LAST week’s look at the history of Undercliffe’s Green Man pub, which is up for sale, has prompted memories of other drinking establishments, now long gone.

Reader Vincent Finn has been in touch about a "popular Saturday night hop", and surrounding pubs. “Back in the day the “Somerset” was at the junction of Undercliffe Lane and Otley Road,” says Mr Finn, who grew up in Bradford and now lives in America. “I think its full name was the Somerset Dance Club. It was in the upstairs rooms of two houses knocked together. The building is still there - I think there's a carpet shop on the ground floor now.

“The dance hall was run by Gilbert Sugden and his wife. There was a dance on a Thursday night, but Saturday was the big night. It was full to capacity, it cost 2/0d to get in and there was a cafe.

“The music was from a 45rpm record booth in the corner, the man in charge was my friend, Tony Minchella.

“You could get a ‘pass out’ from the dance, a stamp on the back of your hand. Most of us used to nip across the road to the back door of the Beldon, which had a front door onto Otley Road.The Beldon was a Hammonds house and for years was run by a family called Howlett. It was a two-room pub - the front room was the ‘lounge’ and the other side of the bar was the tap room.

“A little way along Undercliffe Lane was the Hare and Hounds and across the road was the Malt Shovel.

“It was a walk to these pubs, so you'd call in before the dance at the Somerset - or the “Set” as it was known."

A look through the T&A archives has unearthed some readers' memories of the Somerset. "I went from 1947 to 1954 and met my first husband there," recalled Barbara McKinley in 2011. Barbara ended up working there, teaching people to dance. "I felt so proud when Gilbert asked me to be on the staff. It was a small place but the atmosphere was perfect."

J Lewis Nicholl recalled: "I first visited the Somerset in 1945. The second half of the Forties I almost lived there. The dance floor was two bedrooms of a terrace house knocked together, the back bedroom was the gents' cloakroom and toilet, and the attic the ladies cloakroom. In my early days there was a band, shortly after it went to records. A couple of popular dances were the Embarkation Waltz, an 'excuse me' dance, and the Lord Nelson. Part way through the song the music stopped for about 30 seconds, the lights went out and a voice said: "England expects every man this day to do his duty". The music returned, lights came back on and the dance continued as though nothing had happened."

We'll leave the last word to Mr Finn: “The dance hall was in a good location, it drew people from as far as Greengates and Ravenscliffe and the bottom end of Otley Road. I never knew anybody at the Somerset who had a car. It was a young crowd, since most of the lads went off to National Service at 18 and were a bit old for the “Set” when they came back.

“One good feature about the Beldon, probably its drawing card, was that as long as you looked 18 you could get served. Happy days!”

Emma Clayton