Everybody who went will look. A 100 memories will rush in there mind. To some of the times they had at Wigan casino. Not every allnighter had good memories. Many young lives where lost in the effort to be a top face at the casino. I lost a few friends through the missuse of drugs. People tell me it's made up by me. I wish they'd tell that to some of the parents of some young man. After the reaction I had to watch, when police told them there child. Would never be coming home, there body would be released for burial. Once the cause of death was established. So the coroner could issue a death certificate. This was not a thing I made up to increase visitors to my website.
It was free. It made no differance if 3 or 3000 visitors came it had no charge It was a true statement. It is exactly the same today, anybody who would like to call me a liar please do it. Via a written statement to my solicitors. Who will happily file a counter claim for deflamation of character. Which would then be settled in a court of law. Under UK jurisdiction the verdict would be legally binding. Giving the people who consistingly doubt my version. the ideal oppurtunity to vendicate there assumption that I'm a liar. I say bring it on, if you think it say it in the presence of my legal advisors. I'm sure they would make time for you.
Personally I know times change along with content. At the time of Wigan casino almost the entire place. Was filled with teenagers full of the good energy it brings. It was aq wreckless time in yong lives, you didn't worry about the future. It was a very much live for today orintated time. Why worry about the future for some life ended. Before the casino's time was ended after a fire destroyed the building. Later it was gemolished to make way for a shopping centre. Which occupies the Station road location today. Where the casino filled the Wigan atmosphere with a night full of northern soul.
Unfortunately the people of Wigan. Realised a bit late in the day, that the people they could not get rid of quick enough. Was also the source of a big chunk of the loal economy. So they eventually got the bad content out of the town. The degenerats that swarmed to the town no longer had the casino. The Wigan inhabitants. Now had a ugly shopping centre at the casino's location in Station road. It was just unfortunate, that a big part of Wigans economy had been removed with the building. Meaning although the new shops where now there to spend in them. For those who had got there income from the casino. They had no money to spend in them. Well done Wigan think before you act in future. As you cut off your nose to spite your face. But the locals who worked at the casino where generaly ok. Some made friends with the northern soul members and happily. Joked and had a conversation about things in there lives. They where normal people doing a job. I was quite friendly with big Dave 1 of the doormen at the casino. I would like to think Dave found another job fast. As he was a hard worker and nice bloke.
Mrs Wood's was not the tyrant people seem to think she was. It was correct if she took a dislike to you you would not get in the casino. For some unknown reason she liked me, and had a laugh with me on occasions. I forgot my membership card weekly at onetime just, filled in the form each time in a different name. She would laugh and say what name are we this week then Sam. I would say at this rate mrs Wood's I'm going to have to move to a new school. I have used everybody's name at the school I'm at now. So she started giving me girls membership's. It's all that is left so you will have to have it or lump it.You can have a man's next week if it worries you. I must of joined in so many names, I was the most joined person at Wigan casino.
There are people who still today, come upto me at events. Do you remember me? No why should I any particular reason. We where talking, outside the Ritz once surprised you don't remember it. Now to be honest. I could talk as an olympic event, and be certain of a medal. I would not hazzard a realistic number. On the amount of people I talked to outside clubs, it was a way of passing time. For almost all the strangers I rarely remembered it the day after. In the 70's you did well if I remembered later that day let alone 30+ years later. But I'm still a talker and at times remember.
Life in the Wigan casino era, in my opinion might of been basic. No mobile phones, Facebook, Youtube, or cctv. What never got seen, never got reported. I could not see going home to watch what you did last night catching on. Cctv in Wigan casino would of just made it hidden from view, it was black as a coalmans pocket. Not big drug trafficing took place in the casino. The gear was knecked well before you got there. The M6 anthem got any gear, ok there where amphetamines going round. But it was between known people. Strangers where never inticed into taking drugs, it was a closed network. The newest members where prone targets for any number of rip-off's. I'm positive there where often people who had danced all night on Distol desegics. The power of the mind thinking it had a large amount of high grade Amphetamines. But had Alive orange the favourite Philon look alike. There where loads of scams you wise up quick. The large crowds of teenagers in Wigan casino, will attract the tossers there. It always bring them out, there brain as 1 purpose fill the gap between there ears.
