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 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. 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)". Annual reunions are held in Wigan hosted by the original DJs.