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Sunday 23 September 1973, Wigan Casino

Posted

In these present times of apparently - doom and gloom - just thought I would put this up and remind those who went what a major effect it had on our lives - as well as the good times in those "who gives a F%$K years" of growing up - I started to go to the Casnio in 75 till the end, so cant say I was there at the beginning - but thanks for the memories.

Wigan Casino was the name of the last incarnation of a Wigan ballroom called the Empress. Local DJ Russ Winstanley and Wigan Casino manager Mike Walker approached lease owner Gerry Marshall to run all-nighters. Walker brought Winstanley, who had a DJ set at the local rugby club, to the Casino Club. At 2am on Sunday 23 September 1973, Wigan Casino started its first ever Northern soul all-nighter, with Winstanley as the DJ. After Winstanley and his helper Ian Fishwick, Kev Roberts was the third DJ at Casino all-nighters, who was quickly joined by Richard Searling[3] Soul performers that performed there include Jackie Wilson, Edwin Starr and Junior Walker.

Young people from all over the UK regularly attended Wigan Casino to hear the latest northern soul artists and to dance. There were long queues to get in. The second dance floor, Mr M's, stayed open until 06:00 and played oldies songs from a variety of DJs including Dave Evison and Steve Whittle. All-nighters generally ended with three songs that became known as the '3 before 8': "Time Will Pass You By" by Tobi Legend, "Long After Tonight Is All Over" by Jimmy Radcliffe, and "I'm on My Way" by Dean Parrish. Parrish is still active on the Northern soul circuit.

Wigan Casino's 500th all-nighter was held on Saturday 16 May 1981, from 12:00 to 08:00.

Wigan Council owned the building and wanted to extend the nearby Civic Centre, but short of funding, it never went ahead.[citation needed] The club closed on 6 December 1981; that final night of Wigan Casino in its Northern soul state was DJ'd by Winstanley, and the '3 before 8' were played three times consecutively at the end of the night. The crowd refused to leave; according to Winstanley, to "break this spell of hysteria", he picked a 7" at random from his box and played that. This final Wigan Casino song became one of the most famous Northern soul songs of all time, Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)".[citation needed] Annual reunions are held in Wigan hosted by the original DJs.

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Best years of my life going to Wigan. Nothing has ever come close. I've never been in a building since where you could feel/smell/touch the atmosphere like Wigan. Probably the energy of youth in the air.  I still have the occasional dream where I'm there again, I can almost touch it , it was a feeling how you percieved the world at the time. 

Glad I went for the last 4 years.

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Ditto to all the above.  Greatest time of my life without a doubt.  1975 until Dec 81. So much of the music that was played there went on to become the sound track of my life.  Many of those records are still amazing and still sound as good today as they did nearly 45 years ago.  Made friendships that are still going strong today.  Loved and lost. .........

I'm still going to nighters and soul nights across the UK now.at the age of 60 That's the effect that it has had on me. 

Steve 

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being a relative youngster,    i made my first trip up there,  for the 'Christmas' Niter (1979).    my second trip was literally 2 weeks later,  for the january Oldies Anniversary,   3rd trip was the 7th Anniversary and my final visit was the 5th Oldies Anniv.  (Feb 8th, 1981)

   Every visit,  i was lucky to see it very busy,    lots of stories to tell,   some funny, some not so.    I'll certainly never forget the place ,  very fond memories !

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I have often said to friends when we talk about the old days how lucky we were. Born at the right time and able to go and experience many of the now legendary venues. The Torch, Pendulum, Leeds Central, The Mecca, the Casino (and others) were places we went.

The Casino will always be my favourite for many reasons, it was brilliant. It gave me some of the best days of my life. From 73 until 78 was my time there, but it matters not when you went, if you were lucky enough to go there, treasure the memories.

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I too was a regular at the Casino from the mid 70,s right through to the final nighter (that was,nt) in 81. Like most Soulies at the time i also attended various other nighters & dayers throughout the country, some small venues, others larger ones, some with good sound systems, some really crap ones, some with good atmospheres some with none at all, but the Casino was unique and no other venue had that special earthy magic. (imo)....Life long unforgetable memories

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