Memory Lane Events


Dance Band walks

The May Fair Hotel….The Embassy Club….Quaglinos….Hatchettes…..The Ciro’s Club…..The Kit Cat Club….The Monseigneur Restaurant..... Café Anglais.....Casani Club.....Café de Paris..... Berkeley Hotel..... Devonshire House..... New Princes..... Hotel Cecil, Romano's.... the Savoy..... Waldorf Hotel.....The Ambassadors Club.... Fischer's Restaurant.... Bag of Nails.... Murray's Club... the Bat Club....Astoria Ballroom. And many others.

Just the names of these venues conjure up a nostalgic image of London in the 1930s where you could see, listen to and dance to Harry Roy, Ambrose, Lew Stone, Charlie Kunz and others in the "Premiere League" of dance bands. Or you may have seen these names on 78 rpm record labels and wondered where exactly they were and whether, in fact, any of them still exist. If so, here is your opportunity to find out. In fact, there are a few surprises en route.

Ray Pallett  hosts three different guided "dance band" walks around the West End of London to view the locations where the dance bands played.    Eac
h Walk takes in around 20 locations during which Ray recalls the bands which played at the different establishments together with anecdotes and narrative.

Al Bowlly's London

This walk takes in many of the places mentioned above with special mention of those where Al appeared such as the Monseigneur Resta
urant and the Savoy Hotel. However, this walk takes in additional places such as the flats where Al lived, the Register Office where he married. En route, we also identify a number of places associated with the dance bands. We reach Dukes Court, the building housing the flat in which he died. From there, the group may either take the train to Hanwell to visit the cemetery where his mass grave is to be found, or the beautiful Greek Orthodox Cathedral where his memorial service was held or the Abbey Road Studios where he made so may wonderful records. Ray provides a narrative in his own inimitable way linking the locations to the Al Bowlly story.

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The pictures above show Ray Pallett talking to the crowd outside the location of the old BBC radio studios at Savoy Hill, the Cafe de Paris entrance as it is now and the Jermyn Street Theatre which, until the 1960s, was the location of the Monseigneur Grill.



Further information about the now legendary Memory Lane Guided Walks

The walks, described below, usually take place in the Spring, start at 11.00am and are a gentle stroll which will take around 2 hours.  The cost of joining a walk per person just £5.00 for a Memory Lane subscriber, £7.00 otherwise. The Walks take place regardless of the weather. But if the success of most previous Memory Lane walks is repeated, it will be a lovely Spring  or Autumn day in the convivial company of fellow enthusiasts.

A DVD featuring one year’s Al Bowlly’s London Walk is available from our Back Catalogue page. Join Ray Pallett and those on the walk or re-live the occasion if your were there.  Click the yellow link and then scroll down to purchase.


See some images of previous walks at YOUTUBE



Memory Lane London 2014

Memory Lane London 2014 will be held at the Phoenix Artistes Club, Charing Cross Road, London on Saturday 11th October 2014 from noon until 5.00pm. The event is being organised by Ray Pallett and Terry Brown, and will celebrate the golden age of the British dance bands. The Phoenix Artistes Club is an “intimate” night club style venue in the basement of the Phoenix Theatre.

The presentation will include a film show featuring British dance bands and singers plus live entertainment featuring Brandyn Shaw and band. A complimentary buffet lunch with tea and coffee will be available on arrival and a free bar will operate for the afternoon.

There will be special guests and the popular Memory Lane raffle which includes a pristine copy of Rust/Forbes as the first prize.

A great opportunity to spend an afternoon in convivial company of folk who share your love of the dance bands.  Tickets are available now and include a privilege price for any number of tickets purchased by Memory Lane subscribers.

Tickets are £15.00 (Memory Lane subscriber rate for any number of tickets), £20.00 (otherwise).

Previous Memory Lane events - YouTube footage.

The Al Bowlly Blue Plaque Celebration on 30th November 2013 at the Phoenix Artistes Club with Brandyn Shaw. Brandyn will be appearing at London's most prestigious vintage Valentine's cabaret and dance evening at the recently restored 1937 Art Deco St. Pancras ballroom with live 11-piece dance band and special guests.

Memory Lane London 2012 on 8th September 2012 at Conway Hall to celebrate the Great British Dance Bands with Michael Law’s Piccadilly Dance Orchestra.

Celebrating Al Bowlly - “Seventy Years On” on 16th April 2011 at The George to mark the 70th anniversary of Al’s passing with Ray Pallett and Roy Hudd.