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Were There Any Older Guys At Wigan?

All About the SOUL MBarrett

 
Posted

I never went to Wigan - wish I had as I am sure on the good nights it was the best of the best.

 

All the pictures I have seen confirm that at least 99% of the attendees were mid-teens to early 20's.

 

But was there anyone older?

 

Anyone from the early days of the Wheel?

 

Any older "plastic gangster" types?

 

Any older loner types. I used to go to the occasional place back then where there would be some middle-aged loner. In a world of their own but getting down to the music.

 

Just wondered.

 

MB

 

P.S. The occasional sensible reply would be appreciated. :thumbup::D

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Posted

I remember a guy who wore glasses, never used to dance, used to stand at the back listening to the music, smoking a pipe!

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Posted

I remember a guy who wore glasses, never used to dance, used to stand at the back listening to the music, smoking a pipe!

 

Pete

 

That's brilliant.

 

Just the sort of unusual (?) character I was thinking of.

 

Must have loved the music - so good luck to him! :thumbup:

 

If you were that pipe smoker please reveal yourself. :D

 

MB

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harold.jpg

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Posted

harold.jpg

 

Fantastic!

 

Nearly spat a mouthful of tea over the keyboard. :D

 

I'm loving this thread already.

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Posted (edited)

Fantastic!

Nearly spat a mouthful of tea over the keyboard. :D

I'm loving this thread already.

Yep that's him With the pipe can here his words the noo " well what do you think to The Phantom Janitor then Maggie " Edited by tfk

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Posted

There were these types.... see post 56 on previous thread

 

 

Earning a bit of overtime??

 

 

post-9947-0-77081500-1389363238_thumb.jp

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Posted

There were these types.... see post 56 on previous thread

 

 

Earning a bit of overtime??

 

Good one.

 

Thinking about it Dave Godin was totally outside the usual demographic.

 

Did he go to Wigan - just the once? Or is my brain getting a bit scrambled there.

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Posted

I assume that many on Soul Source remember Jim Wray who used to write a column for In The Basement. I met him at Soul Essence a few times and he told me that he had attended the Wigan Casino and the other Northern Soul clubs before it. He died a few years ago, and he was in his 70s, so he'd have been older than the average attender. Did anyone on here see him at the Casino?

 

I only met him a few times but we corresponded, did each other CDs. He was a real gentleman.

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Posted (edited)

I was 15 when I started going to Wigan in late 74 and I was 3 years younger than the lads I went with.

 

At that time, there were many older guys there, mid twenties plus, and we were "just kids" to the majority in attendance.

 

There were many there from the Torch and Va Va's but not many from the Wheel to my knowledge.

 

The old Wheelers that I knew from round our way (i.e. Oldham / Rochdale area), had hung their boots up by then and used to tease us with stories of how "the good old days" of their era were the real deal (....sounds familiar?) but always had time to tell tales of their exploits and I managed to tape some records from one or two of their collections.

 

By 76, a lot of the older folk stopped going and more people my age and younger started attending.

 

My recollection of my early days there are that it could be pretty scary at times and there were plenty of crews ("gangsta", "cool" etc were not words in our vocabulary then) who would "roll" (i.e. mug/rob/rip-off) the unwary in the dark corners of the club or in the Gents. That said, it was the place to be and the good times far out-weighed the bad for me and my buddies.

 

What you have to remember is that unless you had the cash to buy records blind, you had to go to wherever the DJ's who had the sounds were playing to hear stuff and there was only word of mouth and B&S or Black Music to find out about stuff, we couldn't glean knowledge and information by the click of a button or buy compilation CD's.

 

There were only a few DJ's on the scene and they were looked up to like super stars in their day.

 

The majority of club goers were either dancers or collectors and the latter obviously had a lot more knowledge about music, although there were also plenty of people who fell into both camps.

 

I went far less between 78/81 when a lot of people my age dropped off but there was a new generation taking over by then who became pioneers in their own right but the club and the scene had evolved or morphed into a different scene really by then in terms of fashion and musical tastes really.

 

Most of my mates left Northern clubs to go onto the funk / jazz funk scene, disillusioned with the way that Wigan went with Soussan, tailor-mades and the commercial exploitation of the scene and were largely unaware that the new generation who were now attending the casino were continuing to discover solid NS records and evolving the rare soul scene in a new era and despite those negative factors.

 

I would add that this is just my personal recollection and I'm sure it will not fit everyone's take on things.   

