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Derek Allen 'my Dear, Dear Friend'

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DEREK ALLEN

In the summer of 1970 I ventured weekly to the Nottingham Fish Market (just behind the famous 'Palais'). Selectadisc the independent record retailer had just opened and, as a very young man I could not afford the Tams-Hey Girl Don't Bother Me at exorbitant prices of 17 shillings, instead opting for the cheaper second hand alternative at the market.

The initial face scouring the bric a brac stalls was a guy who worked for the Post Office (later BT of course). From that moment Derek became a record collecting competitor and friend. I could never compete with him as my paper round did not pay very much!

D recommended many a Red and White Island and Columbia Soul Supply to his new young upstart. The beginning of this friendship continued to 1972 whereby I enthused over my new faves heard at the Torch All Nighter. Locally visiting the Shipley Boat Inn I mentioned Bok To Bach, Wanting You, I Don't Want To Discuss It. Derek cheekily pulling out UK demos saying 'oh you mean these, I bought them years ago'!

On a similar occasion he played me Call Me -Eddie Bishop(we are talking 1972 here!), quickly followed by The Shakers.

He championed the new releases too playing New Breed Kinda Woman-Holland Dozier to a largely Northern Soul audience.

The strange thing was he never ventured into a major arena, sticking to his mobile disco roots. His dear wife Paula supported him throughout.

A bigger stage came in the mid 90's when Richard Searling and I were actively looking for a great warm up man at our Stoke All nighter. My suggestion was simple, who has unstoppable enthusiasm, has a wonderful record collection , always smiling and most importantly looks the part as soul fans are feeling their way into a venue. Only one guy fits the bill...DANCIN' DEREK.

The only man I ever knew that answered 'are you sure' whenever I handed over his DJ fee! DA kept things simple, no politics, don't worry about paying me money, I just want to enjoy it.

I could go on and on about my dear friend. He spoke with me almost weekly throughout our 34 year friendship. A beautiful person, loving father and husband.

Derek I will cherish the memories along with your close friends from the East Midlands...FOREVER.

See you up there buddy.

DEREK ALLEN lost his life in the early hours of Sunday , December 4th during a DJ stint at the Meadow Club, Nottingham.

Kev Roberts

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Kev i sit here with tears in my eyes truely a great m8 and will be sadly missed by all :thumbsup:

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With you there spanner.

As we all get older this is going to happen more often but the shock will never get easier.

Will always remember Derek for his enthusiasm and of course his dancing behind the decks.

It definitely seems the good die young.

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I must admit that this morning when I found out about Derek, I was filled with the sense of loss. One of our great friends has sadly gone. My thoughts and those of all of us are with his family.

Let us though temper that sense of loss with all the great memories that we all have for one of the scenes nicest guys, and I'am sure these pages over the next few days will be filled with tribute to the man.

God bless Derek.

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I'm deeply saddened to lose a truly close friend, never could you ever wish to meet a nicer guy who would always greet you with a smile, Derek thank you my friend for bringing many happy hours of pleasure to thousands of people over the years you gave to the soul scene, it owes you a great debt.

I will always remember you as the DJ others could learn from, your knowledge, enthusiasm and above all never any politics, just pure soul.

R.I.P. Derek

Andy Murfin

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I've only known Derek a dozen years or so, and in that time I don't think I can remember him ever saying a bad word about anyone, and I can't remember anyone saying a bad word about him.

Perhaps that's epitaph enough for anyone, but it doesn't go far enough. In the world of Northern Soul, Derek was a true gentleman, he quite regularly took warm up spots, and played Oldies that he knew would get the crowd going, yet through knowing Derek, I also know that his record collection was such that he could have held his own in any major allnighter, against virtually any DJ.

It was quite funny sometimes, he'd hear a record being played at an allnighter and mutter to himself "I'm sure I've got one of these somewhere", and sure enough, next time you saw him, he'd dug a copy out. As an example, he found his copy of Paris 'Sleepless Nights' in his airing cupboard, and of course it was an original ! Of course he never sold a record, so was able to do this time and time again.

When he was first ill he told me that nearly all the male members of his family had died under fifty of heart attacks, I'd guess that was about five years ago, and having taken early retirement from BT at fifty, Derek in a way knew he was living on borrowed time. That didn't stop him being Derek though !

