White School of Dancing

What happened to the John Bosco Hall

The White School of Dancing was held at the John Boscoe Hall in Benfleet High Road.
Does anyone remember this little dancing club? It was run by George and Molly White one evening a week after school.

The hall  stood in the High Road virtually opposite what is now ‘Belgravia Florist’.

I attended with my sister for the princely sum of half a crown per person a session (must have been pre 1971). My neighbours Tim and Marianne Hill also attended. I think the Mottram twins were members too.  My sister Karen Lipscomb went on to do all kinds of dance exams that I never aspired to.

{A search for a photo of the hall has proved unsuccessful, therefore if anyone has one of either the outside or the inside that they would like to share with us, we would be pleased to hear from them.}

Editor’s update:
My daughter went to the dancing school briefly in the late eighties and, I believe, they transferred to the Richmond Hall when the site was redeveloped and replaced with flats.  I, and probably many others, always assumed the hall had just been demolished as has been the fate of many of our old buildings.  In fact this is not the case!

John Bosco Hall relocated to Daws Heath. Echo Cutting

By chance, when searching for something quite unrelated,  we have come across this ‘Echo’ article published on 30th October 1980.  It tells us that, amazingly, the Hall was actually moved to a new site in Daws Heath and enjoyed a second life as a social hall for St. Michael’s church.  (Another of our members remembers attending country dancing sessions there!)

John Bosco Hall relocated to Daws Heath

The article was also accompanied by this photograph of the Hall installed on its new site.  I was so pleased to find this and I hope this brings back more memories for those of you who remember it in the High Road!
Don’t forget if you do have any photographs we would still like to see them.

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  • My memories of John Boscoe hall were my dancing lessons ( ballet and tap)when it was a mrs Wheeler and miss Vonda. Think that was in the late 60’s.🤔

    By Melanie Bennett (29/03/2023)
  • I believe the St John Bosco Hall in Benfleet was originally owned by the Catholic Church (Holy Family) and that the Sisters of Mercy Nuns started the current Primary School in St John Bosco Hall c1963 but relocated to its present site in Kent’s Hill Road in the late sixties. I seem to remember from the 40th & 50th anniversary of the school there were some pictures of the old John Bosco Hall. Maybe contact the school to see if they can help?

    By Julie Davidson (29/03/2023)
  • I also attended the White School of Dancing and remember my face being pushed under Molly’s armpit as we foxtrotted around the hall. I remember winning a box of fruit in the raffle at a fund raising event. We used to jump on the chairs and stamp our feet to the last dance of the evening but I can’t remember what it was. They also started a Saturday morning class at the top of the escalator in Basildon Town Square. I went with my friend every Saturday to help and I think they gave us a very small sum of money.

    By Gill (28/03/2023)
  • My sister and I used to have ballroom dancing lessons there with the White School of Dancing in the 70s. I think they were George & Molly White. I still remember George walking around the hall holding a candle, shaving pieces off it to stop the dancers slipping on the floor 😄

    By Susan Thomas (27/03/2023)
  • Editor’s Note: What became of the John Bosco Hall, see our new comment.

    By Jenny Day (27/03/2023)
  • I went to the White School of Dancing in the 60s with my friend Linda Edwards (now Cox). We both got medals for ballroom and latin American dance. I must admit I bore my friends every year when Strictly’s on TV!

    By Moira Hawtin (10/03/2023)
  • My sister and I attended the dance classes early 1970’s and enjoyed every minute of it…except when Molly made me wiggle my hips in the rumba!

    We’re both in our late 50’s now and still dance the jive and chachacha at family parties!

    Happy days! Shaun & Gale Browne

    By Shaun (24/03/2021)

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