Edited by back street blue
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Posted

Soul Sam seemed ancient to us in the late 70s…… he must have been in his mid/late 30s then

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Posted

I remember a guy who wore glasses, never used to dance, used to stand at the back listening to the music, smoking a pipe!

 

That sounds like a bloke called Terry "Cassette" from Barrow, who celebrated his 60th about two years ago.  He wears glasses and he's only just given up smoking the pipe, but he does like to dance, so it may not be the same guy.

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Posted (edited)

Anybody over the age of 21 was avoided as we presumed they were from 'The Squad'... :lol:

Edited by Zed1
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Posted (edited)

I assume that many on Soul Source remember Jim Wray who used to write a column for In The Basement. I met him at Soul Essence a few times and he told me that he had attended the Wigan Casino and the other Northern Soul clubs before it. He died a few years ago, and he was in his 70s, so he'd have been older than the average attender. Did anyone on here see him at the Casino?

 

I only met him a few times but we corresponded, did each other CDs. He was a real gentleman.

 

A couple of pics of Jim Wray at Essence 2005. One with Barry Fowden and the other with David Cole.

 

Unfortunately I never met him but have heard quite a bit about the man. 

post-13147-0-52029100-1389367151_thumb.j

post-13147-0-71014400-1389367153_thumb.j

Edited by Dave Turner

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Posted

harold.jpg

 

Pete said he wore glasses.....

 

p01jxw7z.jpg

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Posted

Anybody over the age of 21 was avoided as we presumed they were from 'The Squad'... :lol:

That's funny, I was over 21 and no-one avoided me...to the best of my knowledge...:-) :-) - it's been said before, and I'll say it again, for the majority, age didn't matter at all, as long as you were into it (and weren't with the two in post #7!)

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I remember a guy who wore glasses, never used to dance, used to stand at the back listening to the music, smoking a pipe!

I remember him did he used to be by the pillar at the top of the entrance stairs as you walked through the doors

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Posted

There were these types.... see post 56 on previous thread

 

 

Earning a bit of overtime??

Always makes me smile when I see this one because the one on the left looked like me at the time. No I wasn't DS honest.Got searched by a DS with a bald head once on the balcony he looked ancient to me must have stood out like a sore thumb

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Posted

Well, Pete DID say he wore glasses...

 

post-1920-0-76940800-1389375937_thumb.jp

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Posted

I went to Wigan first as a 17 year old in 74' and every one seemed my age or older...I last won't in 78 just before I got married mainly to sell a box of tunes and I felt old at 22..... Incidentally dave Evison bought , the formations..at the top of the stairs off me , and turned it into a re activated oldie in the main room....

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Posted

There were various crews who could create an uneasy moment for some.

However to glorify them is pointless....a lot of them are dead....and those that did rob or intimidate people were opportunists and picked on the weakest, or stupidest.

In general if you were okay, they were okay!

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Posted (edited)

Late twenties were old then,thirty seemed wise and sage like although there were a few about.Crew of Manchester lads used to come to Corby round that time,buying caps and pills etc(chemist gear)fairly regular about a half dozen or so always together,at the time I thought they were about thirty(old to me)but in all liklihood mid twenties would be more the case.

Bloody eller,late twentie and thirties "Old",seems laughable now with todays scene,still I am glad there are places to go a souling still around and welcoming no matter the age(or indeed are they?).

Edited by manusf3a

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Posted

On a side note, I went to the hacienda one night with my mrs, must have been about 32, late 80 s.....I felt ancient......

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Posted

what do you call oldies?i was 18  in the day and was 21 when i arrived on the 23 sept 1973 stayed through till 76/77 was i classed anciant when you so called 15/16 year olds started  or some of you must have been 12 when i see your ages now ,

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Posted

I was 22 in '78 and I remember somebody saying to me 'I hope I'm still going when I'm your age'

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Posted (edited)

was 21 when i arrived on the 23 sept 1973 stayed through till 76/77 was i classed anciant when you so called 15/16 year olds started  or some of you must have been 12 when i see your ages now ,

 

.....as I am the only one who's said they were 15/16 years old at Wigan, I take it the above is directed at me?

 

.....I said that "we were just kids to the majority in attendance" so no, you weren't ancient, it was predominately your age group that I remember being there pre-1976.

 

.....that said, the average age was definitely lower after 77/8 from my recollection.