Nothing else is required like being a good person there not. This element of life is going to continue. It is a bad part of society nobody admires, everybody despises. But the assholes always appear, even 2014 seems to have a more dedicated kind of naunce. Grasses thief of there close friends. Lets hope we can rid northern soul of these parasites. Please don't let northern soul harbour these wan***s. Or the next thing you know. The scene will be labeled with these people highlighted as members with the rest. You are freely at will to be listed. But after 39 years of not being associated with the dregs of the UK. I don't want my name listed with any thiefs or grasses now. Get northern soul back on the track join ne with clearing the crap out the door. We have never had a sparkling reputation by the media. But at least it was sprculation not proven. Allow these bast***s in we will never be able to rid ourselves of that tag. So get rid now before it gets a hold, and we all end up associated to them. One thing is for certain, I won't ever let my name be associated. With a bunch of w**kers like that.
Without any doubt at all. The most successful northern soul venue ever. Was created by Wigan dj Russ Winstanley. When the Torch closed, after the entertainment licence was revoked. By Stoke council the actual reason is uncertain. But Russ who ran a successful northern soul session Sunday afternoon. At Wigan rugby club realized. That there was still a big demand for the music. But now had no club to attend. He had also seen that the Empress ballroom in Station road Wigan. Was left unused and approached. The club's manager Mike Walker with a veiw to staging. All night dance sessions at the Empress ballroom. The 1st was scheduled for 23rd of September 1973. There was no big advertising for the 1st night. Other than a few flers pasted on the venue's wall. In Station road when the doors opened at 2am. A crowd of 652+ waited for it outside. It was a time of big Torch influence. As the dj line up, had a big Torch presence. Kieth Minsull, and Martyn Elliss. Had just left the Stoke club. The first 2 years at Wigan casino was a Torch influenced time.
It wasn't until 75 that the casino broke out. The casino playing records like Tiffanies: Got to be a great song. Found by the casino, the fist time I went. The records came from a mix of Catacomb's and Torch discoveries. To this day a list of records I'd heard in Wolverhampton's, temple street club. hAD already been put as an example of things good found by the Station road allnighter. Thelma Linsey was always credited to Wigan casino. Yet I'd heard a Catacomb's tape from 72. Which Graham War is introducing a record to the Cat's crowd. Thelma Lindsey the casino was yet to open. The biggest mistake Wigan casino made was letting Alan Day bypass any request from the casino. To join the line up of dj's at the Catacomb's. Why Alan was simply ign ored when Vava's unexpected closure. Great empasis was put on Richard Searling who at the time. hAD nothing in comparassion to Alan's history. Up the Junction, teaming up with Martyn Ellis at the Torch. Then to Vava's. Which means Gogo in Spannish. Nobody can say going with Richard was wrong, with his input to Wigan casino's success.
The Legend of Wigan casino had began. The 1st allnighter's crowd of 600+. As time moved on was considered small. But Russ's foresight was proved correct. In the mid 1970's people turned away with over a 1000 inside the allnighter. Over it's 8 year run some of the best northern soul nights. Took place at the Station road venue. In the height of northern soul's success. Wigan casino was used as a Icon. for other venues to be gauged against. The familiar expression, better than Wigan casino. Was a commonly used statement. I went to st Ives, Yate, Cleethorpes and a host of other venues. In my honest opinion. There wasn't 1 of them that got anywhere near Wigan casino's atmosphere. Or the energy driven excited feeling. That was uniquely created in the station road club. At the other venues most of the people who condemned Wigan casino. Where people who had never made any impression at the casino.
Everybody was welcome, As equal to the rest. £5000, 000 or £5 in the bank. Made no big difference in your position. You had to earn your respect. The shit the casino's success bought was onething that couldn't be avoided. The barbed up idiots that saw the casino as some sort of drug haven. Should of been out the door. Attendances slumped due to it being full of knob-ends. Uncertain what decade it was. Which lead to a host of crap being played. Tuinal, Mandrax, Phenabarbatone, Secanol, Nemburtol, Sodium Amatol. Are some of the common POM barbiturates. When peopl burgled chemists. They started to clear the shelf. Opiates, Cocaine, Tincture, Amphetamines. Was all that was taken at onetime. Just the DDA cabinet. Now the shelves had left on. As the barbiturates had value.
