Northants: Wellingborough

The Tithe Barn, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN8 1AH

Around 2008/9 Wellingborough boasted two nights of Ceroc a week – on a monday and a wednesday.  It also hosted free styles that we so crowded you sometimes couldn’t even get onto the dance floor and were forced to dance on the carpet around the edge.

Such days are long gone.  The Railwayman’s club which hosted the events was in a desperate state of non-repair, the local users of the club were decidedly unfriendly to the outsiders who came to dance, and cholera injections were recommended for anyone seeking to use the toilets.  Eventually it went bust and the building is now being pulled down.

After a while the club moved to the Embankment, but it too had multiple problems, and by now the audience was in decline.   Eventually the Embankment night stopped, and Wellingborough Ceroc came to an end.

After such a tale of woe, opening up again in the town takes some bravery, but that is what happened in late 2013.   The new venue – The Tithe Barn – however is small, and not easy to find unless you know exactly where you are going.

Not only is it small it is also a long thin shape which doesn’t make for a conducive dance hall.  But it could work – if the numbers went up to a decent level.   However the last few times I have been, this is far from the case.    Meaning there might only be four or five competent dancers to dance with.

Just how far and how fast the new venture declined was shown when one night the two taxi dancers rapidly changed out of their gear and were off at 10pm – hardly a good way to make people feel that the venue was on the up.

They have had a freestyle there – I’m told the numbers for that were ok – but otherwise it is a venue to use if you are happy to dance with one regular partner and leave it at that.  Going on your own is not really much of an option.

The people who are there are friendly, and the teacher and DJ welcomed me back like an old friend which was nice as I hadn’t been to one of their venues for a couple of years.  It is just that there are not enough people there to make it worthwhile.

 Parking is round the back via the Morrisons car park, but there are no signs (indeed there aren’t any signs to the Morrison’s car park).  You are expected to know!  The Tithe Barn is off the Morrisons car park and that also is not signed.
  • Air conditioning: None –the big fans are there, but hardly needed when the audience is so small.
  • Atmosphere: 1 out of 5
  • Do ladies ask men: 2 out of 5.   But then there are so few present after the intermediate class that they have to.
  • Facilities: 1 out of 5.  No bar, and few seats in the dance area.  Seats in an ante-room.
  • Free water: Yes.
  • Friendliness: 3 out of 5
  • Location: 5 out of 5.  Town centre which is good – as long as you know where it is and can find your way to it.
  • Music: 4 out of 5
  • Parking: 5 out of 5 if you can find your way to Morrisons and then into the Tithe Barn park.
  • Space: 1 out of 5, although to be fair, there has been more than enough space for the tiny number of people there.
  • Venue overall: 1 out of 5.  If they could treble the numbers it would be 3/5.