Flowers for Miss Margot and chocolates for the cast - your memories of a great Hartlepool dance era

Miss Margot's students take time for a lovely photograph during their summer review in 1969.
Miss Margot's students take time for a lovely photograph during their summer review in 1969.

We danced back in time to the 1960s for this one and we have Sharon Iddon, nee Holdforth, to thank for more information.

We wanted to hear from the former students of Margot Adams, the teacher who for four decades, was among those to shape the town’s dance talent.

Mencap founder member Gertrude Walters, left, presents Margot Adams with a figurine of a dancer in recognition of her support for more than 30 years.

Mencap founder member Gertrude Walters, left, presents Margot Adams with a figurine of a dancer in recognition of her support for more than 30 years.

Sharon came forward and told us: “I attended Margot Adams dancing class from about 1965 until the late 80s. We had great fun and have lots of happy memories.”

Back in the early days, lessons where held in the Labour Hall in Park Road. Then they moved to Grange Road Methodist Church Hall in the late 70s.

Sharon recalled: “We used to have a lesson in the week and one on a Saturday morning.

“Mrs Dimmock played the piano for us and when she retired Mrs Stonehouse (I think that was her name) took over.”

We always looked forward to the last performance as our mams always bought us chocolates. Bouquets of flowers were presented to Miss Margot, the pianist and principal performers.

Sharon Iddon

There were private lessons as well for anyone who was getting ready for exams and they included a tap, ballet and a modern dance. These were normally held just before school broke up for the summer holidays.

“Every year we did a pantomime in January and a summer review in June and all proceeds went to Mencap,” Sharon recalled.

“These where held in the Town Hall. Our changing rooms where in the class rooms of the Technical Day School which was joined to the Town Hall. The pantomimes ran for a week from Tuesday to Friday evenings and a matinee on a Saturday afternoon. We always looked forward to the last performance as our mams always bought us chocolates.”

And it was bouquets of flowers for Miss Margot, the pianist and principal performers.

Sharon remembered: “My mam made both mine and my sister Alison’s costumes. Everyone was given a pattern and allocated a certain amount of material which was put away in a local material shop. All the trimmings were bought from Barkers in the indoor market.

“These were all sewn on by hand. About a week before the show all the costumes were checked to ensure that they were all the same and if not alterations would need to be made before the dress rehearsal.”

Margot’s academy opened in the 1950s and saw generations of Hartlepool dancers pass through its doors. Three went on to gain dancing certificates themselves.

Margot’s own dance career began when she was two and later, she won many awards including the North of England titles in ballet, tap and modern stage.

She won the Royal Academy of Dance award for ballet and also got certificates from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and the Northern Counties Dance Teachers.

Many further achievements followed but it is the students she taught and loved who will remember her most.

We would love to hear from more of you. Do so by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk

And watch out for more of Sharon’s memories in tomorrow’s Memory Lane.