After the 74 misuse of drugs act. It had become harder to bust chemists. Harder in no way implies impossible. Batman and Robin. Would of needed a full utility belt. To accomplish some of the chemist busting feats I heard. But chalky's where coming out Boot's Nottingham storage and distribution centre. Tenate Dopspan had very wide use as a appetite suppressant. The amount being stolen was a drop in the occea of a company like Boots. Girls developed period pains. Then got prescribed Baprasol. Hyperactive children got Efferdrine, I have no idea what Ponderax was used to treat butt it often gave hallucinations. When you hadn't slept for days
1975 was to prove a landmark year for Wigan casino. Up until then the records had mainly. Been reliant on a strong Torch influence, possibly due to the dj's from the Torch. Having a majority, with Brian Rae from the Twisted wheel, and Richard Searling from Vava's. 1975 saw records discovered at the casino echoing the dancefloor. It was the start of a time Wigan casino lead the way, for the UK northern soul scene to follow. Wigan casino had over a 1000 members every allnighter it ran. The casino's atmosphere was exstatic. For the regulars from earlier times. It was a mixed emotion glad it was at the top. But tinged with regret, as a new element started to flock to Wigan. Not from the inherited northern soul origin. But people who hadn't any knowledge of northern soul. But knew a person who was. A Wigan casino member and wanted to give it a go
Waiting by the coach park. I wonder how many people climbed over that fence. Around the coach park across the road from the casino. Or sat on the little wall directly opposite the casino. I left a few things on that wall. Like shirts and items of clothing. It was more of a Saturday night place to put your ass on. Waiting for the doors to open, a lot of coaches picked up. By the entrance door, it was the way they where facing as they pulled off the coach park. The air in Station road was full or many. Fidelity cassette recorders all playing different parts of the allnighter. The people there had just had the last 8 hours in. A variety of conversations where in progress. Talking about last nights events. It was the only thing on a majority of peoples minds. Or what alldayers where on worth going to. Home and resting never seemed to get mentioned.
Wigan casino had so much going on. It would be no good, telling visitors this website. Will give you the complete story of Wigan casino. It would be a misleading statement. I went a lot of times over 5 years. I openly admit it is beyond my knowledge to do it. But when you get titles that claim to. By authors who went nowhere near as often or as long as me. Take it from me don't bother with there claims. As a majority is 3rd party, not there's at all. From books published I would recomend 1. Russ Winstaley's book as a accurate reference to Wigan casino. But it is from a dj view of things.
There was still a happy sort of atmosphere. Nobody wanted to leave the community. For me, the best time was the Ritz alldayer a special venue. When it switched to Belle view zoo. It was still a good alldayer. But dancing on the Ritz's moving dance floor. Gave it characters the zoo's bigger dancefloor. Was flat as a witches tit always seemed to much daylight as well. I've never felt like going to a reunion at the Ritz. They spent money turning it into a chicken in the basket nightclub. It won't have half as many good times now. As it did when the alldayer. Was filled with mostly Wigan casino members. Who had not been to bed for a couple of days. When Newcastle under Lyme Tiffany's started. It was a distance to get there lost the Lancashire atmosphere. By the Locarno in Birmingham. It was like getting to close to home lost the safe distance factor. Get busted there it was west mercia constabulary. It would be in be in the Express & star evening paper. Read by to many who knew you. The safety factor of anonymous was lost. I never seemed to perturbed. At the time. It was just another arena for a good time.
Restrictions like being careful what you're doing. Never seemed high in my priorities. It seemed as it was so close to home. Every time I got home from the Locarno. Somebody who was short of a bed had come with me. It was that kind of helping others out. That as vanished from the northern soul scene. If you had to sleep on the pavement. People would walk around you even if they had a spare bed. I never had a spare bed just wouldn't go to my bed. To leave a friend to sleep anywhere they could. I even taught Paddy how to train a cat. Loyalty was of the utmost importance for everybody on the scene. The era northern soul ruled the teenage fashion interest market. Firstly was far from a good time in the UK. Minors strike, with the resulting power cuts. Meant when you stopped in often the night had no electric. Without TV light and anything to make you support the minors.
