Check out these moldings equipment china images:

Image from page 349 of “How to paint : an instruction book with full description of all the materials necessary.” (1894)
moldings equipment china
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Identifier: howtopaintinstru00asal
Title: How to paint : an instruction book with full description of all the materials necessary.
Year: 1894 (1890s)
Authors: A.S. Aloe Company.
Subjects: Artists’ materials–Catalogs Painting–Technique Fountain pens–Catalogs Pyrography–Equipment and supplies–Catalogs China painting–Equipment and supplies–Catalogs Trade catalogs–Artists’ materials Trade catalogs–Fountain pens Trade catalogs–Pyrography–Equipment and supplies Trade catalogs–China painting–Equipment and supplies.
Publisher: A.S. Aloe Company, St. Louis
Contributing Library: Winterthur Museum Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation

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Color Preservingf Medium Indelible Fabric Paintingr The only Medium yet discovered by wliichpainting with oil colors can be done on silk,linen or cotton cloth, rendering the fabric softand pliable and 3et indelible and unfadingwhen laundered. Useful in decorating dresses,bed spreads and shams, curtains, draperies,table linen, dojlies, etc. If in place of turpentine the Medium isused in painting on bolting cloth, the workwill be transparent, yet unfading, and canbe easily washed. Each bottle contains 4 ozs.and will paint a large amount of surface. BERLIN CHEMICAL CO., Mgrs.. BERLIN, WIS. H. A. HYATT, MANUFACTURER, IMPORTER ANDDEALER IN Photographic Supplies, ARTISTS MATERIALS. PICTURE FRAMES, MOULDINGS,ALBUMS, ETC. N. E. Cor. Eighth and Locust Streets, St. Louis, Mo.

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Family Medicine Chest, S5.OO. It contains thirty vials, two drachms each,of the principal remedies, such as are usedin simple cases of Colds, Coughs, Headache,Diarrhoea, Childrens Troubles, etc. The J2.00 Case contains twelve vials, twodrachms each, including a Practical Guide toHomoeopathy. The 1^1.00 Case contains twelve vials, onedrachm each. Libera! Discount to Physicians and Druggists. FOR SALE BY HENRY R. LUYTIES, Manufacturing Homceopathic Druggist, 2i8 Pine Street, ST. LOUIS, MO. HOW TO PAINT. 343

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Cool Mold Products images

Cool Mold Products images

A few nice mold products images I found:

Two free splicing blocks with each reel!
mold products
Image by Carbon Arc
Kodak 7-inch (17.8cm) tape reel, early 1960s. Along their well-known photographic and motion-picture products, Eastman Kodak also manufactured recording tape and tape reels.

One distinguishing feature of their tape reels was a splicing block molded into each side of the reel. Using special splicing tape and a single-edged razor blade according to instructions printed inside the box, hobbyists could splice their own tape the same way professionals did.