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Dayo

Coppertops And The Bankhouse - Worcester

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Hi all

 

Just thumbing through my copy of Elaine's book and was very pleased to see that The Coppertops venue got a mention.  Along with The Bankhouse, it was a well known spot in Worcester for local mods to get their fix of current Wheel favourites.

 

My bro-in-law was John Haithwaite.  He DJ'd at both venues and had an awesome record collection.  Through him I got hooked on soul.  I was only about 12 when he sneaked me into the Bankhouse one night for my first taste of rare soul played loud.  Must been 1970 or 1971. I had to literally hide behind the decks because of my age.

 

I remember that everyone was very cross because that week Baby Reconsider had just been pressed  - on Soul Sounds, if I recall (?)

 

A guy called Froggy (Wolverhampton?) was there and he'd just got from the States with a suitcase full of records, mostly Ric Tic and Okeh stuff.  My young eyes popped out of my head.  My bro-in-law bought a copy of Gene Chandler's There Was A Time off him and immediately played it.  The dance floor was already packed and the crowd just went mad.  

 

Just wondered if any other Midlanders had memories of these two early under-appreciated venues?

 

Colin

Edited by Dayo

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Froggy Taylor was from Gloucester,i missed Coppertops and the Bankhouse(too young) but it was legendary down our way people always on about the Coppertops ,Chataeu Impney as well,

 

Steve

Don´t know if Froggy actually went to the States ? but he did have relations there,remember him getting copies of The Gems-i´ll be there,  Help me -Al Wilson and the Sweets Satisfy me baby and the Superlatives when they were new discoveries :yes::hatsoff2:

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Remember Froggy standing in at the Catacombes following the tragic accident that sadly killed Bob Crocker and badly injured Alan Smith playing for the first time (to me ) Nolan Chance Just like the weather which became my favourite record at the time and all those years later still is No 1 for me.

         Mick Perrins.

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Thanks to both for the replies and personal memories.  

 

You got me thinking now...

 

Maybe it wasn't Froggy.  I'm sure the guy with the suitcase full of Ric Tic and Okeh had been to the States - he still had some of his clothes in the suitcase with the records.  I'd never met anyone who'd been abroad - let alone across the ocean. He was a big guy, ginger hair (can you even say that?) and I could have sworn he came down from Wolvo.  I remember seeing him in Worcester the next day on the market and he sold Maurice Nixon (remember him, anyone?) a copy of Out On The Floor on Charger.  Maurice had one of those portable record players - it was the first time I'd heard it.

 

The Bankhouse had a great room, low ceiling and loads of beams.  Absolutely cracking atmosphere. I'm not certain, but I think it was on Mondays.  Hard to believe that several hundred people rammed in there every week dancing to the likes of Major Lance, JJ Barnes and Billy Butler.   

Edited by Dayo

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deffo not froggy ...he was about 5foot 2.........smaller than me as i recall, i sure i went to coppertops a couple of times about the time the torch was going strong. i was young, i know that..17 or 18....ez

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Agree with everything Steve and Ezzie have said, the Big Boys from Cheltenham and Gloucester used to go to Coppertops and The Bankhouse, I never did at the time but have Dj'd at both since then, thank goodness...Colin, are you sure your memory isn't playing you up on the guy's size. as Froggy certainly was selling tunes like that at the time, I got my San Remo Strings "Festival Time" from him around then, and always remember asking him about an obscure single by G L Crockett that I'd heard as a kid - a week later he turned up at the Spa Lounge in Cheltenham with a copy for me - and remember, this was before imports were widely available!

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Thanks to both for the replies and personal memories.  

 

You got me thinking now...

 

Maybe it wasn't Froggy.  I'm sure the guy with the suitcase full of Ric Tic and Okeh had been to the States - he still had some of his clothes in the suitcase with the records.  I'd never met anyone who'd been abroad - let alone across the ocean. He was a big guy, ginger hair (can you even say that?) and I could have sworn he came down from Wolvo.  I remember seeing him in Worcester the next day on the market and he sold Maurice Nixon (remember him, anyone?) a copy of Out On The Floor on Charger.  Maurice had one of those portable record players - it was the first time I'd heard it.

 

The Bankhouse had a great room, low ceiling and loads of beams.  Absolutely cracking atmosphere. I'm not certain, but I think it was on Mondays.  Hard to believe that several hundred people rammed in there every week dancing to the likes of Major Lance, JJ Barnes and Billy Butler.   

Remember Maurice well, the big ginger guy could have been Skip? from Hereford/Ledbury or somewhere in Shropshire :g:  always used to wear denim bib and brace(or seemed so :D ) dissappeared off the scene early seventies if thats any help?

 

Steve

Edited by SteveSmith

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Hi Steve

Old Maurice still makes the odd cameo appearance out and about to this day.