The great longterm benefit promised after the strike ended. Is evident from the state of the industry now. After continual industrial action holding the country to ransom. The price of coal rocketed. Pits struggling to remain viable simply no longer were viable and closed. The committee bringing the industry to a stop time and time again. Never had the foresight to see the arrival. Of the Iron lady, Margret Thatcher who saw no resolution to the strike. Gave into demands several times. The strikers went back to be called out on strike again. Arthur Scargill and other leading strike committee members. Never suffered the hardships of there members. I attended music for the minors concert in Brixton the Clash, New Order. Top headlining bands for the benefit concert. Mr Scargill arrived in a brand new Jaguar car. Hungry strikers collecting donations outside the Academy venue looked on in anger.
At the time, I doubt anybody thought 40 years from now. I will still have the interest enough to still attend allnighters. It is quite amazing to go to events look across the room. There is a person you're certain you know. But it's been so long since you last saw them you're not sure. The longer you look the more certain you are. A lot of times the other person is thinking exactly the same as you. When you go by, you are asked to excuse me. But did you used to go to Wigan casino as your face seems familiar? Then after confirming you did go. It opens up a list of questions. The 1st is where are you from, after that a list of people that were known from your area. Then the last known health condition you knew the person. The strange thing as always been the madder your teenage life was the better your chance of being still around. The people who staggered up Station road, week after week. After taking enough Amphetamines to kill a horse the night before. Followed by a cocktail of Tuinal, Mandrax, with yet more Amphetamines at an alldayer. Still seem to be the people most likely to be there. A lot of the doom and gloom people are in the place they warned others they'd be.
Almost all the prick's who warned you the serious damage. You were doing to your health are dead from heart attacks. Or other disease related to obesity. Bet they wished they had kept their mouth shut, and got smashed with the rest of us. They might not have ended up useless lumps of, lard. It always amazed the hardcore dance section at Wigan casino. The same people on the dancefloor virtually the entire weekend. When the oldies started on a Friday. It was getting home from work wash, s**t, and a shave. Off to Wigan for round 1 of the weekend. Saturday was spent at a flat having a laugh. Before Saturday night back to Wigan casino for round 2. Sunday was the Ritz, Newcastle Tiff's, Nottingham Palais. Or some alldayer, I have woke up all over the country. Monday morning, the last thing was work on my mind. When you are 16 or 17 you are not bothered about work. Which meant getting home meant you had to go. At 16 you still had to take notice of parents instructions.
I was a teenage hand full always in some kind of trouble. If you would have defied my dad you must have had a death wish. A few well-known faces of the northern soul will verify this for me. He told me never run from anybody. Or you have to face them again if you stop and lose. But you do your best others notice. It is not a good idea to start a fight with somebody who isn't scared to go the distance. As no fear on his face. A good blow can turn a fight around. From the back foot. Toon top in a second.
So keep your mind on the job. Chances come and go in a second. As soon as you see it. Grab it its very rare you get 2 bites of a cherry
It's not much point having a site. That is centered around something that was based on music. Then not including samples of the records. I have just started to rebuild my website. In time it will be as controversial and open as the last. But bear with me until it is rebuilt, as it takes time to do it. Everything will remain free like my last site promised. To charge visitor's a fee for a passion is not my intention. When I share the same passion it gives more pleasure giving. Than it ever would getting a ransom for it. There are quite a lot of websites for northern soul. That proudly tell you. This site is run by a active member of the UK scene. Who then wants you to subscribe to paying monthly fees to view there website. I spent a lot of money on my last site, but at no stage did I ask for money to see it. Northern soul as never been about making money to people who are actively involved on it. Internet greed as sadly replaced 70's friendship. I get remarks it's cheaper for you. Every time we update any content we have to pay to do it. You do it yourself, which makes it free. Which means my time as no value to it.Often I get told this by people who only go to the same amount of events as me. But when it ends they relax do the things they want. Not start doing work to catch up. As all there spare time was used uploading content to a website. But if my time puts a smile on 1 face, it as been worth it. There are a large number of people in northern soul. That suddenly forgot how they got to the place there at. See making a few pounds as a reason to forget principles. Take the money and run. Pull the rope up quick the crowd will want to lynch me. Northern soul was never about money. It was always about style, far more. A place for people had a bit more imagination. Than biting the heads of defense less creatures to shock. A weak mind goes for the easiest option. The practice of pi**ing on jeans. Is understandable, as most water sport clubs are overpriced. Yes there taking the p*ss.
