Hoylake School of Dance (HSOD) has been teaching dance since March, 1996 and up until earlier this year held all of its varied dance and drama classes at Hoylake Community Centre. The school offers dance, drama and singing classes for children and adults. Earlier this year Clare Calder-Mellors (Principal) and husband Mike Mellors made the decision to take on what is possibly the biggest commercial building in Market Street (maybe the Punch Bowl is bigger?).
The Jon David furniture shop was empty and despite the old building requiring some considerable attention, Claire and Mike decided that the premises offered potential for a new dance studio. Note that at one time there was a rumour that Tesco were interested in the building with the aim of turning into one of their local convenience stores.
Having agreed to a long-term lease with the existing owners, Claire and Mike then needed to invest in a conversion programme to turn the building into suitable premises for a dance school. As you can see from the photos show below the old shop needed considerable work. The old boiler has been sealed off (a new service contract was unlikely by the looks!) and the old service lift has been blocked off. Remember that the building was once a Woolworths (remember them!) so I presume stock was loaded off lorries in Elm Grove and then moved to the first floor via the lift.
Other modifications to the building include:
- Five of the six dance studios have been fitted with specialist, sprung dance flooring.
- There is a cafe on the first floor (not open to the public)
- Fire alarm system
- Emergency lighting
- Extra-wide corridors
- Toilets and changing rooms
- Storage areas (HSOD previously stored dance costumes in a farm building in Meols)
The conversion from shop to dance school has not been without issue however:
- There have been complaints about inconsiderate car parking in and around Elm Grove – one resident felt the need to send a letter into the Wirral Globe.
- Retrospective planning permission has been required for the replacement of the old aluminium shop window.
- The car park to the building has been used for fly tipping – the CCTV system captured two men and their collie dog dumping an old sofa and a fridge freezer at 4am one morning.
Did you know?:
- HSOD employs 17 staff
- The main entrance to the building is now in Elm Grove
- Dance practice is still happening at the Community Centre - rehearsals are taking place for this year’s Liverpool Empire panto; Aladdin with Pamela Anderson! Pupils of HSOD often audition and win places for roles in pantos and shows across the north west
- The schools annual prize giving presentation was held at the revamped Floral Pavilion Theatre in New Brighton earlier this year …the new building is completely unrecognisable from the old one. The same will probably be true of New Brighton generally before too long!
- Mike Mellors is also a member of Hoylake RNLI and drives the Talus tractor
- In the old c1900 directory of Hoylake and West Kirby, listed for 100 Market Street were a Mrs Ann Mulroy and Peter Fulton (fisherman).