 

I went with my mates from Middleton initially, then later with my mates from Shaw and Oldham, namely Chaddy, Lemmy, Ronnie, Douglas, Mick Malone, Carl Robb, Carl Holden, Pete Wright and Bry Millard.

 

Amongst the younger lads from our end who went regularly post '77 were Neil Horseman and Nidge Worsnip and his late brother Craig (RIP)....and the evergreen Ronnie (Hanley) who never stopped going from start to finish.

 

Not blaggin' you mate. that would be pointless  :thumbsup:

Edited by back street blue
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Posted

Never gave it any thought at the time. First went as a 17 year old in 1974 and everyone seemed young, even the top dancers who had evidently been on the scene a few years. By 1978, the issue was with 15 year old kids looking like 12 year olds in a room of mainly 20 year olds and over. We would sit on the stage and say how things weren't the same with all the kids...21 years of age and starting to sound like your dad. Don't recall any hassle there, just one slight scuffle; bag- thieving was a bigger issue. One of the nice things about the Casino was being in a friendly place even though there were plenty of hard cases and villains around.

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I was 17 when I started going in early 74 so according to all the right ups you read I must have been an older guy

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Posted (edited)

Didn't I used to see a bloke about 60 dancing, used to have an hour or two and disappear - always had a dark striped top on - was told he was one of the coach drivers.

 

Didn't appear to be a Soulie per se as he danced like yer Grandad would. :wink:

Edited by Barry

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i'd just turned 18 when i first attended the Casino in Apr '74..initially the only older guys i remember where those who looked and may have been a few years older..the chaps with beards etc..plus guys like Frank Elson, Dave Godin ( i never saw at wigan close up)..and Colin & mary Chapman..there were those guys from the Torch then VA VA's who were a little older..but i think overwhelmingly Wigan Casino was populated more by younger people than older with the 17-22 year old making the majority..this being 74-75..after that with national press/tv coverage the crowd seemed to get younger..helped by the availability of coaches to run the trips..once in late 77 i walked in and it resembled a youth club..the writing was on the wall...for me anyway..

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My old mate Tony Coleby, used to smoke a pipe at nighters. He used to call the tobacco Old cherry red. Had a very distinctive smell :wink:  Funny how we always stopped at the services for Tony to have a big breakfast :thumbsup:

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Posted (edited)

Anybody over the age of 21 was avoided as we presumed they were from 'The Squad'... :lol:

 

As if? I was fifteen when I started going in late '73 and I'd say about 10% were about the same. A lot of my mates were a bit older, either working in the factories or apprentices with a bit more cash than me. I think Dave Withers had just finished his apprenticeship in an engineering firm when he did the "This England" documentary.

I thought Winstanley was ancient, and Elson and Godin had beards ffs! The oldest guy I remember on the floor was called Les (I think), he was always smashed off his box and had a sort of jerky dance style, always wore a vest with a 'Twisted Wheel' badge on it. Ellis and Evison both seemed old, in fact most of the dj's did come to think of it. Growing up around Manchester, with soul in our blood so to speak, it didn't strike me as odd in any way that there were older people there. The Beachcomber was very scary because it was smaller and a lot of deals were being done, but any 'squad' would stand out a mile not because of their age but just because they were so bleeding obviously not "one of us".

Edited by Drewtg

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Posted (edited)

As if? I was fifteen when I started going in late '73 and I'd say about 10% were about the same. A lot of my mates were a bit older, either working in the factories or apprentices with a bit more cash than me. I think Dave Withers had just finished his apprenticeship in an engineering firm when he did the "This England" documentary.

I thought Winstanley was ancient, and Elson and Godin had beards ffs! The oldest guy I remember on the floor was called Les (I think), he was always smashed off his box and had a sort of jerky dance style, always wore a vest with a 'Twisted Wheel' badge on it. Ellis and Evison both seemed old, in fact most of the dj's did come to think of it. Growing up around Manchester, with soul in our blood so to speak, it didn't strike me as odd in any way that there were older people there. The Beachcomber was very scary because it was smaller and a lot of deals were being done, but any 'squad' would stand out a mile not because of their age but just because they were so bleeding obviously not "one of us".

 

 

*Note to self*   Aim lower next time.....

Edited by Zed1

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Didn't I used to see a bloke about 60 dancing, used to have an hour or two and disappear - always had a dark striped top on - was told he was one of the coach drivers.

 

Didn't appear to be a Soulie per se as he danced like yer Grandad would. :wink:

 

Great story - I like eccentric oddball characters. :D

 

Reminds me of when I first started going to music events (mid-60's!)

