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Continental Coffee Bar, Bradford

Northern Soul Yesterdays Derek Pearson

 
Posted (edited)

Following on from the thread re now and then photos of old soul club buildings

https://www.soul-source.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=48820

here's a couple of pics of an old infamous coffee house in Bradford. I don't know what it's history was or is - sixties mod hang out perhaps? - or maybe it was simply one of the first new breed coffee houses in town where all the cool young folk could gather - I don't know, all I do know is that it's always mentioned with reverance by older Bradford lads.

I realise technically it's not a soul club and because I wanted it to attract some feedback I posted it up in a seperate thread so it wouldn't get submerged in the original one.

(Quote) I've got a great photo of an old Bradford Coffee Bar that's so evocative of the times that it's worth the half hour I'm gonna spend looking for it this aft. When you see it I'll expect to hear gasps of acknowledgement all round (laughs) (Quote)

The sign reads Continental Coffee House but it was always known as the 'Hole in the Wall'. Note the 2 single doors boarded up; entering through the left hand side one took you into the ground floor cafe; however the right hand door lead downstairs to the basement coffee bar which is -I guess-where the action was.

These pictures were taken by me in July '86 and I can't honestly recall whether I actually ever went into this establishment for drink or whatever. In my time I don't even know if the downstairs bit was ever open. What wins it for me is the signage, 'Drink Coca-Cola' above which is a boy passing a mini-skirted blond girl a bottle of coke through a hole in the wall.

If I took the photo's mid '80s how come the sign had lasted so well? Because it had been boarded over with a cheap very basic sign for many years.

Just taking the photo was all about seizing the moment, opportunities an' all that. Seem to think the cafe had been damaged due to a small fire and was boarded up for security. It stayed like that for several months but one day whilst walking past I noticed all the rough boarding had been removed in readiness for a total refit. Luckily they'd also removed the nasty modern top sign to reveal the Coca-Cola pair underneath. Thought Mmm better bring my camera into work tommorrow and take some pictures pretty sharpish before they get covered over again. I returned to take these photos the following day and within 24 hours the builders had returned and the refit started.

derek

post-1224-1179871928_thumb.jpg post-1224-1179871973_thumb.jpg

Edited by Derek Pearson
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Posted

Hi Derek

I remember it well. Used to go on the old Lambretta GT200 around '68.

Happy days.

Julian ( mod at the time)

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Used to go on the old Lambretta GT200 around '68. Julian ( mod at the time)

Hey up Julian hows it going? Ah I see "1968" "Mod" - so was/is this the history of this place then? Can you add anymore thoughts on it?

See you around,

derek

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Hey up Julian hows it going? Ah I see "1968" "Mod" - so was/is this the history of this place then? Can you add anymore thoughts on it?

See you around,

derek

Hi Derek

We are both keeping well, but not been to a soul do for a couple of weeks ( last one was when I djed at The Mill, Croston for John Orritt's charity do. Might get to Rolls Royce barnoldswick tomorrow though)

it was one of those 'mod' places you had to be seen at ( along with the Continental in Cleckheaton, Earlsheaton Youth Club Dewsbury, Morley Town Hall, Plebs and Victory Lounge Halifax etc.Played motown,stax, atlantic stuff on the jukebox.We were members of the Tong Scooter Club ( I think that's the correct name) based in Tong, Bradford (and on a different thread on SS, I still have my leather Levi jacket from '67.

Julian

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Hi Derek & Julian,

In the Summer of 1969 or 70 i met Andy Simpson,Fred ?and Paul ?in Morecambe where i lived.. i was selling hot dogs, burgers and Doughnuts from a hatch in Barrys Cafe on the front...now called Fletchers...they had come across on scooters and sold me a knock off Ben Sherman (very small orange gingham check!!). We kept in touch then later that year went over and met them at the Hole in the Wall...thence to the MARKET!!!...MGM,VERVE,GORDY ,SOUL,TAMLA, MOTOWN etc etc....HAPPY DAYS young and innocent!

DF

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Derek, I frequented the Continental Coffee Bar 69 & 70. This was where I first got into the music, before it was known as NS.

