I started to enjoy the Crawley dance scene when I was 14 and my best friend Ann was 13 years. My brother, Burges who was five years older, was home on leave from the Merchant Navy and he decided to take us to a Sunday night dance at Leons, we loved to dance and my brother who had won rock ‘n’ roll competitions in the USA had taught us to jive. We would jive all evening in our stiletto heels and full skirts with lacy petticoats.
We so enjoyed that first visit we continued to dance at Leons on Sunday nights and also at the Railway in the High Street on Saturdays.
I received 2s 6d pocket money from my dad, perfect. Six pence there and back half fare on the 82 bus, Pound Hill to the Crawley Bus Station and 2 shillings entry to Leons. They also had a soft drink ‘bar’ and in the interval we would hopefully have a drink bought for us by the boy we were dancing with that evening.
We started to queue at 7pm for 7.30 entry, Leons was on the 2ndfloor above a dress shop of the same name in Queen’s Square. Ken Shouler the dance school manager who organised the Sunday night’s dance would play records until the group who were playing that evening were on stage.
We then caught the 10.15pm 82 bus back to Pound Hill, walked back to Crabbet Park where I lived and Ann had left her bike, she then cycled home to Compasses Corner near Rowfant.