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15 Feb 2008 6,535 views
 
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photoblog image The Grafton Rooms

The Grafton Rooms


The Grafton Ballroom in Liverpool opened in 1924. Now a legend, it was a purpose-built dance hall able to accommodate 1200 dancers. It was built next to the Locarno Ballroom which is now known as the Liverpool Olympia.

Joe Loss, Victor Sylvester, Duke Ellington and The Beatles have all played The Grafton

Since the 1970's, the Grafton has been historically notorious as Liverpool's leading Grab-a-granny venue. most Thursday nights, adolescent young men from all over the city would head for the Grafton in the hope of forging a brief romantic encounter with one of the city's thirty-something divorcees.

They were rarely unsuccessful.

It does have quite a reputation, Liverpool were playing a European Cup tie in Turkey and in response to a banner reading "Welcome to Hell" someone had a banner that read "You call this hell? You wanna try the Grafton on a Saturday night!" Says it all really.

(To put the record straight I must admit to never having been inside the place)

In the Grafton Grab-A-Granny
And there were plenty,
A ten to two dance
To a tremble in the entry.

The Liverpool Saga 800 lines for 800 years, written by the people of Liverpool.



The Grafton Rooms


The Grafton Ballroom in Liverpool opened in 1924. Now a legend, it was a purpose-built dance hall able to accommodate 1200 dancers. It was built next to the Locarno Ballroom which is now known as the Liverpool Olympia.

Joe Loss, Victor Sylvester, Duke Ellington and The Beatles have all played The Grafton

Since the 1970's, the Grafton has been historically notorious as Liverpool's leading Grab-a-granny venue. most Thursday nights, adolescent young men from all over the city would head for the Grafton in the hope of forging a brief romantic encounter with one of the city's thirty-something divorcees.

They were rarely unsuccessful.

It does have quite a reputation, Liverpool were playing a European Cup tie in Turkey and in response to a banner reading "Welcome to Hell" someone had a banner that read "You call this hell? You wanna try the Grafton on a Saturday night!" Says it all really.

(To put the record straight I must admit to never having been inside the place)

In the Grafton Grab-A-Granny
And there were plenty,
A ten to two dance
To a tremble in the entry.

The Liverpool Saga 800 lines for 800 years, written by the people of Liverpool.



comments (10)

  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 15 Feb 2008, 08:36
To think that dancing was so popular that it was an investment to build a place like this. Or maybe I should think of an old time disco smile

Your conversion puts one right back to the 20's
Les Auld: Thanks Loius, once one of the premier nightspots in Liverpool, and still going, a good investment then.
  • Dave Wilkins
  • in Bray, Co.Wicklow, Ireland.
  • 15 Feb 2008, 17:20
Oh I like this alot Les. It looks like it could part of a film set. Who, I wonder, was Grafton? One of the main shopping streets in Dublin is called Grafton St.
Les Auld: Thanks Dave, We also have a Grafton Street in Liverpool, a couple of miles away from here in one of the more dubious parts of the city.
  • Ann
  • SucÚ sur Erdre - France
  • 15 Feb 2008, 18:17
Nice sepia shot !!!
Les Auld: Thanks Ann, I felt it needed a bit of treatment to get the best out of it.
  • tim
  • United Kindom
  • 15 Feb 2008, 19:48
grab a granny nights lol, we had one such pub here in Leeds, The Barcelona, great processing of the scene Les well donesmile
Les Auld: Thanks Tim, they get everywhere don't they.
  • Bill Phillips
  • Droitwich...been cold and grey!
  • 15 Feb 2008, 20:12
I love your little insights into Liverpool Les. Especially as they are always accompanied by really good pictures
Les Auld: Thanks Bill, it does have to be my favourite subject, and if I can find some words then all the better.
This is a "tour de force" Les, loving your history of Liverpool, brings back so many memories.

Only ever went to the Grafton once, or was it the Lacarno next door? An amazing bit of Liverpool history. Appropriate treatment as well.
Les Auld: Thanks Alistair, it's good to have memories, even of the Grafton.
Good picture Les, like the mono/tinted treatment.
Les Auld: Thanks Brian, in reality it is bright red, just did not look right as a picture though.
  • Hayley neave
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 18 Feb 2010, 10:26
I wud like 2 view pics frm 2006/2007 as i ws on them round tht time.
  • Diane Denizen
  • Ireland
  • 6 Nov 2012, 21:18
This takes me back to my youth. We used to get the glad rags on and catch the bus to the Grafton from Wrexham. Never had a bad night there, it was always good. We used to have a drink downstairs and listen to the band, then later go up to the disco, I think the DJ was Denny Ling, a nice Chinese guy, he was always willing to play your requests. Bitter was 50p a pint, Oh my God where did we go wrong as a society?
  • Diane Denizen
  • Ireland
  • 6 Nov 2012, 21:20
This takes me back to my youth. We used to get the glad rags on and catch the bus to the Grafton from Wrexham. Never had a bad night there, it was always good. We used to have a drink downstairs and listen to the band, then later go up to the disco, I think the DJ was Denny Ling, a nice Chinese guy, he was always willing to play your requests. Bitter was 50p a pint, Oh my God where did we go wrong as a society?

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