MORE than 100 revellers attended the last public dance to be held at the Wessex Hotel's historic ballroom.

The dance floor, one of Bournemouth's biggest, has been the regular venue for members of The Wessex Dance Club for 27 years.

But with the Wessex Hotel due to close for demolition in the New Year, to make way for a new hotel and flats, the tradition came to an end on Thursday (Dec 28) evening.

Steve Crawford, of the Wessex Dance Club, said: "It was very emotional towards the end, hard to believe that this was the last time we would enter this great building.

"It has been the club's home since 1990 and it is a superb floor - very spacious and bright, the largest in Bournemouth expect for the Pavilion ballroom."

Steve has organised the dances with Guy Thomas - and the pair ran summer shows, including the Daily Echo Star Trail talent competition from 1992-2005, at the venue.

"Many romances began at the dancing," said Steve. "The hotel will be sadly missed."

The venue has been a central hub for dancing, in particular ballroom and Latin, with many dance holidays and evening social events over the years.

Steve said: "The hotel ballroom has been a great meeting place and dancing is a proven way to keep fit.

"This will soon be taken from the community as the hotel is due for demolition to make way for new flats, with no plans for another dance venue.

"It will be goodbye to an old friend for many."

This summer developer Inland Homes was granted permission to demolish the building and construct a replacement 215-bed hotel and 88 flats in two blocks.

The Wessex Hotel is scheduled to close on January 2.

Meanwhile, the Wessex Dance Club will be holding its regular dance nights at the Piccadilly Ballroom, KlikAway Hotel, Bath Road, Bournemouth.

The club's first dance at its new venue is scheduled for January 8.

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