Regent Dance Hall

Photo:1950's advertisment for the Regent Ballroom

1950's advertisment for the Regent Ballroom

From the private collection of Trevor Chepstow

The sprung dancefloor

By Trevor Chepstow

This advertisement recently came to light in a 1952 ice show programme (Sports Stadium) and shows the massive dance floor at the Regent Ballroom. I believe the sprung dance floor was made from Canadian Maple and when the floor was full to capacity the effect was bouncy to say the least.

When the building was demolished the dance floor was sold off and some of it ended up as flooring for one of the church halls in Patcham. So, if nothing else, a part of the Regent Ballroom lives on today in the town!

Both Syd Dean and Alf Feld were popular bandleaders at the Regent and well known throughout the town. Alf Feld eventually became an hotelier and bought the Norfolk Hotel on Kings Road. He went on to become Mayor of Brighton and was a familiar sight travelling around Brighton in his white Rolls Royce.

This page was added on 27/10/2007.
Comments about this page

I have many fond memories of the Regent. Saturday night "up the Regent" was the place we all went to dance and have a few beers (and of course look for a Sunday date). I remember many bands playing there especially Ted Heath and Eric Delaney and of course the manager Slade who was always threatening to kick us out.

By Peter Wilson (29/10/2007)

I remember the "sprung floor" at the Regency. Being a Thursday evening dancer in the late 50s I enjoyed the feel of the floor as we danced the evening away. It was weird but it certainly helped the dancing seemingly adding lightness to our feet. Tis a shame that the Regency floor is no longer available for dancing on.

By Bonny Cother/ Veronica Bentley (29/10/2007)

I believe that some of the Regent's sprung floor was used in either Moulscoomb hall or libary.

By Harry Atkins (09/11/2007)

I remember many a night at the Regent with Sid Dean, Ted Heath, Eric Delaney. I also remember Slade who used to be a bouncer. There were two bouncers but all I remember about the other one was that he was very tall and thin with a 'tash - anyone know his name?

By Wendy Jackson (nee Woodham) (24/04/2008)

Yes Harry - the sprung floor was installed at Moulsecoomb Hall which resulted in many more dancers going to it for Saturday night dancing from the Moulsecoomb area at a shilling a go (10p). Then on Sunday evening it would be the Regent Dance Hall at two bob (20p) a go for that evening. If you wanted an even cheaper dance session it would be St Frances Hall at the bottom of Moulsecoomb Way where Mr. Hider on the drums accompanied by his piano partner provided the dancing entertainment every Friday evening at a tanner (5p) a go. I happily involved myself with all three entertainments and at Moulsecoomb Hall even did a bit of singing in harmony with a little girl from the Carlton Hill area who travelled out of town for the occasion each Saturday.

By Ron Spicer (19/08/2008)

The other Bouncer at the Regent with Slade was, I believe, called Streeter. They lived near each other in Lower Bevendean.

By Ken Chick (25/09/2008)

I believe part of the Regent dance floor is part of the labour club floor in Lewes Road.

By John Eaton (27/05/2009)

I remember Mister and Mrs Feld during my spell as Brighton lifeguard on the beach next to the West Pier - he was one of the nicest men I have ever met, he was so considerate and kind. He used to bring me hot boiled beef sandwiches to the beach for my lunch. Good family.

By duffy (22/02/2011)

Yes Ken is right about the other bouncer, I am sure his name was Streeter. As for Slade I think he worked at Allen West for a daytime job and his nickname was "Slasher". I remember he used to stand at the top of the stairs at the Regent chatting and telling stories to anyone that wanted to listen and related a yarn that in WWII he was in a tank that was "brewed" by german shelling and had to bail out eventually suffering serious internal wounds and had lost most of his intestines. Gruesome! I also remember being in a card school with him and begginers luck I won about £3 off him which was a weeks wages in 1961, for a while I thought my life was over but he was good about it and shook my hand in congratulations.

By Bob (02/03/2011)

I was told that the reason the Regent dance floor was cushioned was because of the cinema below, so during quiet passages in films the dancing could not be heard. I was also told the dance floor was laid on a series of tennis like balls to create an air gap for sound and vibration proofing, so the fuller the dance floor became the bouncier the dance floor became.

By Michael Brittain (02/03/2011)

That doesn't sound like an engineering solution Mick! You should read the very early QueenSpark book "Hard Work and no Consideration" by Albert Paul, he was one of the carpenters on the Regent build, it might throw some light on it!

By Peter Groves (03/03/2011)

The Regent ballroom was opened up in March 1970 as a pop venue and it was called "The Big Apple". The first pop/folk performer there was Donovan, the 60s icon. I remember paying £1 for my ticket and they handed me a cushion to sit crossed legged on the floor. Those hippy days I will never forget and I am a hippy to this very day.

By Graham Knight (17/08/2011)

I used to go to the Regent on both Fridays and Saturday nights. Friday nights where supposed to be for the over 20's. This was in the early 1960s. My mother and her twin sister Lillian and Violet Wheatland were the first people to dance on the floor before it was officialy opened. Their older brother Percy worked (? managed) the resturant there.

By Joan Gridley (nee English) (24/04/2012)

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