Dancing at Chick Hibberts

I was contacted by Gil Higham about his youth, dancing at Chick Hibberts amongst other places.
This is his post:

I found this site by accident as I am 96+ years old a lot of my contemporaries have departed. 
I lived in Droylsden, off Edge Lane close to Openshaw. I went to Wheler Street School from
 1936 to 39 passed 11+ and went to Ardwick Central in Devonshire Street, Ardwick. 
I left in 43 and began my intro to Openshaw. My best mate was Francis 'Yank' Turner
and together we found the billiard hall round the corner from the Alhambra cinema where
 we spent a lot of time. It was inevitable that the dance hall was also found, Chick Hibberts 
as it was known. 
We went there on Sat. Nights what a joy big band playing all the latest hits and me
dancing the night away. 
I had the good fortune to meet my future wife I spotted her across the dance floor
and spoke those magic words 'Do you come here often'. That was the clincher, 
I took here home to Droylsden and that was a love that lasted 61yrs until she 
passed away in 2009, a loss I have not yet got over.  
We went to Chicks most Saturdays and also Sundays when the Communist party 
held dances, as well as Belle Vue on Fridays when bands like Ted Heath, Edmundo Ros 
and Squadronaires were featured, I could also list Ashton Palais, The Premier, 
Droylsden Co-op, Ritz, Plaza Levenshulme, Finigans. 
What a joy it was, simple cheap and immensely enjoyable, I think of those times 
now and think how lucky I have been. 
I was also a keen jitterbugger and had a special partner, Joan Baines at Chicks, 
my Anne would not do that frantic dance. We were engaged when I was 17, bought 
the ring from Alf Davies in Ashton for the princely sum of £32.10. That was July and
 the following Feb. I was called up and spent the next three years in the army, two of 
which in India and Singapore. Married in 48. Happy days. 
I hope this diatribe has not been too boring.
Posted in Uncategorized.


  1. Pauline you have brought back some fond memories I too lived in Droylsden ,
    Merton Drive,I think it cost £280 when my parents bought it,the Builder was called Maunders I think..One of the singers was a friend lf my wife ,Shirley Proffitt,they both worked at Robertsons Jam Works in Droylsden.Shirleys brothers was a well know boxer.After I married we had a flat in Hawthorn Road where my daughter Gillian was born sadly I lost her in 2003.I am grateful to Derek for introducing me to this site.

  2. Great to hear your memories Derek. I went to Chicks when I was a teenager and absolutely loved it. I think it was probably at a different time to you as I am now 87. I celebrated my 17th birthday there in 1953 and have fond memories from that time. Doug Schofield and his great band with vocalist such as Ronnie Bell and some nights they had special bands on. I remember seeing Ronnie Scott and several other well known artists . I didn’t meet my husband there but we did go there often after we met as well of course to Belle Vue and other dance halls. We always liked the big bands and used to make sure we saw such as Joe Loss and the Squadronairs when they came to Manchester. Hibberts was always a favourite because always I had such a good time there. When I think of it now I remember the great atmosphere and can in my minds eye see the big glitter ball rotating on the ceiling. By the way I am from Droylsden and my husband and I will be celebrating our 65th Wedding Anniversary nex week.

    Kind regards

    • Pauline,
      Thanks for your memories.
      We are the same age, by the way, I was born in 1936. Never went to Chick’s but as I said in the Facebook post, my brother was a regular in the late 40s, early 50s.
      Congrats on your wedding anniversary, you’re ahead of me there, we are on 56 years together. Lomg time, isn’t it?

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