 

Dave

Dave, Old Maurice? he always seemed to be old even in the seventies :D

hope you are well mate :thumbup:

Steve

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Thanks for your help everyone.  I guess the dealer in question might have been Froggy or Skip; my memory is clearly not as sharp as I'd like!   Did either of the aforementioned gentleman have red hair?  Not that any of it matters a hill of beans to anyone but myself!  

 

Maurice Nixon was well known around Worcester - his family had a stall on Blackfriars Market - that's where I met him.  For a short time he also had a little shop down Newport Street by the bus station where he sold the latest imports.  You never forget the first you hear Major Lance - You Don't Want Me No More; I had to have it.  Maurice had a copy for 70 pence, then I had to borrow most of it back off him so I could get the bus home.  I was about 13. Small kindness, but never forgotten.

Edited by Dayo

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Blackfriars?was there also one called "Mumbles"? where Kojac sold records, i was working on the new telephone exchange early seventies, i used to dissappear for ours on end off site as it was such a big job :D and do the second hand shops and market stalls etc,two notable sessions

1, bumping in to Mark "Polo" Baulch on one session ,in his hand an Emi discProper by Hattie /Hettie Winston -when this battle is over bought blind(lucky bastard)

2. on kojacs stall finding Dusty Springfield-Whats it gonna be(new play) for 20p and him refusing to sell it :ohmy: on further looking found a copy of Panic which i had heard the previous night(Wednesday) first play ever at the Catacombs and was under the radar :D

 

Off subject(sort of)after the Torch shut and until just after Wigan opened i used to run coaches to The Catacombs or alternatively Top Rank Hanley ,we used to pull off the motoway at Worcester and pick quite a few people up at that big pub on the roundabout ,Sure Maurice was amongst them,yourself as well?

 

Steve

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Blackfriars?was there also one called "Mumbles"? where Kojac sold records, i was working on the new telephone exchange early seventies, i used to dissappear for ours on end off site as it was such a big job :D and do the second hand shops and market stalls etc,two notable sessions

1, bumping in to Mark "Polo" Baulch on one session ,in his hand an Emi discProper by Hattie /Hettie Winston -when this battle is over bought blind(lucky bastard)

2. on kojacs stall finding Dusty Springfield-Whats it gonna be(new play) for 20p and him refusing to sell it :ohmy: on further looking found a copy of Panic which i had heard the previous night(Wednesday) first play ever at the Catacombs and was under the radar :D

 

Off subject(sort of)after the Torch shut and until just after Wigan opened i used to run coaches to The Catacombs or alternatively Top Rank Hanley ,we used to pull off the motoway at Worcester and pick quite a few people up at that big pub on the roundabout ,Sure Maurice was amongst them,yourself as well?

 

Steve

 

 

Blackfriars Market....

 

My aforementioned Bro-in-law had a record stall called "Voice Your Choice" on there first from 1970.  The joke was lost on 99.9% of people. I used to help out on Saturdays.  Basically it was just a way for John to clear some of the "junk" from his massive collection.  God, I'd love to get my hands on his throwaways now.  Actually when "Panic" first got spins (at Wigan?) he went straight to his shelves and gave me a copy gratis.  He thought it was awful.  The stock was supplemented stuff he bought over the counter and by soul packs which mostly came from Global Records in Manchester.  Maurice Nixon was not involved but his family had stalls on the same market so he was a regular customer.

 

After my Bro-in-Law closed it, Mumbles stall came along around 1973.  Both me and Polo helped out there in the early days.  We were paid in records of course and I recall we didn't take it too seriously - spent most saturdays yakking to mates, larking about and playing records.  John Harvey got mighty upset by the amount of shoplifting and when someone walked off with a huge box of about 500 45's that was the last straw and we both got the boot.  

 

John Harvey was rarely there, he had other mysterious "business interests".  This was a while before the Inter City Soul Club thing.  A guy called Roger ran it most of the time.  Can't remember his surname but he was from Wolvo and previously used to work at Graduate Records I think.  He used to turn up things like the Steinways and Duke Baxter when they were current and I remember Polo found a Pat Lewis Warning in the bargain box there for about 25 pence - literally under my nose.

 

I was something of a record scavenger myself - hated paying top price for anything - but Polo had a great eye for a bargain and often beat me to things that were rightfully "mine" ;-)  - including a Lynne Randell CBS demo from the junk shop right opposite my school!  Gobsmacked would have been the word for my feelings, had the word been in use at the time.  The next week at Wigan, collectors (including debut DJ Kev Roberts), were literally chasing him across the car park to get it.

 

As for the Cats coaches Steve, I would guess that Maurice was certainly a regular there, but a mate of mine got rolled by the brothers there one week and came off rather badly, so it was a place I avoided!

Edited by Dayo

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