Let it snow! Remembering 1960s pantomimes in Hartlepool

The Margot Adams pantomime in 1969. Recognise anyone you know?
The Margot Adams pantomime in 1969. Recognise anyone you know?

OK, so it’s baking hot.

But we are going all festive with our second look back at the days of Margot Adams and her Hartlepool dance school.

The programme for the 1970 pantomime.

The programme for the 1970 pantomime.

We appealed recently for memories of Margot and former student Sharon Iddon, nee Holdforth, got in touch and told us more.

She remembered the private lessons for youngsters about to take exams and the summer review in June with all proceeds going to Mencap.

But today, we turn our attention to Margot’s annual pantomime and the other great things that the school did over the Christmas period.

Sharon recalled how one of her favourite dances was the snow scene as someone would be sat above the stage with artificial snow and they “sprinkled it down as snowflakes. We were easily pleased when we were young”.

For a number of years a couple of troupes used to visit the hospital near Christmas time and dance on the wards for the patients. They always seemed to enjoy it.

Sharon Iddon

And as a reassuring back-up Margot was there - an ever-present who was always at hand to support her protégés.

“All during the show,” said Sharon, “Margot would stand in the wings watching and if we forgot any steps or words she would be there to help.”

And there were the other activities around Christmas.

“For a number of years a couple of troupes used to visit the hospital near Christmas time and dance on the wards for the patients. They always seemed to enjoy it.”

Sharon loved her time under Margot’s tutelage and added: “Dancing was fun, we made great friends and have a lifetime of memories that will never be forgotten.”

There was a legacy left behind by Margot, as Sharon explained.

“A few of Margot’s dancers went on to open their own dance schools: Denise and Beverley Tyzack, Gail and Jill Measor, Karen Liddle.”

Sharon went to the Margot Adams dancing class from about 1965 until the late 80s and said: “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 70’s.

Sharon added: “I am sure other former pupils could add their memories too.”

We certainly hope so and we would love to hear from other Margot Adams students, as well as the students of other dance schools in times gone by.

Get in touch and tell us more about the great times you had.

Or, if there is another aspect of nostalgia in the Hartlepool and East Durham areas you would like to share, tell us more.

It could be on anything from a favourite former shop, to a pub or hotel you loved.

You can get in touch with us by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk