Remembering those dance hall days

Oliver Reeves and Danielle Cook take to the dance floor at Arlingtons Restaurant Oliver Reeves and Danielle Cook take to the dance floor at Arlingtons Restaurant

Friday, January 3, 2014
9:52 AM

Time to get your dancing shoes on

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Dancing is back at Arlingtons!

The restaurant owners have turned back the clock, at the iconic Victorian building in Museum Street, and reinstated a central dance floor.

“It is not becoming a dance hall again,” insisted Liz Ambler,

“But it does mean we can introduce dancing for special events, such as Burns Night in January and for New Year’s Eve.

“We had a ceilidh band for New Year’s Eve and are having a piper for Burns Night.”

Ken and Liz Ambler restored and converted the former natural history musuem, and later dance hall, in to Arlingtons brasserie after the historic building had been standing empty for many years, and was in a state of disrepair.

As a dance hall it had an important place in the social life and economic life of Ipswich.

Dance halls like Arlingtons and Victor Sylvester (Vic’s), before the days of the Twist and disco, when ballroom dancing was an important skill for any young man or woman to acquire..

For some it was competitive, for others, the chance to meet that someone really special..

Thousands of local people over the years learned ballroom dancing at Arlingtons, up until the 1960s, when fashions in dancing changed.

Many husbands and wives met their future partners on the dance floor.

Ironically ballroom dancing has had a resurgence in recent years, as shown by the success of television shows like Strickly Come Dancing.

Do you have memories of dancing at Arlingtons in Museum Street?

Let us know.

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