Was originally a mod/scooter hang out later becoming frequented by Skinheads.

Many times trouble outside with the local greasers who used to hang out at the Gondola coffee bar just down the road!

Friday & Saturday nights used to be rammed.

Buy one coke stay there all afternoon/evening :D

Jukebox down there was wonderful. Packed with Motown etc.

Hole In The Wall was a disco through the back. All the latest sounds from The Wheel being brought back and spun in there.

Oh happy days :shades::ohmy:

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BLOODY HELL! Derek you are making me show and feel my age now!!

started going down there in 1967!! 13/14years old! B4 there ws a DJ it was a juke box the lad who was the dj was known as Prince John!! Little bloke who also did the MECCA on a Monday night!!!

The Elizabethans were a local group that went down there also! Later to become the famous group SMOKEY!!!

HAPPY DAYS

sue bushby

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Hi Derek & Julian,

In the Summer of 1969 or 70 i met Andy Simpson,Fred ?and Paul ?in Morecambe where i lived.. i was selling hot dogs, burgers and Doughnuts from a hatch in Barrys Cafe on the front...now called Fletchers...they had come across on scooters and sold me a knock off Ben Sherman (very small orange gingham check!!). We kept in touch then later that year went over and met them at the Hole in the Wall...thence to the MARKET!!!...MGM,VERVE,GORDY ,SOUL,TAMLA, MOTOWN etc etc....HAPPY DAYS young and innocent!

DF

The other two were Fred Keery and Paul Reas.

Regards Andy.

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Hole n The Wall

Spent most of my latter (slamming) schools days in there.

Making two bottles of coke last all day and

playing the table football.

As has been said it was a Mod/scooter boy venue

with mostly motown/Atlantic/Stax on the playlist.

When a Dj called Spook played tho we got the sounds

he had heard at the wheel.

It started my time on the scene really, well that and

meeting Andy Simpson Et Al.

Kegsy

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Posted (edited)

Hi from another ,that spent time at 'the cont' 'hole in the wall.

Pretty much as the others have said, the ground floor was the coffee bar and through the other door down some steps that led into the cellar bit which was also a coffee bar and over on the right a hole in the wall into the disco bit complete with dance floor DJ and fluorescent light.

Every one drank bottles of coke ( 1 shilling ) and spent lots of their time listenning to the music,

The scooters used to line up on Godwin St and it was regular to see maybe 20 ,Sunday afternoons was a busy time with some of the lads landing back from a session at the Wheel or other all nighters.Lambrettas were more popular than Vespa ,but thats down to the Local dealer at Shipley Lens.

This was very much the place I guess from early 60s certainly 64 and 65 were well busy times Motown , Stax and Atlantic been the new sounds. The local record shop was Pearsons Records had a really good section for 45s .

I could say more of that as I knew Tom and most of the lads that worked there , Dave , Toby , Pete , and of course Ethel.

Some of the names I remember and there will be more ,but its an age thing. It tends to be nicknames, I,m not even sure of my nickname then I think it went from Mac, Macca

so here goes with the wheels if I can remember.

Peaky. GT 200, Specca, SX200, Batesy, LI150 ?

Peanuts, Cressy, OB, Colely,

I will get back with others .

I think the hole only openned up on certain nights ,and may have opened up Sunday s , could do with some help here.

It was a great place to hang out ,

PS I went to school with the Alan, Chris, Terry.

Edited by StaxofSouinds

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I was born and brought up in Bradford (Wyke) and started going to the Continental in 67/68 usually when skipping certain lessons from Carlton School (Manor Row). Regular visits to the "Hole in the Wall" followed. I visited the Casino in Wigan, the Twisted Wheel (still do) and various other venues up north but I would still maintain "the hole" was the best atmosphere I have ever experienced. It is probably an age thing.

My father ( worked for a builder) claimed that he had made that hole in the wall with a large sledgehammer at some point in the mid sixties. He banned me from visiting the place for a time because of drug scares but I never witnessed any and they were quite vigilant on the entrance.

It was open Wednesday, Friday (3 bob and a free drink) and Saturday evenings (3/6d). And I was there as often as possible for about 3 years (14 to 17). Due to the aforesaid ban I told my parents I was at the pictures, I had to claim several art house films to cover three nights a week. I was also at the Mecca (Mondays) which was allowed.

