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February 1975 that's when it all started at Cleethorpes pier, cold as usual so close to the sea.
Almost 1,000 crazy people turned up for the first night of what was to become one of the leading Northern Soul Clubs in the UK, a serious rival for Wigan Casino which until now had been the trendsetter for breaking new sounds. A couple of local guys from Lincoln and Boston kicked it off Chris Dalton and Dave Appleyard spinning some brave new sounds.
Monsters made by Cleethorpes.
Spring Rain - Silvetti , I Got The Need - Spookie & Sue , If I Was A Kid - Billy Kennedy , I'm Your Pimp - Skull Snaps(I've still got the brilliant LP) What Took You So Long - Stanley Woodruff , Broadway Cissy - Roscoe & Friends , to name but a few.
Soon it outgrew the Pier and the Wintergardens was opened to run in tandem, so we walked up and down from one to the other when we fancied a change - no other nighter needed 2 venues I am sure. The dancers were unrivalled, who could forget the likes of Nick-Nick and Pixie Mick in full flight. (see picture below)
After a few short years the Pier nighters came to an abrupt end with a ban but not until after a brilliant first anniversary and we all got a copy of World Column - So Is The Sun with a little sticker on it (still got that as well) Supposedly the pier was sinking from all of the stomping but that worried nobody.
The all dayers at the Winter Gardens carried on for a few years, but it was never quite the same, still good though and the crowd in the Lifeboat at 7pm prompt were a great laugh, they have pulled down the Lifeboat now, told them they would go bust without us.
Tribute should be paid here to Mary and Colin Chapman who were a driving force in the Lincolnshire area and I saw them recently with a record stall at the Skegness weekender and they remembered picking me up on the way to Cleggy.(nice people)
Update By Smudge 2002
Sometime before the allnighters started on the pier Mary and Colin Chapman held an alldayer at the Wintergardens. This must have been advertised in Blues & Soul at the time because that's where myself John Carroll and Gary Spencer would have got the info from, we three were the only outsiders at the venue. My two friends thought they would win the dancing competition, they were good but got pissed on by three local lads who used to do karate or something, they became good friends although their names escape me, I would ask John but his memory is worse than mine. SMUDGE
Who were these 3 guys? They were 1st place -Paul Wright / 2nd - Dave Warrender / 3rd - Geoff Cornell
The 3 winners and the order of merit is obvious.
Mary Chapman can also be seen in the background in brown trousers.
Pixie Mick in full flight,winner of the 1st anniversary dance competition,still see Mick on a regular basis and he is trying hard to recapture the old days. But you would not recognise him now from this picture I can assure you, he was a skinny little beggar and always wore the trademark flat cap and denim shirt.
The travelling band of Cleethorpes stalwarts can still be relied upon to light up any venue when they descend upon it, from local to Tenerife keep an eye out, as if you could possibly miss them.
Update by Carl of Cleethorpes 2004
The pier was first thought up by mary and a local dj called RICK TODD who had been runnin a local club in Grimsby called the Hawian Eye and Mary came to that and both got talking about a bigger venue, Rick Todd at that time was going to USA and bringing the records back that were later played at the pier including LEND A HAND, the original line up was RICK TODD---FRANK---GINGER & EDDIE---POKE---RICK SCOTT---CHRIS DALTON---DAVE APPLEYARD---DICK JERVIS From Grimsby.
Despite strong local objections Cleethorpes council gave permission to pull down the fine old dance hall in 2007 to allow developers to build flats on the site, another greedy council who have budgets to stick to taking the easy option, what a waste of a much loved building, we had one last superb night with 600 lucky souls getting a ticket for an evening that will go down in northern soul history.
As of November 2010 building has still not started on this site and it is just fenced off wasteland so the owners have not only lost valuable income the economy has decreased the value of the land + the housing market has crashed so the profit they were hoping for has diminished considerably and serves them jolly well right. Even worse we have already lost 4 valuable years of Northern Soul Nights at this historic venue, WHAT A WASTE !
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