As another example of his generosity of spirit earlier this year he realised he'd been double booked at Rugby and the Half Time Orange. Rather than let anyone down, he did an early spot at Rugby, drove back to Leicester, did a spot at the Half Time Orange, and then drove back to Rugby to do his second spot of the night, then he drove back home to Leicester.

His sheer exuberance when DJing, and of course dancing behind the decks, set an example that all of us should follow. It was never about money, status, politics with Derek, he just entertained.

He'll be missed by so many people, and it seems so cruel that it's always the ones you care about that are taken, but I don't think he will ever be forgotten by anyone who knew him, and I know he died having just finished his spot, so perhaps as he had to go, this was the best way possible.

My condolences to his family, who I never met, but I do understand what a great loss they must feel at this time, because I'm sure the qualities he had on the Northern Scene would have also been present in his home life.

If there is a God, and a Heaven, there will already be a set of technics set up with a dancefloor behind them, just waiting for Mr Derek 'Dancing' Allen.

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The Soul Scene has lost a DJ, and Friend. Too many who had the pleasure to know Derek and see him at many venues throughout the East Midlands and the UK.My condolences to his family .

"ALONG THE PATH OF MEMORIES

WE DANCED WITH YOU EACH NIGHT."

"SIMPLY THE BEST"

DEREK ALLEN R.I.P.

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The two photo's was took at East Kirkby Soulnite at the Millenium New Years Eve Bash! A true Ambassador of the scene!here is Derek with Rob Thomas

post-758-1102267305_thumb.jpg

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Derek - we'll miss you mate. Best memory of him was buying some records he had doubles of. He not only played them to me but actually danced to them as they were playing. His sheer enthusiasm sold me the records. What a guy.

One less nice guy in the world. Miss ya, luv ya.

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A Bright, bright light has just gone out on the Northern Soul scene, I never knew Derek that well but he was always a gentleman infact a very gentle guy, he always had a kind word and was a joy to know.

Sleep well Derek, you will always be in our hearts and Soul.

Mark Bicknell

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Very sad news.

Too shocked to add much except that Derek brightened the lives of anyone who heard/saw one of his sets, let alone those that knew him.

RIP

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Great DJ and a lovely man.

A large hole will be left by his passing.

Managed to get Derek to stand still behind the decks for a picture!!! Not many of them around.

Thanks for all your help at Rugby

Dean and Sian

post-1225-1102413968_thumb.jpg

Edited by Rugby Soul Club

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A sad, sad loss to "our" scene :thumbsup: ....

Took a phone call from John Vincent today who informed me of the news.... takes some getting you're head round.... another great loss to that "allniter in the sky"....

The "epitome of sound" when it came to pleasing a dance floor.... no matter what time of night, early or late, that he entertained us.... Dancing Derek was a character within a character.... no polotics, no bad words, just sheer enthuiasm for the music he loved so dear.... and loved to share it with us....

Fond memories will remain.... priveledged to have had Derek guesting at Ponds Forge.... and more so to being "honoured" by an inclusion in his places visited within his "East Midlands Soul Scene" column.... albeit as Derek put "just hopping over the border for my next one".... the pleasure was all ours mate....

Heart felt condolences to Derek's family and close friends.... Mark, Tony, Errol and Chris (PF crew)....

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I KNOW I CAN SPEAK FOR ALL SOUL LOVERS AND DJS IN AUSTRALIA , NOW THERES A DJ AND THEN SOME ,HE WAS MR. ENTERTAINMENT AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL ,GOD BLESS TO ALL HIS FAMILY, FROM ALL SOUL LOVERS IN AUSTRALIA REGARDS JOHN

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I only met Derek twice, but what sticks in my mind is that he was such a warm & friendly guy.

He will be a deeply missed character, a total one-off.

God Bless,

Jamie

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Some warm up DJ! He used to have Stoke rocking within 30 minutes of doors opening. I remember the first Togetherness allnighter there well - Derek played Hoagy Lands, Bobby Womack, Gladys Knight and it couldn't have started better. RIP.

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Last year I suggested to a few friends that we got together for the fancy dress at Cleethorpes and all went as Derek Allen (they wouldnt play though) On telling him this a few weeks ago he seemed quite flattered, and told me that the soul patches on his polo shirts were to cover up various companys logos :thumbsup:

A lovely man who never discriminated against anyone, he will be missed

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I'd like to pass on condolences on behalf of myself and my brother. Mark always had Dereks name first on the list when we talked about introducing friends to Soul.

He is sadly missed.

