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Happy Wigan Casino Anniversary Opening Sept 23rd 1973


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Posted

In these present days of gloom - it’s good to look back on something positive in our / my past / youth and growing up - great memories  

At 2 am 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[4] Soul performers that performed there include Jackie Wilson, Edwin Starrand Junior Walker.

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I started going in 1978 at age 14. If I close my eyes and remember, it's so vivid.  Sunday morning was always strange, going out into daylight with nobody else about..... Saturday night chip

Went my very first nighter in May/ June  75 at the Casino just as I left school.  45 years later I'm still going nighters . ( present climate exempt  ) 75 through 81 really was the greatest time of my

The scene was needing a regular Saturday night all nighter at the time. But that first night,  Winstanley and Fishwick just had played out youth club sounds, all I remember hearing was 'Agent double o

Posted

Must have been great.

Went a few times, but after 78.

Was this the first nighter to openly call it Northern Soul in its adverts or was that much earlier somewhere else?

Ed

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Went my very first nighter in May/ June  75 at the Casino just as I left school.  45 years later I'm still going nighters . ( present climate exempt  ) 75 through 81 really was the greatest time of my life and shaped my life and me as the person I am now. 

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I started going in 1978 at age 14.

If I close my eyes and remember, it's so vivid. 

Sunday morning was always strange, going out into daylight with nobody else about..... Saturday night chip wrappers blowing about and the occasional milkman, with some newly discovered tune going round in your head. Very melancholic. 

Incredible memories. We were very fortunate indeed and its a lifelong addiction. 

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The scene was needing a regular Saturday night all nighter at the time. But that first night,  Winstanley and Fishwick just had played out youth club sounds, all I remember hearing was 'Agent double o soul' must have been played about a dozen times. Only about a couple of hundred people there first night,  then word got out that the venue was ok and numbers started to increase in the following weeks. If it was not for people asking for Kev Roberts to be given a chance to play his sounds, as he had one of the best boxes at the time, Casino might not have lasted past those first few weeks.

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Ian Fishwick....How long did he DJ for... dont remember him and I was there..  could be me of course  haha

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Just read the info..

He DJ  the first night only by the looks of it. Would have missed that to be honest it was a busy night and packed to the roof..

He has passed away sadly.... RIP 

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Just now, sheep said:

Just read the info..

He DJ  the first night only by the looks of it. Would have missed that to be honest it was a busy night and packed to the roof..

He has passed away sadly.... RIP 

Sorry! Packed to the roof????

There was only about 200 people the first night at Wigan. 

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30 minutes ago, petewsheff said:

You weren't There.

Oh yes I was...me and 3 others from Norwich .....suggest you check your facts before making unsubstantiated claims. :)

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Russ regulary claims there were 600 and odd (667 If memory serves) there on the first night when I've heard him interviewed about it .

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Would have said a lot more....there were restrictions on numbers...and they let everybody in eventually after some wait....so way past the allowed capacity...but 667...ok:)

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 I was there on the first night it opened. There were no restrictions on numbers. There was a very small crowd about AROUND 200 maybe a few more. The opening week was marred by a lot of rumours about DS going to be there after what happened at VaVa's and that was  one reason crowd was small.  The second week when word got out about it being a decent venue the crowd was larger but there were big queues due to people having to get their membership cards before they could get in, even then it was not full. 

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With respect.....they took out a full page in Blues and soul on the casino months before the first night...

So everybody knew about it..

It was run/ owned  by Wigan DC....so of course there were number restrictions. 

I had a membership...my travelling friends did not...so we waited outside.....as it was membership

only....but we all got in.

I didn't do a head count...but 200 is not how i remember it . It was a big place...:)

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Well, I wasn’t there the first night... I first attended 6 months after the All-nighters started. By then, the music was excellent as evidenced in the tape of sounds I recorded that ended up in the hands of Pete Smith. That first night in March 1974 and the following Saturday I also attended, were pretty busy but there was room on the floor for more dancers. A year later roundabout the Footsee period, the place was very crowded. The first anniversary was absolutely rammed and at peak capacity. I suspect the numbers grew week after week from September 1973 until 1974 then maintained the very crowded level for the duration I attended until 1978, and possibly beyond.

If anyone has a First Allnighter patch for sale, I’d be interested in buying it or trading for records if preferred.

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It started to get busy 2nd week onwards, about 2 or 3 months in,  DS had a purge and arrested a lot of people and gear dried up, then quite a few people  who had been going to nighters for a few years stopped going, nighters without gear and all that. Wasn't long though before a lot of new faces started going. In 74 wasn't there articles in papers about 'this place in Wigan'?  and people dancing all night? , the place started to get packed. I remember Martin Ellis doing a short spot DJing and really had the place rocking. There was a rumour DS had a word with management and he was told he could not do another spot, don't know if it was 100% true.

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