My Wigan casino story continues
The really interesting things have yet to start. At the age I started going to allnighters 14. I was little more than a child. But all the males who ever read this. Will know what I mean when I say. Boys think they are grown up before they are. The same for almost as many girls, who read this. If there is a adult type of activity people think by doing it. They instantly become adults which of coarse is utter rubbish. If they where grown up, they wouln't of done it. But. getting drunk and jumping into bed at parties. With a girl who also thought it made her a adult. Of coarse it didn't at 54 you know it never. When your a teenager you don't. When it's added to a father like mine, who thought being gay should be a hanging offence. I could of gone home and said I've just stole the crown jewels. With little cause for concern, but if I had said I burgled a house. He would of kicked the s**t out of me. If I had said I was gay, he would of killed me on the spot. You never steal off your own class of people businesses or chemist's where fine. If you ever come and tell me your queer your dead so I wouldn't worry.
I had the upmost respect for my father. Not in my teen's nobody every does, but a lot of times later. You suddenly start to think. I wish I had listened, as he was perfectly right. He drove a mini-bus to take local offenders sentenced to hours of community severice. A few weeks later I was waiting in Station road, I hears somebody shout. Gormless what you up to hanging about there. He had finished on the Friday gone home pulled the signs off the mini-bus. Recruited people for a trip to Wigan casino got a bus full. He said did well on this as well filled it up at work plenty for the trip. Got a £5 price off them prats to come here. Fill it up again Monday morning all profit cost me nothing. Do they let you use it over the weekend. That's unusual for the probation service, not exactly let me use it but they didn't say don't use it either. So you keep your mouth shut, they have been told the score. So how they going to know, I can hardly see them coming here can you. Hows the insurance cover you then, quite simple on that don't have a crash. The old Bill ain't going to stop it knowing who it belongs to. It's not been stolen I'm looking after it for them. The people went in Wigan casino, he went to sleep until they came out. Drove them home then in the pub.
Wigan casino members came from such varied locations and background. The amount of conversations that took place either going or from Wigan. That never became common knowledge. But remained between hometown friends at that time. Would be a great book if it was written so it was understood by every town and city. But how could you get the data soure for it. Would be a very long tedious thing to start with. I remember the Wolverhampton coach had 20+ conversations. All taking place at the same time x that by all the other chats. On coaches, cars, trains, ect 1 week would fill a book
1st time at Wigan casino
Wigan casino story: page 3
I think everybody who went remembers the first time. Most the members where to young to get in. Which added a ?, if you would or not. This disappeared once you'd been you got confident. However the first time it was all totally new, so a nervous time. You didn't want to be the twat sat outside alnight. It seemed like the other side the world before you went. Got on the M6 everybody you met seemed to be going. "got any gear mate" not for sale sorry. It took very little time before you felt included. Nobody knew it was your first time there. Which gave you a lot of confidence to fit in. So the next person who asked me. No mate only got enough for us. But if your still looking later, I know someone there. He'll have plenty good stuff as well. Ok mate I'll find you in there later. Everybody seemed so friendly like they knew you. At that time the UK was a very violent place football violence. Meant you watched your back if accents from other cities. Got heard by you several, you looked for a good weapon. But there where accents from all over the midlands, the south west, home counties, and Wales. But no sign of violence everybody seemed like friends. This was totally new to me. But a great atmosphere to be in for the night to come. Nobody was bothered who you are or anything else.
A short time after leaving Knutsford services. The casino club sign was in view, Station road was a hive of activity. Being so young was making me feel a lot less adult But then you got a bit of confidence as the gear kicked in. The people I was with where late teen's early 20's. I had a membership, navy blue at that time, I also had a friend of my brothers birth certificate. Just to be on the safe side, if mrs Woods had asked to see it Robert Reynolds. On the birth certificate and Garry Keen on the membership. Would of took a bit to explain really. But I was full of confidence as I climbed the stairs. The first 1 of the group paid for 4 got a stamp on the hand nothing else got asked. Up a 2nd flight of stairs, through the double doors. Past the office a 2nd set of doors, the heat, and darkness. Was my 1st sight of the main dancefloor. But it was the brilliant excited atmosphere that just made you. Want to get on the dancefloor, I was busting for a gypsies kiss. So went in the toilets nobody treated me like a child at all. Just another person in the casino crowd the same.