Edited by in town Mikey

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Just so very saddened by such tragic news. We got home from a trip abroad last night and sat reading the tributes with a heavy heart.

Derek was such a shining star - a lovely, sweet and thoroughly decent man, and my thoughts are with Paula and the family - it's so devastating to think that he went out for the night to DJ, and will never go home again.

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My thoughts exactly Ali, I don't think I will ever know a kinder, sweeter man.

When Kym DJed at Peterborough he stayed on stage with her to help her choose records the crowd would appreciate, he even lent her records from his own playbox, how many would do that?

He was always so happy and I am going to miss hugging him and laughing with him

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Well i think its all been said but i would just like to say its very sad news Derek was a true gent and a truly nice guy he will be missed, our thoughts are with his family. R.I.P nice guy. Love Louise & Dave Welding

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This is terrible news a real active soul fan/dj if ever I knew one and such a nice guy to boot and he seemed to luck so healthy when I last spoke to him at Hemsby's Motown weekend. For anyone who didn't know him, he was the type of guy that would put others before himself, a real gentleman.

He will be sadly sadly missed.

Paul

On the Scene

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Very sad news - was always a pleasure to see Derek DJing. Only met him in person once, at Fleetwood last month... even in that five minute chat he came across as so friendly, encouraging and enthusiastic.

Rach

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sent to site via contact us

God bless you Derek & rest in peace. Everyones friend. A great loss to the Soul Scene. I`ts been a pleasure having you as a mate 1st and 2nd time round & will never forget all the help & advice you gave me when we talked, most recently at Cala Gran where you were awesome.

Me & Sam Moore at Awsworth Village Hall Soul Club would like to pass our condolances to your family at this very sad time.

Paul Gats

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It has taken me until Monday afternoon to even contemplate sitting down and adding my thoughts to the wonderful tributes that have already been made to a truly wonderful DJ, friend and human being, Derek Allen.

Like Nige Brown, I had the pleasure and honour of sharing the decks with Derek at Ilkeston only last Friday and, as always, he was his usual chatty, smiling and enthusiastic self.

Derek was a living tribute to the old saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". His love of the Soul Scene was eclipsed only by his love of friends being around him and the chance to entertain them as only he could.

In the coming months and weeks I know that I will be looking at stages in venues the country over (especially our own) and thinking "Derek should be up there now". And I know that the thought will catch in my throat before I remember his smile and his warmth and remind myself that from now on, he always will be there dancing around, clapping, singing and content that his charges continue to enjoy their Soul.

Our thoughts go to his close friends and family, whose loss I cannot begin to imagine.

God bless Derek.

Neil Jones & Jayne Malone.

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Derek was one in a million, a truly wonderful character to the scene, when djing he was always dancing and clapping behind the decks. He always bought a smile to my face and to many more, and always had time to say hello.

He will be sadly sadly missed.

Condolences to Dereks wife and family.

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Derek was an absolute corker of a bloke.

I concur with everyone's tributes and would just add that he left the world doing exactly what he loved doing; DJing.

He was a brave man who lived life to the full and probably enjoyed himself more in one night playing to a hundred people than some of us do in our whole careers.

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Just re- read the tributes to Derek. Brings a lump to your throat.

Perhaps the next time we feel like a bitch or moan, as is the norm for this scene, we could pause and remember what Derek was all about and be grateful that people like him enable us to listen to the best music ever layed down on vinyl.

What do you think the chances are?

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Just re- read the tributes to Derek. Brings a lump to your throat.

Perhaps the next time we feel like a bitch or moan, as is the norm for this scene, we could pause and remember what Derek was all about and be grateful that people like him enable us to listen to the best music ever layed down on vinyl.

What do you think the chances are?

link

Makes you think doesn't it? Just read all the above, very sad news. I'm glad I met you Derek and thanks for all the joy you put into the scene.

Len.

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As requested please take this note of condolence from the pen of Ginger Taylor.

"Derek the Dancing DJ, as I often introduced him will be sadly missed. One of the nicest guys on the scene who in this very political scene managed to be liked by everyone who met him.

I will always have fond memories of the man. May he rest in peace."

Ginger Taylor

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[

"Derek the Dancing DJ, as I often introduced him will be sadly missed. One of the nicest guys on the scene who in this very political scene managed to be liked by everyone who met him.

I will always have fond memories of the man. May he rest in peace."

Ginger Taylor

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