 

There was a funny old guy who was a traffic warden in our town who used to turn up and dance by himself.

 

I'm not sure he was quite all there but he was quite harmless and the young girls used to be quite protective of him. Most likely made him feel like a king for the night! :D

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Didn't I used to see a bloke about 60 dancing, used to have an hour or two and disappear - always had a dark striped top on - was told he was one of the coach drivers.

 

Didn't appear to be a Soulie per se as he danced like yer Grandad would. :wink:

A mate of mine was a coach driver who used to go to the Wheel, he used to show his badge to get in free  (it wasn't the one you mention though) I think he was about 27 ish at the time.

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Posted (edited)

There were quite a good few older lads (& lasses) in the early days. From venues which pre-dated Wigan that were being closed down. 

 

Remember this chap:

post-7917-0-65022400-1389536541_thumb.jp

 I mean the one in the black shirt. 

Edited by Steve Lane

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I celebrated my sixteenth birthday at the Torch, and there were quite a few people around my age  from our way going(Gloucester) seemed to be many twenty plus at the Torch, i do think after Wigan opened the age group seemed to drop(as i got older :D )

 

One thing i do recall is being young and carefree .......meaning not really  being bothered about what was being played! just glad to be among so many like minded people doing something completely different to the normal townspeople, the feeling of friendliness that you could sense all around, easy times ,for me up until ´77 then i got bored and dropped off for a while.

 

The driver of the Gloucester coach used to take his wife into Wigan with him!and he was probably mid thirties.

 

Steve

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*Note to self*   Aim lower next time.....

 think i remember the guy you refer to as 'Les'..always on his own..used to bump inro him at various train stations..had a very jerky almost out of time beat..and he had longish straight hair..always a vest or maybe once,a well worn white(ish) T shirt..never knew him name..i think he may be on here..and might have seen him some years back at a skeg weekender..sound about right?

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There was quite a good few older lads (& lasses) in the early days. From venues which pre-dated Wigan that were being closed down. 

 

Remember this chap:

attachicon.gifbooper.jpg

 I mean the one in the black shirt. 

C

 

 I remember Frank anyone from Widnes would .also anyone older would remember him from the wheel. The legend that is Booper

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There was quite a good few older lads (& lasses) in the early days. From venues which pre-dated Wigan that were being closed down. 

 

Remember this chap:

attachicon.gifbooper.jpg

 I mean the one in the black shirt. 

We used to meet up at his house before setting off for Wigan , always remember his missus taking hours to get ready .

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I went to the casino early 1978'onwards,most of the older guys had moved on to have family's and some who was into because it was the in scene at the time.My observation a lot of the older returnees to the northern scene just don't get it.

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Forgot to say. I was 16 in 1975 when I started going the casino. My younger brother by two years actually went a few weeks before me. So in my case yes there was older people knocking about at the casino but by 1978/1979 I considered myself one of the older types. Steve

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I went to the casino early 1978'onwards,most of the older guys had moved on to have family's and some who was into because it was the in scene at the time.My observation a lot of the older returnees to the northern scene just don't get it.

 

get what?

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Posted

Well, Pete DID say he wore glasses...

dont think alastair diamond was a regular at wigan i maybe wrong though. :D

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There were these types.... see post 56 on previous thread

 

 

Earning a bit of overtime??

Moved on a bit from the wide lapel orrible check jackets lol :lol:

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There were some older guys there.......but generally you kept out of their way........the ones l knew  required your money/gear and or leather coat :D

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Pete said he wore glasses.....

 

p01jxw7z.jpg

is that pete bottomly?.................... :D  :D .........only joking mate    he don,t look old enough lol :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

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C

 

 I remember Frank anyone from Widnes would .also anyone older would remember him from the wheel. The legend that is Booper

 

....used to see him on the floor at the revived Wheel when it was at Whitworth Street

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Posted

Good one.

 

Thinking about it Dave Godin was totally outside the usual demographic.

 

Did he go to Wigan - just the once? Or is my brain getting a bit scrambled there.

 

I saw and spoke to Dave Godin at Wigan a couple of times at  Wigan , think one of them was the night Gloria Jones played there .Was lucky enough to spend a day in London with him when I was 17 , he seems much older , and almost Soul royalty , a huge influence .

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I also remember the guy with the pipe and glasses , he used to stand on the stage sometimes  taking it all  whilst puffing on the pipe , having a condor moment perhaps?

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