Wolverhampton, dance until you drop crew
. When Wigan casino first started to have any influence. On the uk northern soul scene. Wolverhampton's pride and showpeace club the Catacomb's ran it's short spate of allnighters. At that period of time Temple street, the location of the Catacomb's, was notorious for the black gangs that congregated in Temple street around that time. This came more from football gang warfare and the rollerdrome in Temple street than the Catacomb's itself. But the locals saw the area as a place to avoid if possible. It was a gamble if you reached the club before you got turned over. But the atmosphere in the cat's made the gamble worth taking. Manchester had the wheel as there icon of northern soul. stoke had the Torch, but for there item to verify. They did not start at Station road at the casino. Wolverhampton had the catacomb's. The club was special to the local's, Max Millward "blue max" Pep and a couple of the other dj's where native Wolverhampton residents. The Torch was represented by Nottingham dj Alan Day who was a regular dj at the cat's.
It was very location orintated like your football team. These days people often support teams they have never been to. It is very disloyal tp local teams. Who could always rely on the local supporters. As people from hometown location's stuck to there venue closest to them. Manchester the wheel, Stoke the Torch, Wolverhampton the Catacomb's, but I lived 14 miles from Wolverhampton. The Chatuea was closer. The Stone manor was up the road 2 or 3 miles. The closest of them all was the Nautical William. Which although a notorious local venue, was virtually unknown outside the area. The Stone manor was very much the same. The Chateau was popular among locals but also ignored by the rest of the UK. Same with both Manchester, the Ritz, and Belle vue zoo. Stoke Trentham gardens, Hanley Tiffanies, and Newcastle Tiff's alldayers.
Wolverhampton's northern soul memories
Wolverhampton had in northern soul. At Wolverhampton clubs like the Ship, embedded trousers by a local Jewish tailor. They had good roots tailor-made well dressed in were and going regularly. They devotion their part to play. At the start of Wigan casino's rise to fame. The input was for an importantLaffette, and the Catacomb's. Which is a club noted for finding the big records? That made into top records by the Twisted wheel, the Torch, and very early days at Wigan casino. Local's all knew Max Millward from the wereCatacomb's. Where he was a DJ. Blue Max had a real love for the music. While people waited for the coach to Wigan casino. He often asked for their opinion on new records he'd discovered. Pep another Catacomb's DJ, held in high esteem by Wolverhampton northern soul community. He had a shop next to the Vic hotel. That locals would go in to browse through records in the Wigan casino era. As the Vic hotel became a Saturday lunchtime meeting place. For the people who later were at Wigan casino.
there the unique dress code at Wigan casino. But the there biggest thing they were noted for at Wigan casino. Was there unique style of dancing which was fashioned into that way. By Wolverhampton man Geoffrey (Gethro) Jones. A local Wolverhampton man with a great love for the music. Without the doubt one of the best dancers ever to attend Wigan casino allnighter. He was at the 1st allnighter on the 23rd of September 1973. Right through to the last in December 1981. He was 1 of the dancers that danced to Footsie on Top of the Wolverhampton was noted for pop's. Today Geoff lives with wife Linda in the USA. But his name Gethro often gets mentioned still. At northern soul events today. I attended a lot of northern soul events in the Wigan casino era with Gethro. An honest hard working man who made his way in life through hard work. We had our rows on the way to Wigan casino. But both of us had great respect for the other. We've both had more shit out of life. Then we deserved but we go all the way round the track. in April 2016, we ain't finished yet
Home is where your heart is.
We were both as stubborn as mules. Every morning we left Wigan casino together was as friends. Even the times. We had big arguments until the early hours of the next day. Neither of us had any intention of backing down. But we never had any real need to resort to violence. We were both to pig headed to back down by violence anyway. In the end, we called an end to it. So remained good friends to this day. By the time I had got back to attending allnighters. Geth was in the USA, where he's writing a book of his days on the northern soul scene. In the 1970's, from the little he sent me. It will be without the doubt the book northern soul deserves. To be written about it. By one of the no1 faces who played a big part in creating it. Gethro Jones book is a detailed account of being involved. On the northern soul scene in the 1970's. At venues like the Catacomb's, Vava's, Wigan casino and other top allnighters. In Geth's detailed account of the days. It promises to be the definitive account of the Wigan casino era. When northern soul music ruled as the number 1. In the UK fashion with media attention focused on the Lancashire town of Wigan. A majority of the big records had been discovered in Temple street Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton's community spirit
As Wigan casino progressed and it's success. Got bigger the amount going to Wigan each weekend grew and grew. The same people every week. So overtime it was a coach of people that knew eachother. The allnighter started at 12.30 am. But in Wolverhampton it got to starting. On Saturday lunch time in the Vic hotel. There was always a crowd there every Saturday. A Wolverhampton ritual to go to the Vic. Catch up on the gossip for the west midlands. It was like a extention of Wigan casino's atmosphere. It amazed me how people talked alday. Then on the train or coach a few hours, all night and would still not be quite at the end of Sunday at a alldayer. It was a time you needed to keep up to date. If you never knew you might miss out on it. There must of been similar groups across the entire UK. But it was Wolverhampton where I knew the people. I lived 14 miles away in Kidderminster at that time. I would see the same people at soul nights in the week. No text's or Email to use for contact. But if you needed to get hold of someone you always did. By a close knit messaging network Everybody knew somebody who lived close, so it was a simple case of ring them. Ask if they would give them your number to ring . It was important proberly wasn't but you said it for prompt delivery
Images always enhance memories
I believe the real advantage of technology. As never been better than photo's, there where never great in the time of Wigan casino. But they are often edited in photo software to look better than the real thing. The same with audio quality. I'm as traditional as almost anybody in northern soul. The main difference with me to others. I was learning technology in the 1980's and had the internet. My 1st website was published in 1987 built entirely by me. The 3rd UK household with internet connection. Yet onlookers still try to make out they need to show me how to do things. Yet I studied internet technologies in Windows 95. Did .html in windows 3.1 So the level of help offered isn't needed
Wolverhampton's psrt on the northern soul scene
t can only be described as important. When you associate the west midlands with roll.s they played. In the Wigan casino era. The west midlands had a major part to play at the start of the casino. The period between the Torch closing and the casino starting. Was an active time for the Catacomb's in Temple street Wolverhampton. The club that found the records for the Torch and Twisted wheel to make famous. Blue max and Pep were the main DJ's, in the allnighter period the revamped club had. Just like the Torch, the Catacomb's run was short. A victim of Iredevelopment not fire. The Wolves football club bought the building. The club was located in. Max retained his passion for the northern soul after the Catacomb's closed on July 13 the 1974. Just how important the Catacomb's and the Wolverhampton area, in general, was in northern soul.
As never been highlighted truly enough. This as always been that way. A few other clubs must feel the sameway. Had a big input that as never been mentioned . Wigan casino wouldn't of had less success without Wolverhampton's input. There isn't a town, city, or person. Who can claim that as true. Many who think it a few. That never set foot in the casino. Yet speak like they invented northern soul. To many think that these days, I assure them you are not important at all. Northern soul existed before you. It will continue without you. Nobody is bigger than northern soul. Or anywhere near to it. It was never in question in the 70's people had respect which as now vanished