Miss Irene Hammond & Mrs Betty Hassall
In 1917, Miss Irene Hammond, a dance teacher and performer from Cheltenham, moved to Chester where she began teaching dance for Mrs Amy Broom, née Webster, who was known for her classes at the Grosvenor Ballroom.
The Webster School was already an established enterprise in Chester having been run by Mrs Broom’s father, Edgar, since 1833. The school was originally opened by Louis Doré of London in 1823.
By 1919, Miss Hammond had officially taken over the school, which became known as the Miss Irene Hammond School. Over the last century, The Hammond has grown and developed, changing and adapting with the times.
Betty Hassall, an early student of Irene Hammond, took over the running of the school in 1946 in partnership with Madeline Chambers. At that time, eight hundred children were enrolled at the school and attending weekly classes across Cheshire and Shropshire.
In 1951, the school leased Hampton Lodge and boarding began. The school purchased Hampton Lodge by 1953 and in the following year, its wonderful dance studio was built, which is still in use today. By 1962, the school had expanded into Liverpool Road where it flourished until 1968. Betty Hassall was then instrumental in securing Hoole Bank House for the school’s Education Department and by 1969, the entire school had moved to this prestigious site.
Today, The Hammond is ranked as one of the top Performing Arts schools in the country. We celebrate our long history and look forward to continued success here at Hoole Bank House in Chester.