I had a few tries at dancing back in Kidderminster. But this was different to that, this was Wigan casino, I came out the toilet. Johnny Caswell: you don't love me anymore. Was echoeing round the casino, I got a good rush of confidence. Just headed for the bit of cancefloor, in front of the gents toilet. I didn't really bother how it looked or who looked on. Over the next 5 years this place became my regular place on the dancefloor. I loved the way nobody there took any notice of anybody else. Good job really good at dancing I wasn't. But I just kept on going and going. By about 5.30am I had so much cramp in my legs, it was really hurting bad. So even thou I wanted to carry on after a minute or so the cramp came back. But the great time I had just experienced. Made me want to come back time after time
the Wigan casino addiction
After the first time at Wigan casino. It felt like the place for me to go regularly. Although the UK was a very violent society. Very territorial football violence was riff, it breed so much hatred into everyday life. At this period of history the mass hate of skinhead's which was racially motivated. Every aspect of life was hostile. Aimed towards some minority group of people. To find a big crowd of people of multy race and class together. In the same place without them forming into gangs. Then setting about kicking the s**t out of eachother was rare. But Wigan casino members came from across the entire UK. Not to fight which was usual at that time. But to enjoy the night together as 1 group. Northern soul was the shared element, nothing else mattered it was 1 big happy family. In Station road Sunday morning, people had concern for others. It didn't matter if you came from the same location, class, or race. If somebody was stranded a long way from home. You had a spare bit of change you gave it. No conditions or expectations for repayment. A kind way that as become impossible to have in 2014. The UK is a self centred place no community spirit at all.
The people who say it is a better country today. Couldn't of ever lived in a communial environment that a happy atmosphere. Was created from 1 person down you all helped them up. Now we find it easier to blame all the countries problems on the large amount of non-English people here. Yet they all help eachother far more than UK people do. Onething the UK people need to remember, before they vote the next goverment in. The UK as a very complex fiscal stratergy. Vote for who your mind tells you to. But the party with the ability to manage the country. Not some neo racist party that blames the entire oversea's population. When the real fault is fiscal based errors by the government. Don't entirely know how it as any value to northern soul or Wigan casino. It was a good oppurtunity to have a whinge. So you cant knock me for taking it. I'm not a racist either, so wont be adding my vote to parties. That at there core think deporting many is the answer. The problem in the UK is not solved by that. It is a monetary problem we are spending more than we generate.
Unfortunately the UK as become to be known as. A country where you can live well and do nothing. There are countries who run coarses on getting in. Once your in the benifits that are yours under European law. How to abuse the UK social system claim in multiple names. For a family back home you don't have. The best part of this our PM at the time.Margret Thatcher opposed even consideration of joining the European community. Stating we are an island not a part of Europe. Which we should remain an independant country. She could see how the poorer county's in Europe could unite. Out votting other countries to strip the UK. Of it's wealth flood the country with it's people to add insult to injury. This would reduce spending and increase it's country's financial cash generation. The half ass government's since the iron lady. Have not once stood up against European mandates'
One person m/f, impossible task to do
Over 40 years since Wigan casino shut it's door's. But their is yet to be published a conclusive account. Of the feeling and emotional way the casino put in it's members. In my honest opinion their are very few people. Who went long enough to see the good decline to bad. By this I mean from the members on the dancefloor. The people who set out to travel long distances. Out of devoution and love of the music. I know several of the dj's from Wigan casino. As personal friends Russ Winstanley, Dave Evison, and Ian Levine. All 3 are as much a fan of the northern soul as I ever was. Dave would often be on the dancefloor. Expected no special treatment, if somebody bumped into him. He didn't want a fuss it was rammed at the time. I never saw Russ or Ian on the dancefloor. Both I'd put down more as vinyl junkies, label's and finding the next no1 to break on the UK scene.
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