Leicestershire: Birstall

Want2Dance, Birstall

Birstall Social club, Wanlip Lane, Birstall, LE4 4JS

I decided to take the club’s bold website claim that “You are assured of a warm welcome.”   So, not knowing anyone who went to the club, and having no connection with the area I went to their Halloween night dance, just to see.

And yes, they lived up to their promise.  The lady at the door, who of course didn’t know me from the Man in the Moon, gave me a smile, welcomed me in, and I walked in and parked myself.

Getting a drink was fun.  The club is an old Working Men’s Club with the main bar occupied by a group of resolute drinkers, each with a pint, each looking the glum side of solemn, and each not saying a word.

As for the barman, well.  I ordered a Merlot.  They didn’t have one.   So I said, “any red wine”.  Eventually they found a small bottle.  The barman unscrewed the top, in case I couldn’t cope, plonked it down and told me the price.

I looked at him.

He looked at him.

I looked at him.

He eventually said, “You want a glass or something?”

I said that with a red wine, yes, by and large, a glass would be the sort of thing that I would enjoy.

He plonked it down.

The whole thing was more hilarious than annoying, especially in the context of the evening which was great fun.

The club was not packed, but I worked my way along the rows asking each lady in turn to dance, and then once that was done, going back and asking the best for another and another.  And some of them began to ask me.

What it would have been like had I sat on my own and waited, I don’t know, but doing it my way this was a good night out.  Lots of people in fancy dress costume, and they welcomed in the stranger like a long lost soul.

It’s not a huge dance area, but it was fine for the numbers that were there on the night I attended.

The DJ was interesting – she chose slow numbers at the start, and gradually took the tempo up – an interesting way of doing it.

There was free food too – a really good choice of the usual plus a few extra bits.   All in all a super night.

So why do I not go back more often?

Simply because the club night runs from 8 to 10.30pm, which means the amount of time one would get for a dance would be very limited if one is travelling a long distance.  So I’ll stick to the weekend dance nights.

  • Air conditioning: 3 out of 5 – I didn’t get over hot but don’t know how they kept the temperature down.
  • Atmosphere: 5 out of 5
  • Do ladies ask men: 2 out of five. Not bad, given that I was a stranger.
  • Facilities: 2 out of 5.  It’s an old working men’s club, so the facilities are basic.
  • Free water: Yes.
  • Friendliness: 5 out of 5
  • Location: 2 out of 5.  Residential area – use a sat nav if you don’t know the area.
  • Music: 5 out of 5
  • Parking: 1 out of 5.  Difficult – only a tiny number of places outside, and it is just a case of driving around the local roads trying to find somewhere.  Maybe I just went down the wrong roads.
  • Space: 2 out of 5.  OK for the numbers there on the night I attended
  • Venue overall: 3 out of 5