Stevenage's Locarno Ballroom is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month, having been built in 1961.

The Comet: Dancers at Stevenage's Locarno Ballroom, which opened 60 years agoDancers at Stevenage's Locarno Ballroom, which opened 60 years ago (Image: Stevenage Museum)

Purpose magazine, which charted the new town from 1955 to 1966, described the opening of the ballroom, which cost £150,000 to build, as follows:

"The first week in October was a remarkable one for Stevenage in that in two successive days the town acquired two amenities which have been long needed and long awaited.

"On October 2 the new Mecca Dance Hall, Stevenage 'Locarno', was officially opened by councillor M. Cotter, JP, Chairman of Stevenage Urban District Council, with all the colour and pageantry, music and merriment for which Mecca Dancing have rightly gained a world-wide reputation.

"On the following evening the Countess of Albemarle came to Stevenage to open 'The Sishes' a new-style youth centre in an old-style building surrounded by over three acres of grounds."