Both played a mixture of Motown, Stax and Atlantic with a few then unheard of labels thrown in. It was at the end of this period in 71 I think that I saw Junior Walker at the Mecca, he didnt appear on stage until about 4 am. He was supported by the Bandwagon.

I pass the place infrequently now but the nostalgia remains.

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We used to travel through from Leeds to the Hole-In The Wall ! Thats a blast from the past ! Remember going one time and as we got there we were bombarded by pigeon shit from above.as we cut under a tunnel, I think...I managed not to get hit but one or two of the crowd had to go home again, as they were covered..

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Hi Derek

I remember it well. Used to go on the old Lambretta GT200 around '68.

Happy days.

Julian ( mod at the time)

HI JULIAN,

IF YOU STILL HAVE THAT OLD LAMBRETTA IN THE SHED I WILL GIVE YOU A HUNDRED QUID FOR IT :D:thumbsup::D:lol:

ROY

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I was a regular at the Continental from around 1964-67 - until I graduated to The Market Tavern, Pack Horse & Cellar Bar. Lots of happy memories - Coke 1/-  a bottle  making it last all night.....pinball machines.......chewing gum stuck to the ceiling.....Still in touch with a few old mates from back then, but always pleased to hear from   anyone else who remembers those happy days!

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I've been retracing my steps as a youth and remember both "The Cont" & The Hole In The Wall, remember quite a few of the names mentioned in this thread, especially Kegsy, Andy Simpson, Fred Keery. I used to go with a small crew from Shipley. It wasn't always easy to gain access, often needing accompanying by a local Bradford Lass to go through into The Hole in The Wall. The year must have been 68/69. As long as you had money to buy a coke you could remain in the cafe but could be asked to leave if you overstayed your welcome. A lot of Scooter boys used to hang around and line their bikes up outside, I do remember one incident where the Gondola Mob headed by Chaney, Sonny Jeng, Ginner and other guys pushed over the Scooters like Dominoes. The 'B' Boys not happy...  Being from Shipley and also a skinhead at the time didn't always attract the warmest of receptions but eventually tagged on with a young Bradford girl for a few weeks, bought me a cracking Ben Sherman for my birthday, romance fizzled out and Leeds United became my passion.

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On 24/05/2007 at 15:40, JulianB said:

 

Hi Derek

We are both keeping well, but not been to a soul do for a couple of weeks ( last one was when I djed at The Mill, Croston for John Orritt's charity do. Might get to Rolls Royce barnoldswick tomorrow though)

it was one of those 'mod' places you had to be seen at ( along with the Continental in Cleckheaton, Earlsheaton Youth Club Dewsbury, Morley Town Hall, Plebs and Victory Lounge Halifax etc.Played motown,stax, atlantic stuff on the jukebox.We were members of the Tong Scooter Club ( I think that's the correct name) based in Tong, Bradford (and on a different thread on SS, I still have my leather Levi jacket from '67.

Julian

We, that is myself Fred Ward,Howard Lockwood,Howard Earnshaw and Des Harris used to get over to the Vic lounge one night during the week. Vinny the landlord was always pissed.Al Stephenson was always there and Geoff Armstrong.If I remember correctly wasn't Al Stephenson's record collection on permanent loan to the Vic Lounge. Slightly off thread but Do you remember Studio 58 off new Street in Huddersfield. ALL the Huddersfield wheel crowd used to frequent. To name a few Pip, Frankie Carr,cobber and Keith Nester ,Ivan Moorhouse ,Ralph Senior (r.ip) mart, mosh, I can remember it as if it was yesterday.Regards Fred.

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The tunes on the jukebox in the Vic lounge were legendary Fred.. the Continental and other venues were all regular venues for the Leeds crowd ..

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I was a member of Bradford & Pudsey scooter club( B-Boys) in the 1970s a club which formed in 1968 i believe by members from the Tong scooter club,

who all met on the one way street, i dont know when Tong disbanded but B-Boys are now in their 50th year and there will be a reunion on 23rd June.

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