Daily Archives: June 3, 2017

Coventry: the Massy Ferguson Club

Massey Ferguson Club
Broad Lane
Coventry
West Midlands
CV5 7NL
This venue is very nice – good dance floor, chairs around three sides, bar at one end.  The people dancing therein are friendly, the music is fine if unadventurous, and I’ve enjoyed my two visits.  But…
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But there are some problems.  Once you are there and settled they don’t stop one having fun, but they are just a bit annoying and reduce the impact of what could be a really brilliant club.
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The website.  
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In June 2017 when  I was looking for details of the dance, the home page (a standard Ceroc page) had rotating details of forthcoming dances … showing details for March and April.   Second, given that the location of the dances is really hard to find (see below), it is a shame that the page dedicated to the club has nothing other than its address.
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The bar.   I arrived at around 8.10pm, and there were a handful of other hardy early arrivers sitting around.  I went to the bar where they had helpfully put out a big jug of water, but no glasses.   There was no one on the bar apart from a lad who looked way under age, and on seeing me standing at the bar he quickly disappeared back stage.
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I thought he had maybe gone to get a grown up, but no one appeared so I left the bar area for a while.   Eventually when a bar lady was on hand I approached.  She looked at me and raised an eyebrow.  No smile, no “can I help you?”  An eyebrow.  With a sort of “what the **** do you want?” look.
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I said that I wanted some tap water.
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She scowled and looked me up and down, then looked at the jug of water, saying nothing.  Patiently and in clear, simple terms (fearing that I may have space warped into Ulan Bator by mistake) I explained that I would like a glass into which I might pour some water.   She scowled again, and looked down, clearly expecting to find glasses, and thus prove the stupidity of all people crazy enough to enter her bar.  On finding none she turned on her heel (again without saying a word) and placed a glass on the table.  I said “thank you,” she did not reply.
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Finding the place
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Broad Lane is very long, and stretches either side of a main dual carriageway.  Choose the wrong way off the dual carriageway and you will drive miles out of your way looking for the club which isn’t there.
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The only way around this is to head for the intersection of Hockley Lane and Broad Lane.  If you are driving along Broad Lane it is between the junction with Hockley Lane and Back Lane.
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Neither the Ceroc site nor the Massey Ferguson site helps with this at all, which is a shame.
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A banner is put up at the entrance for the club car park showing that Ceroc is on, but when driving along and not sure where the club is, the banner cannot be seen from the main road, so it is still easy to miss.   What Ceroc needs is a map on its site and guidance on how to get there.  I am just amazed that Ceroc gruppenführer for the region doesn’t just do this for all venues.  After all, surely they all want to make money by getting more people in.  Or maybe they don’t.  Maybe it is a conspiracy by franchise holders to run the clubs into the ground and so bankrupt Ceroc so they can take the clubs over themselves.
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On entering the club
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It is not at all clear where the dance is being held.  In fact you have to walk up stairs and there it is, but if you don’t know, it is not clear.    A sign as one enters – even a hand written one sellotaped to the door would help.
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And yet despite all this, it was a nice club.   Sometime after 11pm the lady who runs the club with her partner came onto the dance floor and went around asking men to dance.  She is a terrific dancer and very friendly, and it was a pleasure to dance with her.  So why wasn’t she on the dance floor earlier?  It would have made for a more enjoyable experience for quite a few men on the floor (not that the other dancers were not good – some were terrific).
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The answer in terms of this approach is usually, to save money by not paying anyone to do it.  Lots of clubs do this, but it is a false economy.   Let’s say you paid someone £20 to work the door from 8pm to 10pm.   That would release the club manager to dance through the evening.   If as a result of the terrific dances they got, three more men turned up to the dance next time the expenditure has paid for itself.
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  • Air conditioning: 3 out of 5.  It got a bit warm as time went by, but not hopelessly so.
  • Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 – everyone I met was friendly, but I felt the way certain men just grabbed a lady dancer and pulled her onto the dance floor was lower than the level of politeness I expect.  Perhaps it is a Coventry thing, but if I were a lady I’d have sloshed said men around the face with my handbag.  Thus proving I am not a lady.
  • Do ladies ask men: 2 out of 5.  I got asked three times during the evening.  Much better than some, but still…
  • Facilities: 3 out of 5.  It’s got a bar and  a good dance floor.  The toilets are modern and clean.  Signage would help as would a polite person on the bar.
  • Free water: Yes – when the bar lady overcomes her problems with having to serve customers.
  • Friendliness: 5 out of 5 for the Ceroc crew, minus several million out of ten for the bar staff.
  • Location: 1 out of 5 – this is the problem – if you don’t know the area, take maps and provisions for five days in case you get lost.
  • Music: 4 out of 5.  Fairly standard with nothing adventurous, but a decent mix.
  • Parking: 2 out of 5.  There are two carparks but both are small.  I have no idea where you can park if the get full up.  A note on the site would help.
  • Space: 4 out of 5 – there’s a limit, but for the numbers when I have been there, it is fine.
  • Venue overall: 3 out of 5.  Could easily be four by improving information on the website and signage.  To get the five: change the bar staff.