In a couple of words… Mr. Alan B. Fairley, partner with Carl Heimann in Mecca Ltd, passed away several years ago, I realized a page has turned, and there is no tribute on his life, or any history on Mecca Leisure, on the internet, and that its origin, the name Ye Mecca, people may not realize the impact Mecca Ltd. had on the nightlife in the UK post second World War and whether the public really knew very little about these two men who were the minds behind Mecca Ltd, Heimann and Fairley made the spectacular growth of Mecca Ltd. across the country. Mecca Ltd became a household name : to mention a few, its hotels, casinos, ice skating rinks, BBC television program “Come Dancing”…
I was only able to find at the time a paragraph that was half-baked to my opinion. It was too late to gather information or personal accounts as all the movers and shakers, the major part of them had passed away too. That’s the treason of time. Little is there left on the making of Mecca, its success, its battles too.
So here I have compiled here my research on Mecca Ltd and wish all those who have worked there between the 1950’s to the 1980’s are welcome to share their personal account on this establishment.
Today Mecca is a landmark name for its Bingo Halls, Mecca Bingo© all across the United Kingdom. It is very difficult to compile the history of a company who expanded so much like Mecca Leisure did, that’s why my facts and figures page is just still embryonic.
….yet there is all what Mecca Ltd stood for that is gently slipping away into oblivion ; the root motivation of Mr Alan Fairley was make dancing affordable for all, having a good time, socializing all this kept, people off the streets, making it possible for all social ranks to mingle and enjoy music ! Buildings they owned have disappeared, been transformed, converted… A huge gap in the history nightlife, it seems Mecca Ltd was at of what was the birth of what we know today as dance halls that became night clubs.
Mecca Ltd. gave to people glamour, everyday glamour, and got the whole nation to love dancing.
This website wouldn’t be possible without the credits and sources of :
Roma Fairley : ” Come dancing” © Roma Fairley 1966 Newman Neame Ltd.
B. D. Kett F.R.I.B.A. architect, Curzon Street, Mayfair, London
Dance News, newspaper December 3, 1959
Silver Blades gala brochure 1962
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This website is in memory of my father Brian D. KETT F.R.I.B.A. ; (1927-1993)