I will state as a fact. I have not once made any financial gain in way of profit. From this site or http://garrykeen.com, t hey both had my financial support. Nobody as ever-give me 30 pieces of silver. They might think there big important people in northern soul. At one time maybe, certainly not anymore. Northern soul as never been a place to skim. Financial gain out for yourself. At the cost to other people who are supposed to be friends. It was a passion not something associated with fiscal gain. Yes times and values all change. For Wigan Casino ex-members the change is greeted with welcome openness. But the values got at the Casino remain the same. Why when I see people from then at an event now. It's often a look of sorrow on their face. What as happened to the together spirit Sam? The united we are strong, divided we are weak and alone. It would be a pointless task standing outside Kings Hall. Expecting anybody to notice you let alone offer help. The numerous occasions people stood in Station Road without a pot to p**s in. It made no difference if you knew them or not. A collection started any spare cash went in without asking. Even that had to alter by around 78. Wan***s without a problem started to take advantage of good people. Human greed to get any money for doing nothing. Seems to fit today's way of life perfectly. But using it to take the p**s was a nail in Wigan Casino's coffin. It wasn't one item that killed the Casino greatness. A number of things lead to the demise of Wigan Casino. Yet this is only my opinion of it, I was never the only voice and should be treated as a minority on this. There are a massive amount of opinions as valuable as mine. Paddy is a person I've known from around 1974. Peter Kaddick another long time Casino attendee and friend. Carol Morris is a girl that was a regular at Wigan Casino. Gethro who now as a book published the only book I endorse as a members view of Northern Soul
More things about this website
1 thing united members
You felt prevliged to be there
The success spiralled fast
Wigan casino remains no 1
Unequalled as a legend
Forward about Wigan casino section. Of this website , sincerly Sam Keen
The series of paragraphs below. Are not mandatory or compulsory to be read. That is totally in your choice. Governed by your reason to visit. If you are doing research for a social media essay. I would advise you to read it all. A visitor who attended Wigan casino. It will possibly cover a lot you already know. I will leave it upto the visitor to decide. I have tried to keep it the reality of Wigan casino. But I've never tried to say everything is perfect. Least of all me, if you find any mistakes. Please let me know
The importance of the text
A lot of information is contained on Wigan casino here
I hope yhou found something of interest. I vary the content for that reason.
Wasn't involved then you're certainly not now.
A word to finish on, Wigan Casino
I can understand some visitors disappointment. That the great Casino traditions like looking at a box of records for hours. Only interrupted by regular visits to either measure the letterbox. Make a detailed sketch of the carpet pattern or some other mundane task. I'm sorry to inform people who actually believed that happened. When tales like that are utter crap. A majority of members had just danced for 8 hours. In almost complete darkness. When daylight dawned on your eyes. I can't remember an urge to get a tape and measure anything. Dehydrated with an acute need to get to the papershop. At the far end of the coach park. If you ever need just how refreshing cold milk is. Ask any Wigan Casino member who attended the Friday Oldies, then the Saturday night. The dance until you drop squad never stopped for drinks. Even rarer was stopping for the toilet, bet money the second you went in the toilet. You got a pull a lot of times your clothes ended up on the floor. Covered in urine. So if you wore them you stunk of p**s almost every time I got a pull my clothes stopped on the floor. I can still hear that old warden type coming after me. You can't leave clothes on the floor it breaks the rules. What do the rules say about members getting pulled by the drugs squad. Is that who they are police officers? well yes and no they are plain clothes . I agree they might as well have been uniformed