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Summers Knight Studio: A History

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Coalpit Lane
(Now Cranbrook St)

You may have always known the studio to have been on Cranbrook Street, at the bottom of the Hockley area of Nottingham but in the 1930's, the studio didn't even exist and the road name was Coalpit Lane! Thanks to Picture Nottingham for the first image above from 1934 and the following information:
"Coalpit Lane was part of the route chosen to bring coal from the Wollaton Pits to the Trent Wharfs. One of the earliest references to coal in the neighbourhood occurs in 1257 when Henry III's queen was compelled to leave Nottingham Castle on account of the offensive smell of the burning "sea-coal." She would, of course, be used to the smokeless charcoal, which was extensively manufactured in Sherwood Forest, and the smoke from the novel "pit-coal" would trouble her. In 1348, mention is made of a mine at Cossall, and in 1483 one is noted at Selston. Wollaton pits are heard of in 1549, and between 1580 and 1588 Wollaton coal was exchanged for the Ancaster stone used in building Wollaton Hall. In 1750 Mr Sherwin had a large cherry orchard on both sides of Coalpit Lane, hence Cherry Street, Sherwin Court, etc." (Source:

Burton Chambers 2012

By the late 1930's, the building we know today was built as Nottingham evolved into a new era. Burtons built a shop close to where Hamilton's Drapers once stood. History tells us that Montague Burton generally liked the first floors of his buildings to be used as temperance billiard halls. The space above his shops were designed with this in mind. Six-inch concrete floors were covered in wood block, and independent access was provided to one side of Burton’s shop. Some upper floors, including this Nottingham branch, were rented out as offices and became known as ‘Burton Chambers’. (Source:

Burton Chambers' 2nd floor eventually became a dance studio when Ann and Bill Jepson took up residence with their dance school sometime in the 1940's. The Jepson's would have two young students learning at the studio named Roy Knight and Mary Autey. Roy and Mary took over the studio in the 1950's, renaming it the 'Roy and Mary Knight School of Dancing' after they got married in 1958.

Roy and Mary were recognised at many championships including: 
Nottinghamshire Amateur Champions 1954/55
Grand Finalists in the North of England Professional Championship 1963/64/65
Midlands Modern Professional Champions 1964/65
Midlands Latin American Champions Runners Up 1964/65
Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire Professional Champions 1965/66/67/68 and
North of England Latin American Professional Champions 1967/68

Roy & Mary c.1950's

Roy and Mary would become synonymous with Ballroom and Latin dance in Nottingham, teaching hundreds of adults and children the joys of dance from many genres over the years, from Ballroom and Latin to Rock n Roll and Disco. All were welcome at their classes from the newest beginner to the more advanced dancer as there were classes for all levels held across various days of the week and Mary would always advise anyone who didn't know any routines just to "Follow the ones in front". Words that still stick with a lot of Mary and Roy's students to this day.

In 1972, Roy and Mary welcomed a daughter to their dancing world - Sarah. Supported by her parents, Sarah would make her own mark on dance in Nottingham, beginning her IDTA dancing exams at the studio from the age of 3, competing across the UK from the age of 4 and reaching championship level by the age of 9. Turning professional from the age of 17, Sarah started her own dance school based in Arnold, Nottingham, all whilst still competing and judging in competitions around the UK. The dance school became known as Summers In Time Ltd. Together with husband, Stephen (who was also a competing dancer in his own right, high up in the Ballroom ranks, top 6 youth and top 12 amateur Ballroom, she followed her parent's footsteps winning many dance titles including 3 World Professional 10 Dance Championships
(More information about Sarah and Stephen's dancing successes can be found on the 'About Us' page).

Sarah and Stephen took over her parent's side of the business a
fter Roy and Mary both passed away in 2015 and 2017 respectively and the studio was renamed 'Summers Knight Studio', taking Sarah's married surname and combining it with her parent's surnames to carry on the dancing legacy under the Summers In Time brand.

Sarah in London

In 2022, the studio (owned by the Emmanuel House homeless charity on the ground floor) was asked to vacate the premises in order that the two floors above could be refurbished into emergency accommodation for Nottingham's homeless community, ending some 80 years of Ballroom and Latin dancing history in the heart of Nottingham's City Centre.
The studio closed it's doors to the public for the final time on 3oth June 2022 after having a final Farewell celebration on 26th June 2022 to remember all the years of service as a dance studio.

A huge thank you to the thousands of dancers who graced our ballroom floor over the years.
We hope your memories of our studio are as happy as ours.

Summers Knight Studio
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