When romance blossomed at the Rink

The Queens Rink
The Queens Rink

THREE couples will recreate the moment they met half a century ago when they step back in time at the Rink next week.

Romance blossomed for Alan and Josie Melville, Joyce and Dave Appleton and Cynth and Alan Wright when they all met and courted at Hartlepool’s old Queens Rink in the 1960s.

And although the old Clarence Road ballroom was knocked down many years ago, they will be pulling on their dancing shoes for a romantic reminisce at the Borough Hall’s Relive the Rink event on Saturday, December 8.

Dave, who was a singer with 1960s band The What, recalled: “The boys would never dance, they’d circle the dance-floor watching the girls.”

Wife Joyce added: “We’d all get on the dance-floor and do The Locomotion or dance round our handbags, while the boys looked on.”

Alan recalled: “The place was always packed and whenever a fight broke out the lights would flash on the ceiling above them and the doormen would coming running over and throw them out.”

The Rink was the place to be throughout the 1950s and 1960s and organisers hope to recreate that atmosphere of the latter years with top Mersey rock and roll band The Beat Club, who regularly played the Cavern Club, made famous by The Beatles.

The Rink was graced with some fantastic big name acts over the years including The Kinks, Swinging Blue Jeans, The Hollies, Billy Fury, Lulu, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and the Jeff Beck Band – who at the time had a little known singer by the name of Rod Stewart and guitarist Jimmy Page.

Cynth said: “We have been to Rink reunion events before and it is fantastic to see everyone again. I’m just glad there’s seats and tables at the Borough Hall as I don’t think I could dance all night again!”

Tickets are going fast for the Relive the Rink event and are available from Shotton’s Kitchens, in Park Road, or from Hartlepool Tourist Information, at Christ Church, in Church Square. Tickets are priced at £12.